Health is a truly amazing and rewarding career, yet it has some big drawbacks when keeping long-term customers.
Can you think of another industry where, the better you are at your job, the less likely you are to see your customers? It’s almost like if you wanted to maintain your health clientele to keep seeing you, you’d have to do a pretty bad job (or nothing at all) to keep them coming week after week. That… is not an ideal way of doing things.
There are, however, a few ways you can keep your clients happy, encouraging them to go to you whenever they need health assistance, in your area of expertise. While doing an awesome job, no less. Research shows that retaining clients is far more cost-effective than finding new ones. So how do we keep our health clients happy?
Below are some of the best techniques to increase customer retention in your health business; some easy, some harder to implement, but all of them effective:
1. Underpromise & Overdeliver
The key thing here is to be realistic. If you can’t deliver some test results before a certain time, it’s better to say so. Or if you have a client that wants to lose 20kg in a week, they probably won’t be able to do so, no matter how good you are (unless they eat only fresh salad, and run a marathon every day).
Similarly, if you already know what you can achieve in a normal day, it’s definitely a good idea to add something extra, like using a more expensive oil as a massage therapist with repeat clients, or trying fun, new workout sets as a personal trainer. Always try to give the very best experience to your clients.
2. Transparency is King
In a world filled with con artists and fake news, dealing with a fully transparent professional is a real breath of fresh air. You can achieve this by explaining clearly what you do, your health background and expertise level.
In your studio, consultation office or website, state exactly which services you provide, how they are delivered and what your clients can expect from you. If you make any mistake, don’t find excuses, instead own up to it with a sincere apology. This may just earn you their loyalty more than anything else.
3. Add Personal Touches
To some high-earning health practitioners, such as veterinarians or dentists, this might seem unnecessary. Personal touches are nice for teachers marking tests, but how do yoga teachers, occupational therapists or other health entrepreneurs benefit from, say, sending a Christmas card to their clients?
The reality is, we all like feeling special, even if we won’t admit it. So if you choose to have the music your client likes during a therapy session, or send them an email every year on your ‘work anniversary’, they will most likely appreciate it. This, in turn, provides them with positive associations of you.
4. Listen to your Customers
This may seem like an obvious one, but with so many responsibilities owning a business, it’s easy to forget to listen to your clients every now and then. They’re the reason you do what you do every day, improving their health, their wellbeing, their lives… And sometimes they can be our best assets, too.
Asking simply how they prefer things, so you can personalise services to their liking can be the difference between an okay experience, and choosing you every single time they need a similar service. They might even suggest ideas you hadn’t thought of before, improving your service to other clients as well.
5. Elevate your Expertise
An absolute top tip for every career, but particularly in the health business. Clients come to rely on their therapists, practitioners and health professionals with their bodies, minds, and even their lives. By striving to become the best in the business, you make it easy for them to trust you.
It also comes in super handy when learning new tips, tricks and techniques that others in your industry might not know. This gives you an edge, and will certainly help when they choose which person to go back to, over and over.
6. Connect with your Clients
Staying connected with your customers is important. It’s not a bad idea to call them every 6 or 12 months, updating them on the latest developments, or asking them how they’re doing. Along the same lines, make sure you reply to their emails and messages within 24 hours. The sooner the better, every time.Quick response times and checking up on clients regularly are indeed good ways to keep communication alive and well. Connecting (indirectly) via social media is also a great tool that few health practitioners use well. Set up a Facebook account and update content on a weekly basis. Go where they are.
Finally, make sure you always look for ways to improve your customers’ experience. Take a moment every few days to think about what worked, what didn’t, and improve based on your findings. Do it each week and it’ll become a habit. Your clients will appreciate it, and will share the word with their own friends and family.
If you’d like to learn more ways to keep your health clients happy, as well as your bottom line, you can apply to the Health Impact Award, so you can win a spot on the iLAB Accelerator for Health Entrepreneurs (worth over US $10,000). You can submit your application for free, here. The deadline to apply is August 12th, 2019.