Patient retention

Our Journey to Solving the Patient Retention Problem

May 16, 2017
4 min read
Last updated on
Our Journey to Solving the Patient Retention Problem
Table of contents

The Journey Begins

We're in 2017 and sending appointment reminder postcards. Well, most of us are, anyway. In an age of digital reminders, shared calendars and banner notifications, the healthcare industry is moving at a glacial pace - at least when it comes to business operations.

Here at Klara, we like to fix things. Our team is comprised of individuals looking to solve unique challenges, shake up the status quo, if you will. So we sat down, took a look at the healthcare industry and thought: what is wrong here. We look outside of quality of care, because we know that generally is not an issue with providers (we're working with highly educated and esteemed doctors and professionals here).

Here is what we found:

  • Doctors and staff are tired.
  • Patients at the end of the day are customers.
  • There are a lot of rules coming from a lot of places.
  • Woah: lots of questions

So, we decided to tackle the easiest problem first. Helping doctors and staff expend less energy, increasing business margins (didn't see that coming did you),and helping people get the care they need.

Full disclosure: There are still a lot of rules, there are still a lot of questions.

But what we aim to solve is to help healthcare professionals and patients operate more efficiently through technology. We did this by focusing on the patient retention factor.

Our marketing team jumped in with consumer insights. We're taking our tactics and applying it to the healthcare industry. Patients, after all, are consumers.

So here are some facts they rounded up:

  • 9.5 minutes are spent on average trying to reach a human when trapped in an automated phone system
  • 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service
  • Globally, the average value of a lost customer is $243
  • 63% of marketers felt that new customer acquisition is the most important advertising goal
  • Companies focus on acquisition more than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers

How much is your practice focusing on acquiring new patients vs. retaining your existing patients?

Considering that average patientโ€™s current age and expected life-span, as well as what marketers call the โ€œcircle of influenceโ€ (that is, the number of others that patient may influence), that puts the lifetime value of a patient at more than $600,000 (source).

So how do we optimize practices to make the most out of existing patients? This is especially important in the face of the growing retail economy: patients visiting clinics to get easy, convenient care in the back of pharmacies and local drug stores.

How do you get your patients to come back to you? You're still not thinking about postcards are you? Voicemails? Do people even have their voicemail boxes set up anymore?

You optimize the opportunities.

Klara's messaging platform improves patient engagement, retention and satisfaction, in addition to reducing administrative workload. Win-win.

But... we can do more to optimize practice operations. So we did.

The Current Process

Problem #1: Current patients (and potential new patients) visit your website. If they are able to find your contact form, they will fill out their information. Your โ€œweb guyโ€ then is responsible for forwarding the contact information over to the doctor. Often, there is room for the patient information to get lost in this disjointed process.

Problem #2: If a visitor is accessing your website after-hours, chances are, they are more likely to โ€œfall through the cracks.โ€ There is no one to respond to these inquiries outside of your office hours. That is, if you have a process for responding at all.

Problem #3: You may have an instant messenger system on your website already, thatโ€™s a great start. The downside is the costs of staffing a full-time employee to manage your system. A chat system isnโ€™t very effective if you still have to monitor it at all times.

Introducing the Klara Website Chat Widget

In addition to the Klara messaging platform, we've come out with our latest feature: the Klara Website Chat Widget.

The Website Widget works so that you are capturing new and existingcustomersnรฉe patients. We are making it easier for you to convert website traffic into engaged customers with a clear channel (as our marketing team says).

  • Centralize all incoming messages in a clean, organized fashion with inbounds being directly accessible in the Klara platform
  • Capture visitors during after-hours and funnel directly into your messages automatically
  • Smart automatic messages greet and onboard patients without having to manually respond immediately to every request
  • Receive access to this new product with your pre-existing Klara account, no additional fees

The website widget allows you to onboard new users, and engage existing users directly from Klara.

Things just got easier.

If you are an existing practice, please visit the Klara Website Widget section of our Help Center to get your code.

If you are not yet on Klara, let's talk. You can sign up for a brief demo call here.

Simon Bolz, Co-Founder, Klara

A serial entrepreneur, Simon founded two technology companies in Berlin. He then found his true passion in healthcare helping build Germanyโ€™s most innovative implantology clinic group. Simon studied at the London School of Economics, Humboldt Universitรคt Berlin, and got a Masters at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2013, he and Simon Lorenz, Ph.D. founded Klara with the mission to transform communication in healthcare, so every patient can receive great care.

Want to learn how Klara can boost patient engagement?
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