Do you want to increase the number of patients you have on your membership plan, but are finding it difficult to let them know the reasons why they should join it? Here, Regional Support Manager Emma Sillars shares her top four tried and tested methods for boosting your plan uptake.
Membership plans are the best way to package preventive care as they encourage regular attendance and greater engagement. The first step for increasing plan numbers is to ensure your team are fully on board with the offering! All staff should be comfortable with the plans you offer and how they work, and be confident about sharing the benefits of them – after all, your whole team are likely to be asked questions about your plan so they all need to be fully prepared to answer them.
Get your whole team together to map out the journey you want your patients to take when promoting your plan. Of course, this will vary in each practice, but something I commonly see is the dentist or hygienist outlining the key benefits of the plan to the patient and then recommending the plan that would suit them best.
If the patient asks for more information or even wishes to join a plan right away, then this part of the process is picked up by the receptionist or treatment coordinator. This part of the process is vital, but all too often I hear that this is where opportunities are lost.
Have a system in place where, should a patient express an interest whilst in the surgery, you inform the receptionist that this is the case, either by sending a pop-up message or having the nurse speak to them as they walk the patient back to the desk.
3. Promote the benefits of membership
Getting the balance right between promoting plan membership and doing the hard sell is something that people can find tricky.
Take a look at these four simple ways to get the message across without feeling like you are being too pushy:
- Pop a poster up in your waiting room which details the benefits of having a membership plan.
- Have more detailed leaflets readily available for patients who would like more information.
- Talk to your patients about the plan! A prime opportunity for promoting your plan is when a patient comes to the front desk to pay for their examination as you can naturally begin a conversation with ‘That will be £X today Mrs Jones. But did you realise you would not have had to pay if you had been a member of our plan?’
- When a patient needs treatment, give them a comparison of how much they’d pay if they have treatment as they go and how much they’d pay if they became a member, and explain how they can receive the discount. This just reinforces the benefits a member of your practice gets!
4.Make patients feel that being a plan member is the right choice for them
Your membership plan needs to be part of the practice’s overall philosophy, making patients feel that it is the natural choice to consider.
By becoming a member, patients are buying into your practice so work towards developing a friendly and helpful culture.
Don’t simply tag membership on to the end of a conversation, make patients feel important because you are providing a product that’s right for them.
For more advice on boosting your plan numbers and communicating with your patients, head on over to our Resource Library for more insightful articles.