Customer value

Tim Caudrelier of  7connections presents the seven steps of customer value optimisation and how they can be used to grow your dental practice

There are three ways to grow a business: increase the number of customers; enhance the average transaction value per consumer; and raise the number of transactions per customer. To achieve this in your practice, it is essential to have an overall marketing strategy in place for converting leads and retaining patients.

Customer value optimisation (CVO) is one system that can be implemented to develop a well-thought-out marketing plan that will help you set the foundation for attracting, capturing and retaining happy patients. CVO consists of the following seven steps.

1. Determine product/ market fit

Dentistry is a well-established sector that will continually be required by patients of all ages. However, as with any business, it is important to choose the correct product or service for the market, as success is dependent on having a group of willing and able buyers. If, for example, you are looking to offer a new orthodontic product or service in your practice, it is worth researching whether the market for the product will be sustainable.

2. Choose a traffic source

Attracting interest from potential patients online is not as difficult as you might think, particularly with giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn lining up to sell you targeted traffic. Instead, it is important to understand how to measure what traffic is worth and how to extract maximum immediate value from that traffic.

With a number of options to choose from, it is best to focus on one traffic source, then, once it is mastered, add a second and third. The goal throughout is to drive prospects into the CVO funnel. This begins with the lead magnet.

3. Offer a lead magnet

The ‘lead magnet’ prompts a transaction of information by offering an irresistible bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect patient in exchange for their contact information. These are usually offered on a web page called a landing or squeeze page that is optimised to convert even cold traffic into leads. It does not need to be fancy, just effective. With the lead magnet at the very top of the CVO funnel, increasing opt-ins here will pay dividends throughout the rest of the system and allow you to provide more tripwire offers.

4. Offer a tripwire

Up until this point in the CVO funnel, only leads have been generated and no new customers. This is where the tripwire offer comes in. This is made to potential patients that have displayed interest through the lead magnet. It is an affordable offer, such as a product priced between £1 and £20 or a discounted treatment within the practice. The main aim of a tripwire is to change the relationship from prospect to customer through offers that individuals are unable to resist. Even if you sell the product at cost or make a loss, the most important aspect is to gain contact details and a new patient who is more likely to deliver profit through the next three steps.

5. Offer a core product

The core offer relates to your flagship product or service, perhaps implants, orthodontics or whitening treatment. In some cases, the core offer will be profitable, but it does not have to be. profits here can also be reinvested to acquire more patients.

6. Offer a profit maximiser

The profit maximiser increases the average transaction value per customer. Through an upsell or cross-sell, patients will spend more during one transaction. For example, if a patient comes in for a whitening treatment (core offer) that is sold on wafer-thin margins making it hard to resist, this could then be made up through the sale of short-term ortho, smile design or even the on-going sales of toothbrushes, toothpastes or other products (profit maximisers).

7. Create the return path

The final way to grow your practice is to increase the number of transactions per customer. Having gained their contact information through the initial lead magnet, you will have the ability to continue marketing, offering them new lead magnets, tripwires, core offers and profit maximisers.

Through a quality return path, you will be able to provide patients with frequent strategic communication that will cause them to buy again and again. Effective email marketing is one way to maintain good communication with patients and increase transaction frequency. The experts at 7connections have recently developed AIM – Automated Intelligent Marketing, specifically for small dental practices. Based on proven strategies such as CVO, AIM can help your practice to reap the rewards of a clear and well thought out marketing plan.

Just as a business plan is essential for outlining the nature and scope of your practice, developing a strong marketing plan will ensure leads are converted and patients retained.

Tim Caudrelier is an experienced and versatile business consultant, coach and mentor with extensive experience in driving growth, cost management, and service improvement. A partner in 7connections business coaching, Tim developes its results-driven services to optimise the effectiveness and profitability of dental practices across the UK.

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