Simon Reynolds of Patient Plan Direct, explains why when it comes to dental plans, simplicity is the winning formula
In helping practices day to day develop successful dental plans that prove profitable to the practice and attractive and beneficial to patients, my colleagues and I get a good feel for what works best when it comes to dental plans.
We work with a wide range of practices across the UK, all of which have different patient demographics, a different split of private and NHS care, and their own unique objectives. However, there is one common factor across all the practices that run the most successful dental plans: Simplicity!
I define a successful dental plan as one that is an integral part of the practices patient journey. It is mentioned on a regular basis to patients (new and existing) and the message about the plan is rehearsed and consistent. The whole team believe in the plan and recognise that it is of genuine benefit to the patient’s pocket and long term oral health.
As such, a steady and regular number of patients join the plan week on week and loyalty once a patient joins a plan is excellent and long term. The plan generates a healthy regular income that proves profitable, aids cash flow and commits patients to regular visits, providing the opportunity to promote other treatments and services (clearly in an ethical fashion), generating further revenue streams and profits.
The simple and successful dental plans can be summarised as having three common factors:
1. Limited choice – There may be a couple of different plan options available to patients to suit different requirements and budgets. But there should never be a overload of different plan options for patients to choose from. I have come across practices that have 10+ different types of plans. This serves only to confuse patients and your team, likely resulting in them not being comfortable or motivated to mention the plan to patients and thus hindering uptake.
2. Simple marketing – Any marketing literature promoting the plan is concise, to the point, transparent and highlights the key messages in language the patient can understand. A brochure with paragraphs of text is not the answer.
3. Quick and simple – The sign up process when a patient commits to the plan is rehearsed, quick and simple. Whoever is responsible for the final stage of sign up should be crystal clear in undertaking this process and explaining the detail of the plan to patients.
Stick to the above and you won’t go far wrong with making your dental plan a success.
Back in the fifteenth century Leonardo da Vinci explained; "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". As such, it’s no new modern day phenomenon that simplicity is a solid strategic approach. It shouldn’t be an approach that is limited to developing a successful dental plan. It is likely to prove beneficial when determining many other practice processes.
Simon Reynolds is the commercial director of Patient Plan Direct; one of the UK’s fastest growing dental plan providers. To discover a flexible approach to dental plans that maximises profitability, contact Patient Plan Direct
Patient Plan Direct is the UK’s most cost effective plan provider: Experts in dental plan launches, plan provider transfers and introducing private dental plans to create less dependence on NHS income.
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