How to Improve Patient Loyalty and Retention

Growing business and increasing revenue isn’t just about attracting new patients, it’s also about retaining the patients you already have. With all the competition out there, it’s difficult to gain new patients as it is, but according to this study, it can be 5 to 25x more expensive to acquire a new patient. This is why having a focus on patient retention is so important. 

It goes without saying that you should invest just as much time and resources, if not more, into your existing patients as you do trying to procure new ones, but what is your strategy around this? Do you know how to calculate retention rate and how to improve it? 

Improve Patient Loyalty and Retention in your Eyecare Practice

How to Calculate Customer (Patient) Retention Rate

Calculating customer (patient) retention rate is simple. To do so, determine the time period in which you want to measure, total the number of patients at the start and at the end of that period, subtract the new patients gained, divide the total number of patients at the end of the period by the number you had at the start.

Customer Retention Formula

After you determine your patient retention rate, look at the patients you lost and try to find trends for why they left your practice. Do they have any similarities? Can you find any areas of improvement? 

Patient Retention-1

Customer Loyalty

Take customer retention one step further by measuring customer loyalty. Although very similar in nature, customer loyalty looks at overall customer satisfaction and how it relates to upsells. Just because patients continue to come back to you, doesn’t necessarily mean they are pleased with your service. That’s why it’s important to to gain feedback from your patients and provide them with the best quality care. Are your patients satisfied? Would they refer you to other people? Are you identifying what makes unhappy customers so that you can prevent future customers from becoming unhappy? 

Improve Your Patient Retention and Loyalty Strategy

In virtually any healthcare environment, the essential elements of improving retention and reducing attrition is providing quality care. Make it easy for your patients to get this service with as much empathy and convenience as possible. Staying on schedule, confirming appointments in advance and reaching-out when appointments are overdue, are great places to start.

Asking for regular patient feedback and acting on this information is one of the best ways to understand and improve patient retention rate. Try to grasp why your patients leave, identify those pain points early, and proactively deal with those issues.


For more advice on how to calculate patient retention, check out our new 8 More Optometry Practice Metrics eBook:

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