An inactive patient is one who has not visited your practice within the last 18 months.
There can be many reasons why a patient goes inactive—they’ve moved, are deceased, have forgotten to rebook, or they didn’t value the service and went elsewhere. Whatever the reason may be, you don’t know what you don’t know.
These patients were your clients at one point. They are not necessarily in the brand absence part of the client journey. They are most likely in the brand awareness category. A successful outreach campaign for clients in this category will need the luck of timing. They have already had an experience with your practice and hopefully it wasn’t a poor experience. The timing of your materials is important because you must first reintroduce your practice. Then the patient must feel they need some dental work within a short time of receiving your materials.
THIS IS NOT A ONE-AND-DONE STRATEGY
This is an outline of the reactivation process:
- Print and manage your 18-month attrition list daily. There are software solutions that can do this for you.
- Reach out to the patients via phone using a script
- If you are unable to get a live patient on the phone or have left a voicemail with no reply, send out a letter with information related to importance of S/RP, Perio or Oral Systemic Health on an envelope marked High Priority or Confidential. This information would be accompanied by a letter signed by the dentist.
- Follow up two weeks after the letter was sent via phone to determine if it was received and whether the patient has any questions. In this circumstance, you can leave a voicemail and request a call back.
“Hi John, this is Debby from XYZ Dental. How are you doing?”
Wait for answer (WFA).
“It’s been while since we have seen you for a dental cleaning in our office. Dr J asked me to give you a call and get you in for an appointment. Dr. J has extended a special offer to you for a free get ’reacquainted’ exam. We have Thursday at (Time) and next Tuesday at (Time). Which of those works best for you?”
If neither of those times work, offer two additional times. Do not ask them when they would like to come in. It is important you give them just two options at a time. If they are busy or do not have a calendar or they’re driving, simply ask them what is the best time to call them back and ensure you do so.
If they accept one of the times given, also ask them if they would like to book their cleaning with the hygienist since they are coming in to meet Dr. J anyway.
This is one example of a few scripts we use to maximize conversion during reactivation.
“Hi John, this is Debby from XYZ Dental. I sent out an important package to you a few weeks back and I wanted to ensure you received it. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience and ask for me directly. Again, this is Debby from XYZ Dental. I look forward to receiving your call and have a great day!”
At this stage, we leave the ball in the patient’s court. It is my belief that a patient who does not make the next move is either avoiding us, had a bad experience, moved or is now seeking care at another office. If you do not hear from them within two weeks, simply inactivate/archive the patient.