According to a study,[i] 50% of first time hearing aid users will not purchase a second set of hearing aids at a later point in life. So what does this mean? It means when you sell a patient a set of hearing aids, you only have a 50/50 chance of selling that same patient a second set of hearing aids at some point in the future. So why do patients not come back for a repeat hearing aid purchase? The most common reason a patient will leave a practice is due to lack of service[ii], not the product.
A re-sell level, or patient retention rate, of 50% is not impressive. The good news is that it can easily be improved by developing a long term, follow-up service strategy. This can lead to a higher repurchase rate, as well as ensure that your patients are not getting attracted to your competition. Keep in mind that in today’s market, every patient trip to COSTCO is a potential competitive distraction.
So what is the key to keeping patients? Make sure your patients always think of your practice as the primary place for hearing healthcare. This is done by creating relevant touch points with your patients. ‘Relevant’ is the key word: Send the right message to the right patients at the right time. Example messages include, but are not limited to:
- Annual hearing test reminders
- Six month clean and check follow-ups
- Warranty expiration notifications
- Birthday cards
- New technology information
- Open house invitations for upgrade candidates
Blueprint OMS’ marketing module is specifically designed to make it easy to target patients who meet certain criteria. With Blueprint OMS, you can generate a list of patients in a matter of seconds. You can then easily print labels, envelopes or you can upload your own custom letter for a mail merge directly in Blueprint OMS instantly. Optionally, generate an email list for those patients who prefer an electronic means of communication. At Blueprint Solutions, we have done everything we can to make this process as easy, fast and as customizable as possible. The task of doing targeted patient communication takes minutes, not hours.
So what is the financial impact of being able to increase your patient retention? Let’s do the math. Say you sell 360 hearing aids in a given year at an average selling price of $2000. That is $720,000 in annual hearing aid revenue. If your retention or re-sell rate after 5 years is 50%, that means you would sell 180 hearing aids at $2000, totaling $360,000. Now, let’s say that you increase your re-sell rate to 60%. The re-sell total then becomes $432,000 or a difference of $72,000. That is a significant increase achieved with a small amount of effort. Talk about BIG ROI!
Please contact Blueprint Solutions if you would like to learn more about how Blueprint OMS can help you increase your patient retention and re-sell rate.
By Henrik Nielsen, M.Sc.
[i] Gil Magilen. “The Real Hearing Aid Market”. https://www.walnutcreekhearingaidcenter.com/articles/the-real-hearing-aid-market. 1990-02-04.
[ii] Dennis Hampton. “Enhance Consumer Satisfaction By Marketing To Your Present Patients”. http://www.hearinghealthnews.com/marketing.html#ref-4