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Ep.94: Patient Retention for Plastic Surgeons

Beauty and the Biz – Patient Retention for Plastic Surgeons

Learn why capitalizing on your existing patients is the strongest strategy to keep ahead of your competition, and to reap a more steady stream of revenue.

Catherine shares her timeless wisdom garnered in over 40 years of helping practices get more patients and more profits.

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​➡️ Robert Singer, MD FACS – Former President, The Aesthetic Society
​➡️ Grant Stevens, MD FACS – Former President, ASAPS
➡️ E. Gaylon McCollough, MD FACS – Former President, AAFPRS, ABFPRS, AACS

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Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your aesthetic practice – What your patients are, saying, and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits.

So, on this episode, we’ll talk about patient retention because as the competition grows, so does the barrage of marketing messages. That are pummeling, prospective cosmetic patients.

Now that leaves them confused, overwhelmed, and indecisive. So, these factors make attracting new cosmetic patients to your practice, expensive, complicated, and frustrating. So, here’s the bottom line. Maintaining relationships with your current cosmetic patients is the only cutting-edge strategy. That gives you a competitive advantage in today’s world.

So, listen, in, as I talk about growing your cosmetic practice from the inside out, rather than spending your entire budget and efforts to attract new stranger patients from the internet, this really is the smarter, faster, easier, and cheaper way to grow your revenues enjoy. And I’ll see you at the other end.

It has become more important than ever to use cosmetic patient loyalty and retention strategies to grow your cosmetic practice. The cosmetic rejuvenation marketplace has changed dramatically. It’s matured and the players, which are the internet marketers and the marketing platforms and the surgeons themselves have matured as well.

When it comes to more sophisticated marketing efforts. Plastic surgery practices try all sorts of ways to attract new cosmetic patients to their practice. Well, I think it’s spotty results. Some of it works. Some get mediocre results; some get no results at all. They never set up an automatic system to nurture their current patients who can help them grow their practice by returning, referring, and reviewing.

But this oversight makes that practice vulnerable to their competitors, Loring away their patients by offering them better customer service. And or cheaper prices. That’s why one of the biggest mistakes established cosmetic practices make is putting all their resources towards new patient leads. And as the competition grows, so does the barrage of marketing messages, humbling consumer prospective cosmetic patients today that leaves them confused, overwhelmed, and indecisive.

Now these factors make attracting new cosmetic patients to your practice, expensive and complicated and frustrating. So, here’s the bottom line. Maintaining relationships with your current cosmetic patients is the only cutting-edge strategy that will give you a competitive edge because when you grow your cosmetic practice from the inside out, rather than spend your entire budget and efforts to attract new stranger patients from the internet, good things happen.

Your current patients grow your cosmetic revenues for you, which brings you cost savings. You may not have considered for example. Reduced advertising costs less time wasted on price shoppers who are not likely to book staff time, use more productively working with good quality patients, reduced patient turnover expenses, because there are fewer loss patients to replace increased cross selling success, leading to increase lifetime value of patients, and then less patients lost to competitor.

And more positive word of mouth referrals. Now for practices able to retain their high-quality patients, loyalty increases. And so does profitability because this reflection of a long-term patient can cause a dramatic loss of revenues. Do you know the converting rate of an existing cosmetic patient is 70 to 90% while the converting rate of an internet stranger patient drops the five to 20% and across seven to 12 times more to acquire a new patient than to retain an old?

Now, have you ever wondered where your favorite patients went? You realize you haven’t seen them in a while and you wonder if they moved or died or something. I assure you, most of them are still around. They did not stop wanting cosmetic. Would you have a nation? They just stopped wanting it from you. And I’m sorry to say that, but a long-time patient is yours to keep or yours.

It’s your choice. What happens with them? Because like a car tire practices, I don’t usually dissolve because of a blowout instead. So flat due to a slow leak over time. It’s so subtle and invisible. You don’t even realize the devastation until you find yourself with holes in your schedule and profits down.

So where did your patients go? Has medic patients who care about their looks today will certainly care about their looks next month. Next year, next decade, these patients have endless needs. Especially as the aging process takes over and the events continue to happen in their lives. So, depending on several factors, these patients enter their practice or into your practice, through different doors, some go straight to plastic surgery and then want to maintain with injectables and lasers, other start with smaller procedures, and then they work their way up to surgery.

