It’s no secret that the current economic climate is tough for many medical professionals, and plastic surgeons are among the hardest hit. Cosmetic surgery is a luxury for many consumers, and many plastic surgeons we’ve talked to have seen a 30-40% hit in the number of procedures they perform each year. This is exacerbated by the decline in approvals from 3rd party financing options. In order to capture the business of the consumer, plastic surgeons need a way to stand out from their competitors and ensure customer loyalty. Luckily, this industry is uniquely suited for two of the business solutions we’ve discussed in this blog, namely in-house financing and membership programs. Let’s first explore membership programs.
While many associate plastic surgery with larger procedures such as rhinoplasty and augmentation surgeries, many practices also offer non-surgical procedures such as Botox/XEOMIN, collagen, various peels and laser treatments. Some of the practices also operate med-spas to expand their offering including anti-aging treatments, dermabrasion, massage therapy and more. While these procedures can be a great source of supplemental income, it can be difficult to ensure patient loyalty. There’s nothing keeping patients from hopping from practice to practice for these procedures, going to whichever practice offers the best deal for that week. By offering a membership plan, doctors can ensure practices retain patient loyalty, and create a steady stream of business.
As we’ve discussed previously, the membership model’s success is built on the strength of loyalty programs, a concept tried and true in multiple industries. If patients have committed to a membership at one practice, they will not only return there for all their non-surgical services, they’re also much more likely to refer other patients to that practice.
While some practices offer a single, annual membership plan, that may not be enough to meet the needs of many potential patients. Some patients are looking for a more customized membership plan that caters to their needs. Additionally, annual plans significantly limit new sign-ups and make the patient re-examine the need for the plan once a year. A monthly plan is definitely the way to go. A more sophisticated membership program is ideal, but it’s often hard to track multiple patients on a range of plans and manage monthly billing. However, with a membership program software module (similar to the wellness plan software module we’ve discussed in the Veterinary and Dental fields), tracking a wide variety of membership plans goes from prohibitively complicated to absolutely trivial. The practice can create numerous plans that meet the needs of their customer base (Botox Plan, Anti-Aging Plan, Skin Care Plan, etc.), and the software takes care of all tracking, billing, etc.
By creating their own membership programs for non-surgical procedures, plastic surgery practices can ensure customer loyalty and stand out from the competition.