10 Smart Ways to Grow Your Aesthetic Practice
- Posted on: Oct 19 2018
Starting an aesthetic practice is difficult enough — growing it into a thriving business can be challenging beyond words!
Like all small businesses, plastic surgery and other aesthetic practices can significantly struggle in the early days of operation. They don’t have a customer base built up yet, no one knows about their services, and they may not yet have hired the team they need to succeed. All of these components are necessary to start to grow your practice beyond its humble beginnings into a plastic surgery firm that’s known and respected by everyone in your market.
Here are a few smart ways to grow your aesthetics practice:
Plastic surgery practices can feel like imposing businesses to those who aren’t used to getting cosmetic procedures. You can help combat this by holding an Open House every few months.
At an open house, people can come into your practice without the pressure of having a cosmetic procedure hanging over them. To entice them in, you can offer some specials on minor cosmetic treatments, or even baked goods and coffee. Once they have been inside your practice, they are much more likely to make the leap to come in during official business hours for a cosmetic procedure.
In cosmetic surgery, no two people are coming in for the exact same reason. Everyone has things that they don’t like about their appearance and feeling like they are being treated as special by you and your practice’s staff can help put them at ease.
Personalized care can take many forms. Knowing their first name is a good start. Remembering something about them from a previous conversation can be a great help to making them feel recognized. It can often be the little things that help a patient feel comfortable at your practice, feeling like they are in excellent hands.
Smart Digital Marketing
Many practices take on a marketing strategy that is the equivalent of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks. This is not just a waste of money, but it also devalues their brand.
You want to choose very specific methods of advertising your business online. If you are going to use Facebook Ads, make sure that they are targeted with pinpoint accuracy to your audience. If you are going to be tweeting daily, these must be genuinely valuable content within the tweet so your followers don’t ignore them. And if you’re going to be putting up plastic surgery videos on SnapChat or Instagram, make sure that they are high-quality with steady camera work.
It turns out that patients can be rather picky about the people they let cut into their face! Patients want to know that their plastic surgeon is a highly qualified professional, and the quickest method to prove this is to become a member of the International Social of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery!
ISAPS is one of the world’s most prestigious medical societies, with a rigorous process of applying for and maintaining membership. Being an ISAPS member shows that you’ve achieved a level of skill and proficiency with plastic surgery that puts you among the best surgeons in the world. Becoming a member is a fantastic and proven method of growing your practice.
Rebook Clients at the End of Appointments
Although non-surgical cosmetic procedures can be very effective, they also don’t last very long. If you have a patient who comes in for BOTOX or dermal fillers on a regular basis, booking their next appointment immediately will decrease the likelihood that they will go to another practice for their touch-up procedure.
And all it takes is your receptionist asking, “And when would you like your next appointment to be?”
Team Training and Development
A plastic surgery practice includes far more people than just the surgeon. Your entire staff, from your fellow surgeons to your cleaning crew, are valuable members of your team and should be treated as such. For your team to gel and become a cohesive, high-functioning unit, you need to offer them opportunities for training and advancement.
Employees are constantly looking to gain new skills and advance their careers, so by offering them in-office training, you can entice them to stay working at your practice, rather than go off looking for better opportunities elsewhere. Employee retention will keep your practice operating at peak efficiency, giving you the experienced team you need behind you to grow your practice.
Client Referral Programs
A single positive word from a satisfied patient can be worth more than all the paid marketing in the world.
When a patient is talking to a friend or family member about their plastic surgery results, their word carries a lot of weight. And if that friend is at all interested in plastic surgery, then there is a good chance that your patient’s words will stick with them, maybe even eventually bringing them into your office.
You can add an extra bit of incentive for your patients to share their experiences by starting a referral program. If your current patients bring in a guest, you can reward them with a discount, gift card, or complimentary cosmetic service. Maybe even offer the person who was referred special treatment as well to seal the deal. Just be sure to check your local laws to confirm that your offers are legal.
Speak with Your Frontline Staff
As a plastic surgeon, your primary interactions with staff happen in consultations or pre- or post-surgery. If you want to get a better feel for the overall customer service experience your practice is offering, you should talk to your frontline staff.
Your employees who interact with your patients on a daily basis on the phone, through digital communications or face-to-face can offer you unique insights. They might be able to make suggestions about how you can improve the experience that your patients have before surgery.
Have a Customer Feedback Mechanism
It’s difficult to see the weaknesses of your own practice from the inside. You know who does see them, though? Your patients.
Patients who have no way to express their opinion about your services often resort to posting it on the internet. But you want to encourage your patients to share their thoughts about their experience with you personally, and your staff. This kind of feedback can be invaluable to strengthen and grow your practice.
Customer Rewards Programs
For your practice to grow, you are going to need repeat patients who come in for multiple surgeries or regular touch-ups on cosmetic procedures like BOTOX. To decrease the chances that they will give another plastic surgery practice a try, you can institute a rewards program to keep them coming back for more.
This doesn’t need to be an extensive program. It could be as simple as occasional discounts on services and a special coupon on a patient’s birthday. But just these small things can often be enough to keep people coming back to you. This will help you build up a reliable customer base that you can use as a springboard for growing your practice.
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