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Table 1 Top tips for treatment bundling

n Bundling can work equally well for treatment plus product, or treatment plus treatment

n For repetitive treatments, offer incentives to increase the average fee per visit

n Consider bundling treatments that can be administered by clinic staff

n Schedule offers and specials at your slowest times of the year

n Market special offers to existing patients as ‘loyalty programmes’

n Market special offers to attract new patients and encourage first-time treatment patients

n Encourage patients to enlist for a course of treatments without having to pay up-front for the whole course

n Take advantage of loyalty programmes and special deals offered by vendors directly to consumers by marketing via eblasts, and on Twitter, Facebook and your website and blog

enjoying a growth spurt. For example, if

skin tightening devices are the top-selling treatments in your area, consider adding this service to appeal to a broader segment of consumers. If big-ticket procedures are still in a major slump, such as full-face ablative fractional resurfacing or laser lipolysis, offer some less expensive treatments to encourage patients to come in. If there are many clinics in your area that are marketing fat reduction systems, it may be a good idea to evaluate whether you should include one of these technologies in your service offerings to capture some of the market share that you may be losing to the competition.

Table 2 Examples of effective offers

n With every full price single syringe of filler, get one area of botulinum toxin for 50% off

n Have 2 syringes of a filler, and get 30 units of botulinum toxin at the same time at no additional charge

n With every peel, receive a complimentary post-peel treatment cream

n Bring a friend to an office seminar, receive a complimentary sunscreen”

n Bring in an empty jar of eye cream, take 20% off a new eye cream

n With each area of laser lipolysis, take $100 off the second area when treated at the same time

n Have your face treated with fractional resurfacing and get your hands done at 50% off

74 ❚ June 2012 |

Customer feedback Use feedback from your customers as a critical tool to determine an ideal pricing structure for your practice. For example, if your staff receives call after call asking about the price of injectables or laser treatments, but callers do not book an appointment on hearing the range of fees quoted, this is a prime indication that your prices are higher than your community is willing to pay. Speaking with patients directly, or conducting a survey to determine how they feel about the value of your products or services, can also provide valuable insights. You can also solicit input on what services or products they would be interested in to further narrow any gaps. Slashing prices is a bad policy and will

end up backfiring in the long term. It may be necessary to lower your pricing to be more competitive and encourage higher procedure volumes in the short term; however, running a campaign for Ô50% off every laser procedureÕ, and Ô£5 per graft for hair restorationÕ cheapens your practice and its standing in the community. People will think you are desperate and having a fire sale. If you run a special offer at a regular interval ® such as the first Friday of every month, or every other month ® you may be effectively lowering your fees for those services; patients will become savvy to the fact that there is a

ÔdealÕ in the pipeline and they will wait to visit until you have an offer. By paying close attention to price

versus value, you may be able to find more efficient ways to do business or identify areas in which you can reduce costs while improving the quality of your products and services. Whenever possible, stick with branded technology and products to market to your patients, even if the upfront costs are slightly higher. A plethora of generic products are flooding the market, especially in the EU coming in from Asia, and thus driving the pricing structure down even further. In some markets, it is common to see

clinics market a device by brand name, when in fact, the device they have to offer is an off-price variation of a patented technology that has years of clinical

research published to support its efficacy. The best example of this is the plethora of radiofrequency and fractional resurfacing systems on the market. The same practice holds true for fillers; there are dozens hyaluronic acid based fillers on the market, especially in Asia and Europe. Distinguish your clinic from the competition by marketing brand names of the products you offer so that consumers will not compare apples to oranges when reviewing fees. Once a patient comes in for a visit,

adding a secondary procedure or another area of treatment does not increase your cost of acquisition for that patient. If the patient is already in the chair, offering a second or third syringe at the same time (if the patient needs and wants it done) is practical and cost-effective for both parties.

Use feedback from

your customers as a critical tool to determine an ideal pricing structure for your practice.

Bundling You can also be creative when bundling services. The most common methods are variations on Ô buy one, get oneÕ , Ô buy one, get one half priceÕ, and Ôthree for two.Õ Consumers are less inclined to lay out large sums far in advance so be wary of demanding that patients pay upfront for a series of repetitive tr ea tm en ts . Consider tweaking

a common offer, for example: instead of

Ô buy 4, get the 5th freeÕ try Ô after your 4th treatment, get the next one at no chargeÕ . This allows patients to take advantage of a bonus treatment. Take your cues from retailers, hotels, restaurants, spas and salons. All service businesses today are faced with changes in how consumers spend their money and they have had to adjust their practices accordingly. Your patients may surprise you by showing their appreciation and loyalty if you are willing to demonstrate some sensitivity to their needs. .

 Next column The power of light: leveraging innovative technologies in your clinic to attract new patients

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