How To Increase Your Customer/Patient Lifetime Value

How To Increase Your Customer/Patient Lifetime Value

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Lauren Parr is the Product Marketing Manager at RepuGen, an online healthcare reputation management SaaS platform. 

Patient acquisition investment is vital to any medical practice’s growth, but it’s not enough to maximize revenue generation. As the shift from episodic care to ongoing or even lifelong care gains traction in the healthcare industry, many practices are increasingly looking to improve patient retention rates as a more effective approach to boost the patient lifetime value (LTV).

Here’s a look at how you can grow your medical practice by calculating and maximizing the LTV.

What Is Patient LTV, And Why Does It Matter?

The lifetime value of a single patient is an estimation of the net profit that the entire future relationship with the patient can generate. As a medical practice, you want the highest LTV possible for each patient to maximize your revenue. You’ll have more funds to reinvest in patient acquisition and retention when you have more valuable long-term patients.

How To Calculate Patient Lifetime Value, And Where Should Yours Be?

Calculating a patient’s LTV will depend on the patient’s age and your healthcare business’ specialty. For example, a pediatrician can estimate an LTV based on the number of years they expect a satisfied parent to keep bringing their child back for care.  

Follow these steps to calculate your LTV:

• Estimate a patient’s visit frequency per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the average to be about 2.8 visits annually.

• Determine the average revenue per patient’s visit.

• Estimate the number of years each customer is likely to need medical attention.

• Lastly, calculate the patient LTV using this formula: revenue per visit X annual visits X years with your practice = patient LTV.

Acquisition Vs. Retention — Which Can Better Maximize Patient Lifetime Value?

For most healthcare practices, the patient acquisition cost exceeds the patient retention investment. However, retention strategies are much more valuable and can generate a better return on investment over the long term.

By maintaining a good reputation and keeping your current patients happy and satisfied, you can foster their loyalty and grow your practice much faster using free word-of-mouth referrals. This enables you to maximize your healthcare business’ LTV over time.

How To Improve Patient Lifetime Value

To increase the lifetime value of a patient, implement the following patient retention strategies:

• Give patients quality and efficient care. Keep testing your practice’s patient satisfaction and making necessary care improvements. This requires constant monitoring of patient health and tracking of treatment outcomes in addition to general wellness. Also, it’s important that you ensure individual patients are getting value for their money through efficient care.

• Offer the best customer service and support to your patients. Improve patient retention rates by constantly engaging with your patients and providing superior support across multiple channels, such as using social media to track and respond to complaints. Be sure to incorporate 24/7 support via a live chat box or call center customer care to quickly answer patients’ questions or provide any needed help.

• Build your patient relationships outside the office. To get your patients emotionally attached to your care and keep them coming back whenever they need help, you’ll need to be proactive in building healthy customer relationships. Reach out and show them that this isn’t purely business, but that you deeply care about their well-being.

Building lasting patient relationships entails engaging your patients in their everyday lives, getting to know them personally and understanding their feelings. 

• Listen to your patients’ feedback and check your online reviews. Loyal patients want their concerns heard and addressed. So you need to establish a way to hear patient feedback and respond appropriately to satisfy patients as well as preserve your practice’s reputation.

You can learn what your current or previous patients think about your clinic or healthcare service by tracking online reviews. This means you should let your patients freely express their feelings about their appointment or pain points on multiple platforms, such as your practice’s website, social media and review sites. Using your patients’ feedback to make improvements in your patient care will help your business grow.

• Build your referral network. A solid referral network will help you maximize patient lifetime value. One way to build it is by tracking patient satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score (NPS). These surveys let you rate how likely each patient would be to recommend your practice to another person on a scale of 0 to 10.

You can split patient responses into three categories and extract more value as follows:

1. Segment 9-10 patients are your happiest word-of-mouth promoters. Use these patients to get more organic referrals and grow your practice. 

2. Segment 7-8 patients are passive and may never come back if you don’t impress them with superior customer services and convert them into loyal promoters. Reach out to this group for their feedback before it’s too late. 

3. Segment 0-6 patients are detractors. They’re unhappy with your service, but you can turn them into happy customers by addressing and following up on their concerns.

As a healthcare business, the ability to provide high-quality lifelong healthcare is vital to maximizing customer retention and increasing patient lifetime value. To achieve this and accelerate your practice’s growth, you’ll need to maintain long-term relationships with your patients through ongoing engagement and communication while providing superior care.


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