Like anyone else, I get offers and solicitations in the mail. More commonly referred to as “junk mail”. And like most people I toss it in the waste basket. But sometimes curiosity gets the best of me and I’ll casually scan it as it’s flying into the trash. The ones that catch my attention specifically are the offers to “new customers”. They’ll read something like; sign up for 12 months of service at this low introductory rate, offer valid for new sign ups only.
What gets me hot under the collar is that this is usually a company or service I’ve been a loyal customer to for years. So how come I don’t get a bonus for sticking with them for years and paying my bill on time? Most likely I was one of those that did take advantage of the special offer way back when, and then when the honeymoon was over, my rate went up and that is where I stayed.
Of course there are also the offers that come to you in your monthly bills. You know, those little offers to upgrade your service. Even though you might be perfectly happy with your level of service, you still might wonder if you need to upgrade. I don’t fault them for providing options.
You see these companies understand human nature and they use this knowledge to leverage their marketing muscle and ramp up their ROI, after all if you sending a monthly bill anyway, why not include a few enticing lures.
These two scenario’s are your typical target marketing. One is targeting those patrons that don’t have the service the company is advertising, or the prospective clients are using another company for their service and the “dangling carrot” is a comparable service at a low rate, for a limited time of course. The other is targeting their own customer base, but they’re not offering a loyal customer discount, rather the ad is to make you think your missing out on something bigger and better and you need it.
To be fair, there are those companies who do reward their loyal customers with coupons. Ah but you know there is always a catch! Here is your 20% off coupon for being a wonderful customer, coupon valid on purchases of $75 or more. Gee thanks!
Why can’t they send a coupon for a percentage off of my whole purchase, whether that be $10 or $100. Better yet why not just give me the cash? You know why? Because there are statistics that show that the majority of people won’t even redeem their coupons, but 100% would keep the cash.
So why the rant? What’s getting me so worked up?
Well for one thing people should be acknowledged for their continuous patronage and I’m sure they would like to be recognized for sticking with a company. Sometimes it feels like a slap in my face when I see a company offering a service, that I pay full price for, to others for pennies on the dollar. But then again….I could shop around for another company and take advantage of their low introductory rate. Why don’t I do that? Maybe I will.
I write this post in hopes that you will consider the gold mine you have in your practice. It’s your existing patients and they are hungry for your gratitude and your attention. They would like to be recognized and appreciated.
As I’ve said in previous posts; it’s much less expensive to market to your current patients then it is to go out and acquire new patients. This doesn’t mean you can only market to current patients and grow, but I bet you could do more with your patient base. Do they know about all the services and products you offer? Are they reminded on regular intervals to get adjusted? Do you send a monthly printed newsletter in edition to 2-4 emails a month? Do you have special events like P.A.D.’s, toy drives, etc?
Here’s my humble opinion…
When you’re proofing that next chiropractic ad with that amazing offer for a limited time only, think of all those patients you already have. Some of them are current, getting to all of their appointments on time, referring you and your wonderful staff to friends and family, and bringing their children to you. Others have fallen off the grid and need to be contacted, even if it’s just to say; “we miss you”.
I guarantee you will see growth as you implement this form of marketing. If you already do this, go to the DC Practice Tools facebook page and let us know how you market to your existing patients.