Turning the “Free Chiropractic Exam” into New Patients

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Free offers can be an effective new patient driver, but deep consideration needs to be given if you’re looking to turn an offer into a new and sustainable patient relationship.

Prioritize the “Fixes” within Your Practice

Before beginning any type of offer (such as a “free” consultation or a discounted rate), look internally. Is your customer service top-notch? Is your new patient process seamless? Are the patients you have today satisfied with the recommendations and services you have provided? Do you have the resources to follow up? If any of these are questionable, then hold off on your offer. If you don’t have the basics in place, then you’re wasting resources.

Identify and Measure the Conversions

How will you be monitoring someone who came in via the free exam offer vs. your other patients? Do you have the tools in place to track when/who has actually converted? Are you able to properly segment “hot” leads, “warm” leads, and those who are just there for the offer? It goes without saying that measuring the effectiveness of your campaign is critical.

Critique and Perfect Your Offering

There’s debate amongst chiropractors on the effectiveness of “free” offers. Some have seen great success, and others view it as diminishing the value of the visit, or are concerned about reaching “cold” leads. Much of this is impacted by how you advertise your special.

See the examples below on how wording and design can impact the perception and professionalism of your offer.

Example of a poorly executed free offer ad

Example of a well executed free offer ad

Regardless of the position you take on “free” offers, be sure what you offer is the right fit for your practice and that you can communicate the value of your services over the competition to each new patient. Alternative to “free” initial exams may include an extended consultation during the first visit or a slightly discounted rate on a return visit.

Don’t Forget about Your Existing Patients

For a routine patient, the words “for new patients only” next to an offer can be polarizing. Consider how you will address this with your existing patients and consider an offer for them as well – referral programs, or even a monthly special. This is a good opportunity to re-engage inactive patients.

Plan Your Follow Up

Too often an offer is created, but a follow up plan has yet to be developed. Consider how you’ll be reaching out and what you’ll be reaching out with in the months following the initial exam; at a minimum, plan for 6 touches over the next 6 months. Before launching your offer, develop all of your follow up materials, including any emails, sales letters, surveys, holiday cards and phone call scripts. If you have properly identified your levels of leads, you can also optimize your resources by relinquishing any additional follow up for those leads that were identified as “cold”/only there for the offer.

patient communication tools

 

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