When analyzing the effectiveness of your patient retention and recall programs start by looking at a couple of key indicators. In a mature practice (7 plus years old) 50% of your sales should be to new patients, and 50% of your sales should be to existing patients. If more then 50% of your sales are to existing patients then more effort needs to be devoted to advertising, marketing, referrals, etc. If less then 50% of your sales are to existing patients then it is time to evaluate what you are doing for patient retention and recall.
An even more important statistic is the percentage of your active patient database that you refit annually. If you feel the majority of your patients should upgrade every 4 or 5 years, then you should refit 20% to 25% of your active users each year. For example, you have 2000 active users, and your goal is to upgrade them every five years then you should be refitting 20% of your total database each year. If you have 2000 active users, your goal should be to sell 800 hearing aids to your database each year. If your numbers are below that, then evaluate your recall and retention programs and look for areas you can improve.
Do you have programs in place that keep your patients tied to your practice? Are you actively recalling your patients throughout the year and do you monitor the effectiveness of your recall activity. Most software programs can run reports for “date of last visit.” Every month you should run a report of patients not seen in the last 12 months and contact them with a phone call.
Finally, evaluate how effective you are at getting patients to upgrade. Remember our job is not to determine when our patients upgrade their hearing aids. Our job is to give the patients the information they need to decide for themselves. Using proper and appropriate techniques, we have found that 50% of patients with four plus year-old hearing aids will upgrade if given the right information and those that don’t will probably do so in the not too distant future.