Too often when practices appoint patients they focus on just the date. But picking a number on the calendar is really just the beginning. If you want to maximize retention you must do two things consistently: pre-appoint with value and act with completion.

1. Pre-appointing with value is about more than selecting a date and handing the patient a card. It's about providing patients total clarity for what they can expect from the practice and what the practice expects from them.


It's about explaining that in your practice an appointment is a confirmation. If you have any doubts on this, please revisit this article.

2. Acting with completion means that at every visit you meet the expectations you defined the last time you appointed the client. It means the treatment was provided as discussed, in the time scheduled and for the fee previously communicated.

Acting with completion also means ensuring the patient leaves today having paid in full for today's appointment or with an acceptable financial arrangement. This helps to prevent one of the most controllable reasons patients leave a practice: lack of clarity and value for the fee. If patients end up with an unresolved financial obligation or concern, chances are they'll be too embarrassed to come back. And as most office administrators know, the fastest way to lose a patient is to be forced to make a collection call.

The bottom line is, if you leave your patients uncertain about their treatment or financial obligations, you undermine your efforts to get those clients to return and your value gets compromised.

The flip side to this is just as clear. If you don't give your clients reasons to leave, they won't. When done right, these two principles—pre-appointing with value and acting with completion—virtually eliminate the reasons patients don't return.



Commenter's Profile Image Muna Strasser
September 20th, 2013
Great comments! Thank you