Ashleigh is a 38-year-old mother of two young children and a successful entrepreneur who runs a small but flourishing floral shop that’s recently been featured in several national media outlets. As Ashleigh finds herself increasingly excited about the attention her business is receiving, she wants to look as energized on the outside as she feels on the inside. This leads her to dip her toe for the first time into medical aesthetics. After receiving her first set of Botox injections and waiting for them to take effect, she’s delighted with how refreshed she looks! “This,” she thinks, “is exactly the result I was hoping for!”
Marco is a 42-year-old creative director at a well-respected ad agency whose fashion-conscious female colleagues often affectionately tease him about out-dressing them and having a “permanent good hair day.” Marco’s highly developed aesthetic sensibility is what led him to his career and drove his professional success. It’s also what’s behind his always impeccable appearance. Like Ashleigh, Marco wants to put his best face forward with his very first foray into medical aesthetics. A week out from his Botox and dermal filler treatment, he’s thrilled when his female colleagues and his partner rave about how amazing he looks.
Ashleigh and Marco have both had an incredibly positive experience with medical aesthetics. But what their providers don’t yet know is that while Marco will become a loyal and long-term customer, Ashleigh will never again return.
Why is this? Is it purely coincidental? Was Ashleigh’s provider less reputable than Marco’s? Was Marco greeted more warmly or treated with greater care than Ashleigh? Was Ashleigh charged more than Marco for the same products? Did she have to drive farther than Marco to her appointment? The answer to all of these questions is no, so what made the difference? Let’s take a deeper look to find out.
4 Reasons Aesthetics Clients Fail to Return to Your Practice
Both Ashleigh’s and Marco’s providers know that the top four reasons aesthetics clients don’t become reliable, repeat-customers are as follows.
- Procedural cost (“It’s too expensive to maintain”)
- Failure to reschedule (“I’ll get to it tomorrow”)
- Perceived lack of product longevity (“It didn’t last as long as I thought it would”)
- Clinical effect falling short of expectations (“It didn’t make enough of a difference”)
But unlike Ashleigh’s provider, Marco’s provider can overcome these problems. How? By reverse-engineering these top four reasons into effective client loyalty and retention strategies. Marco’s provider does this by reframing the problem altogether. Here’s how it’s done.
Four Effective Client Retention Strategies
Launch Loyalty Programs (from “It’s too expensive to maintain” to “It’s just a small amount every month”)
Some of the most effective loyalty programs work via monthly deductions from Botox and dermal filler clients’ designated accounts. The deducted funds are then banked as a “rewards balance” that can be applied to subsequent treatments. These programs often include perks or other membership specials like “Buy 3, Get One Free” or additional add-on treatments or services offered at discount prices. Whether clients opt in at only $100 per month or as much as $300 per month, the sum quickly adds up. This prevents clients from having to save this sum themselves, and prevents them from feeling conflicted about spending it elsewhere. And as we shall see, this strategy delivers other benefits that factor into the larger equation of client retention.
Implement Text-Based Scheduling (from “I’ll get to it tomorrow” to “It’s already scheduled”)
Whether done over the phone or online, initiating an aesthetics appointment takes a lot more mental effort and emotional energy than simply using a text message to confirm a pre-scheduled or automated appointment. While it’s important to offer multi-channel access to your business (website, email, social media, etc.), using text to automate your scheduling is the easiest and most effective way to keep clients on your books. When you reach out to clients to confirm pre-scheduled appointments rather than waiting for them to take the initiative, the chances are much more likely they’ll return regularly. (Especially if you remind them that they’ve accrued X amount in their loyalty account that’s available to apply to their next treatment.)
Focus on Client Education (from “It didn’t last as long as I thought it would” to “The product performed as expected”)
Managing patient expectations is a crucial aspect of building client loyalty and increasing retention. The feeling of disappointment in any relationship—personal or professional—is always a result of expecting one thing and getting another. That’s why it’s so essential in your aesthetics practice to put a focus on client education. When clients are clear prior to treatment that X product can be expected to perform in X way for X amount of time under X conditions, they’re not only in a better position to give informed consent but also to be more satisfied with their results and more positive about subsequent treatments. And if they’re enrolled in your loyalty program, they’ll have the benefit of knowing that by the time the effects of their most recent treatment begin to wane, their rewards balance will have grown.
Aim for a Multi-Modal Approach (from “It didn’t make enough of a difference” to “The right combination of products did the trick”)
Multiple research studies have found that retention is higher when aesthetic clients are treated with a combination of neuromodulators and soft tissue fillers. There are several reasons for this, but foremost among them is that a multi-model approach almost always creates a superior (and often more dramatic) result than the application of products used in isolation. Clients new to medical aesthetics often overestimate what can be achieved with a single product. For clients to become loyal, repeat customers, they need to feel that the return on their investment is significant enough to warrant future investment. This means achieving thresholds of aesthetic improvement that are clearly visible to the client, which often necessitates a multi-modal approach.
By reframing the top four loyalty and retention challenges into effective loyalty and retention strategies, you’ll maintain the strong client base that your business’s success depends on. At AAAMS, we provide the tools, training, and expertise you need to successfully build, supplement, or expand your practice with the latest in medical aesthetics and non-invasive cosmetic surgery. With more than a dozen courses to choose from and access to the AAAMS Aesthetics Network, we help you create a clear and profitable path forward!