Once they trust you. Now the Pearl is to meet these patients where they are, and then nurture them for a lifetime think cosmetic patient for life. That’s how you win in today’s competitive investment. Because that’s where your leverage is. You spend and a ton of money and effort to attract a cosmetic patient to you, and then keep them with minimal effort.

So why do cosmetic patients leave your practice? I actually, I did my own research on that in my book, your steady practice, what your patients are saying. And here’s what I learned about why patients were dissatisfied with you rude or in different staff, inconsistent results, inconsistent experiences, long waiting times, money, discrepancies, or misunderstandings.

And then the big one was like no special reason, the no special reason they were saying that they didn’t have a connection to you. So, they didn’t feel compelled enough to return. So, they were open to your competitors to steal them away. Now, the good news is that all of these can be avoided rather than throw more money at advertising.

Save your money and fix this first because it’s affecting your record. Now, once you put real numbers to loyalty for, or lack of loyalty, you’re going to see the importance of this invisible cost. That’s keeping you from growing now. A typical practice loses 10 to 20% of their patients each year. So, if you have 2000 patients in your database and you lose on average 15%.

That’s 300 patients lost each year. Let’s say the average cosmetic patient is worth $5,000. It’s 300 patients, times 5,000, that’s $450,000 of lost revenues each year. Now, if you want to raise a 450,000, um, use these strategies to increase your retention. So, make the patient’s first experience memorable with a welcome gift, friendly staff, make them comfortable, painless treatment, um, and then encourage them to return using email.

Now the easiest way to stay in touch with your current patients is through email update your patients on what’s new in the office, new procedures, as well as promotions going on. Then there are social media posts. Yeah, active on social by posting interesting and compelling posts on your social media platforms.

You’ll reach more of your patients who are not opening emails, but are following. Then there’s texts. Now, this marketing channel works well and you get an instant result, but use it wisely, wisely, only texts. Patients who have consented to receiving text messages and allow them to easily opt out. Then there’s a patient survey check in with your patients at least annually to get their feedback.

They’re going to tell you where you’re missing the mark so you can address it now, before you lose any more patients. Also cross promote all of your services. The easiest decision for a cosmetic patient to make is the one made after their initial decision to choose you to begin with. So be sure to cross-promote all of your cosmetic treatments, procedures, and skincare.

So, fill out digital photo frames, showing off your results while educating your visiting patients on everything you offer. And then there’s patient reviews. What others say about you is infinitely more important than what you say about you. Set up a process to encourage your patients, to give you a review.

So other prospective patients also choose you. You can also try patient webinars. They’re a great way to stay in touch with your patients. Tell them what’s new in the world of cosmetic rejuvenation. Um, show off lots of before and after photos and include a Q and a session. So, your question, their questions get answered.

This makes this would be cosmetic patients, much more likely to go the next step, which is to actually schedule a consult with you. However, our industry has been fairly commoditized due to the supply and demand, but you don’t want to compete on price instead offer a better patient experience and then reward your patients for returning, referring and reviewing without discounting.

There are several loyalty programs available, but most of them fall flat for a variety of them. They’re usually so darn complicated that nobody understands them and or can get excited about them. Or the staff is confused by all the rules involved or they’re poorly marketed. So, they fizzle out from lack of engagement.

Please be sure you choose a loyalty program that is easy for your staff to implement, and your patients are eager to participate in it. Please check out my own unique retention program at By the way 58.7% of consumers believe earning rewards and loyalty points is one of the most valued aspects of the shopping experience.

And 75% of confused consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. The point is to spend as much time building your practice from the inside, out with patients who know like, and trust you as you do to attract new internet patients. And if you’re looking for more patient attraction strategies, get my free guide called plastic surgery marketing.

What’s working now at my website, Okay. I covered a lot there. So, you may want to listen to this again and make a plan to execute on the various strategies that I laid out that are working. Or just take a shortcut and let me do your internal marketing for you using the kiss rewards club.

Patients love it because it keeps them glued to you and doctors love it because they don’t have to spend so much advertising for new patients. So, the details are at and that’s it for this week. If you would please subscribe to beauty and the biz and leave me a good review, if you feel so inclined.

And then of course, if you’ve got any feedback or. Uh, questions to ask me, you can just leave them at my website at or you can always DM me on Instagram @catherinemaleymba. Thanks for listening. And we’ll talk again soon.

Patient Retention for Plastic Surgeons.

Picture of Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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