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Monday
Oct302006

Top 10 reasons why loyalty programs don't work.

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Medspas consultants will often promote loyalty programs as a way to reward your best clients and build their loyalty to the practice. But loyalty programs are often not all they're cracked up to be.

10 reasons why  loyalty programs won't work in your medical practice?

  1. Loyalty programs are based on discounts, which ‘train’ existing patients to expect 'sales' and wait out your normal prices.
  2. They attract your most loyal patients who would happily pay a premium.
  3. They confuse patients and staff and create customer service problems.
  4. they discourage new patients by making them feel punished or excluded.
  5. they encourage competitors to retaliate with me-too programs.
  6. they damage your perceived image by making you a 'discount' store.
  7. they reduce profit margins from your best patients.
  8. they reduce your ability to serve patients at the highest levels.
Ok, there were only eight. But the point is, patient loyalty can’t be programmed. As soon as patients begin to feel ‘stalked,’ they choose ‘fight’ or ‘flight.’ They either figure out how to game the system, or else they seek care elsewhere.

Reader Comments (3)

We've been thinking of starting a rewards program for our loyal patients. What type of point systems/spa dollars are being used successfully?

Good points, but aren't manufacturer-based loyalty programs exempt from most of your points? Allergan's Brilliant Distinctions program foots the bill for all of the discounts/incentives. And research shows that there is real monetary value for every BD enrollment a practice is able to capture.

The economics make it look like BD is actually a good financial move for both Allergan and their participating BD offices.

http://bit.ly/110eZaj

People love reward systems(I know I personally do). Keep it simple. You don't need any fancy corporate type systems in place. As long as they know that the card you give them does not expire at any point in time and they know what they are getting. We use Obagi and they have little stamp cards they give us to use with people who come in for products and after they spend x amount they get a percentage off. We also use cards for waxing(buy 10 get your 11th free) type stuff. We also have a point system in place as well for our weight loss patients. We give them a water bottle when they lose 20 lbs. I love when I get the stamp cards from places, it keeps me coming back cause I want my free one! You can make them yourself on your personal computer with business card paper and put your own logo and your own restrictions on.

07.2 | Unregistered Commenterj

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