A 3-step plan to boosting Phase II Patient Conversion Rates
By Anthony Bonavoglia, DDS, MS (Orthodontist and Founder of SmileSuite – the pending patient solution)
Did you know the national average of patient true conversion rates who have completed Phase I treatment, and are presented with Phase II treatment is approximately 50%? Yikes. That’s 15-20% lower than the average overall practice conversion rate.
As they say, the most cost-effective marketing method is to focus on the lowest hanging fruit. And Phase II patients are it! They are existing patients who are already familiar with your practice, so you don’t have to spend marketing dollars to “acquire” them as patients.
In my practice our conversion rate of Phase I patients, those who received early treatment, was approximately 55%, which is consistent with the national average. We wanted to see if we could increase our conversion rate of this set of patients by 10% WITHOUT lowering our fees.
We started by eliminating the barriers that keep Phase I patient from starting Phase II treatment. From a financial aspect, we recognized we were are asking many patients/parents to start another financial obligation, plus make another large down payment after they’ve already paid off their Phase I treatment. Thus, we decided to start a campaign offering more favorable payment terms to “reward” those patients who have a good history with your practice. These are the patients who show up for their appointments, are never late, and have made every payment on time.
Here’s the strategy we deployed: customize our presentation rules, reward loyal patients, and track results.
Step 1: Use SmileSuite to create a new “Patient Type”
Within SmileSuite, we created a “Patient Type” just for those patients who are presented Phase II treatment and have a good payment history with my practice. . We called it “Phase II with Good History” and use it to identify those who have completed Phase I and have a good financial history. Within SmileSuite this “Patient Type” designation will allow you to create presentation rules that can be exclusively applied to this group, and most importantly track the performance of this group.
Step 2: Create favorable terms
Within SmileSuite, we created payment terms for the “Phase II with Good History” patient type to be “zero down payment” plus “an extra 3 months to pay off their treatment fee.” Remember, this is ONLY presented to those patients who have already proven they have a good payment history with my practice. This is a low risk group to offer your best payment terms to.
Step 3: Track results
Using SmileSuite’s proprietary “Dynamic Reporting” track the success of this campaign
Over the course of one year, Phase II conversion rates grew to 71.3%. This is a 16.3% increase compared to conversion rates prior to SmileSuite.
Why this Approach was So Successful?
- Think about it, after paying off Phase I treatment, the last thing parents want is another bill. By establishing “no down payment” terms, you alleviate this financial burden, and remove barriers for loyal patients.
- Additionally, If they shop around, they won’t receive a better deal anywhere else. You’ve essentially rewarded those patients who you want to keep in your practice.
- I understand there will be a dip in cash flow coming from your Phase II conversions. But with SmileSuite’s expansive reporting we were able to preemptively calculate what that dip in cash flow was going to be and then budget accordingly.
- With SmileSuite’s ‘œPatient Tier” functionality, we could implement this campaign in minutes without any treatment coordinator training. SmileSuite’s automated presentation features provide instant presentation adjustments.
- With SmileSuite’s “dynamic reporting” we were able to measure success. This allows us to make adjustments as necessary.
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