Are You Suffering From Leaky Bucket Syndrome?
Say you have a dental practice with 1,200 active patients. You have a retention rate of 85 percent and you get 15 new patients a month. On the surface, those numbers look pretty good. But you don’t have to drill down too deep to see that there is a problem here.
The 15 new patients a month is great. Having 180 new patients a year should be a solid foundation for growth. But let’s look at that retention rate again.
If you’re retaining 85 percent, that of course means you’re losing 15 percent of your patient base, which in this example comes out to 180 patients a year. So much for that growth.
This is one of the most common—and most easily fixed—problems in the profession of dentistry: Leaky Bucket Syndrome.
Dentists, understandably, get excited about new patients; there’s so much potential. Patients come in fresh, with all that blank slate possibility. They have never said no to treatment yet. And there is no denying that every new patient represents a new opportunity to build value for ideal care.
Increased patient flow means very little if you don’t also put the right focus on keeping the patients you have. Those lost 180 patients—even if they were only coming in for hygiene—represent a big part of the foundation of your practice for years to come. In most cases it only takes a few easily implemented retention strategies to keep a lot of those patients in your practice—where they belong.