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Inside Dental Technology
March 2017
Volume 8, Issue 3

Saving an At-Risk Client

Identify and address accounts that may be in jeopardy

Terry Fine

We know from various industry studies that, on average, dentists use more than three laboratories. That means your customers are also using your competitors. Are you making sure you’ll win them back? While marketing can help you identify new clients and generate new business, don’t forget that marketing can, and should, also help you retain your current customer base.

Monitor Client Satisfaction

Ideally, you’re using your marketing and sales team to take regular stock of customer satisfaction. This will allow you to keep up with how your dental customers are feeling about your relationship at any given time. Adequately addressing a problem before it becomes too significant is best practice, but if client happiness declines overall, it’s time to move on to a formal or informal tracking system.

Track Your Case Submissions

Tracking case submissions means recording the volume, type, and frequency of cases from each client. If you find a customer who previously used your services across the board is now only sending fixed cases to your laboratory or has stopped sending cases altogether, you’ve identified an at-risk client.

Bring in Marketing

Once you’ve identified your at-risk list, reach out via one of the marketing tactics you and your customers are already accustomed to—email, direct mail, or even a phone call from your sales team. Sometimes, just acknowledging that you notice a change in their business needs will remind a dentist of your relationship and bring them back.

If just reaching out doesn’t bring their business back, now is the time to identify the problem and make it right. Be sure to ask why, exactly, that dentist is using another laboratory. Is it because of the competitor’s quality, price, or new relationship?

Depending on their reasons for not utilizing your services as much, you may be able to offer a promotional RX form, a value-add product or service, or a price match with another laboratory that may simply be beating your prices. If their needs have truly changed, don’t try to sell to them unnecessarily. Instead, thank them for their business and make it clear they can reach out to you in the future if they find they need your services again.

Ensure that those offers are trackable, so you can see who comes back to use these incentives and who does not. When they do return, be sure to promise and over-deliver. This is perhaps the most important step.

Follow Up

Once you’ve seen a dentist return, ensure that your team follows up after the first case and again down the line. Customer service isn’t just a business builder; it’s a relationship manager and should be used to keep your current customers happy and expanding their business.

Terry Fine is President of AMG Creative in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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