A dental membership plan represents the shortest path to transforming your practice and creating a profitable subscription business that maximizes value for when the time comes to sell it.
Research by Kleer shows that dental membership plan patients visit two to three times more often and accept 50% to 100% more treatment than uninsured patients. They also are 30% to 50% more profitable than insured patients and create recurring subscription revenue that increases the value of your practice.
In addition, dental membership plans achieve precisely what dental practices want most. They enable you to provide care without third-party oversight and are the linchpin to building patient loyalty, particularly with noncompliant, uninsured patients.
But what makes a best of breed dental membership plan? What features and benefits make dental membership plans successful? And why should you use a third-party dental membership plan platform rather than creating and deploying your own plan?
We have helped many practices design and launch successful dental membership plans. Here is a list of the seven most critical features that set them apart.
Technology is only as good as the ease and frequency of its use. The best dental membership plans are both easy to implement and convenient to use. Cloud-based technology has revolutionized the user experience, making it easy for anyone with a cell phone to communicate with friends, watch movies, listen to music, and manage their business, all remotely without having to download, maintain, and manage costly software on their devices.
Successful dental membership plans make full use of the cloud. They include a simple setup process and provide your staff with 24/7, secure access to the plan for tracking results, managing members, making adjustments, and inviting patients to join.
No two dental practices are the same. Services offered, procedure prices, patient experiences, and patient demographics, just to name a few, differ from practice to practice. That’s why your dental membership plan needs to be easy to customize and edit, allowing you to create a plan that fits your practice now while making it easy to adjust the plan as your practice changes and grows.
The best plans allow you to easily benchmark and set subscription and procedure prices, customize the services included in your plan, and offer additional options to your patients like monthly payments and family member discounts based on the unique characteristics of your practice.
Also, the best plans include a simple way to make changes to them without impacting your existing members and creating administrative work for your staff. Your practice needs that kind of flexibility and control to dial in a plan that best meets your patients’ needs while delivering a good return for your practice.
Based on Kleer’s research, 50% of manual dental membership plan renewals never happen. I worked with a practice that was even worse. About 75% of its members did not renew! Perhaps the staff is too busy, or they simply grow weary of playing endless phone tag and transcribing lengthy credit card information. Manual renewals take your staff away from serving patients and turn them into telemarketers, data entry specialists, and salespeople, trying to resell patients on your dental membership plan year after year.
The best dental membership plans automatically renew patients when their plan expires, keeping them committed to your practice, year after year. Best of all, your patients are accustomed to autorenewal because it is a common feature of many services they already buy such as online music, cable, delivered groceries, and fitness club memberships.
Automatic, Secure, and Embedded Payment Processing
The best dental membership plans dramatically reduce administrative workload by providing automatic payment processing of monthly and annual subscription fees. Patients simply enter their credit card information, and all payments are automatically deposited into your bank account.
There’s no need for your staff to enter credit card information or submit forms for payment. Plans that don’t offer such automation simply make more work for your staff, leaving less time for more important tasks, like patient care. With the right dental membership plan, your staff doesn’t worry about billing and invoicing plan members. It’s done automatically
Convenient, Automated Notifications and Reporting
Successful dental membership plans alert you to events and issues automatically. For example, your plan should notify you when a new member joins or a credit card is declined, so you can take appropriate action. And your plan should make it easy to review important information, like memberships purchased, payments in process, and upcoming renewals. These automatic alerts and reports are key to optimizing the value of your plan and fully leveraging its ongoing and accruing value.
Marketing Made Easy
A recent survey by Futuredontics revealed that keeping the schedule full is a practice’s number one growth-related business concern. In other words, marketing! Successful dental membership plans provide an array of marketing tools customized for your practice to help you promote them to existing and new patients.
Look for plans that provide free, customized marketing materials for your office and old-school print ads as well as advanced digital marketing assets like Facebook and Google ads, email promotions, and even a widget that you can add to your website, taking patients directly to your dental membership plan signup.
A Member Portal That Offers a Great User Experience for Your Patients
Today’s consumers are smarter and more demanding than ever. They want a great user experience that offers full self-service functionality. They want to be able to purchase, manage, and communicate online at their own convenience and on any device.
So, a member portal that is easy to use, is intuitive, and works on any device is a must-have feature, not only for patients, but also your staff. The more your patients take actions on their own, the more they alleviate the burden of your staff having to take action to manage renewals, update credit card information, print membership cards, and add additional family members.
These seven features identify what makes a dental membership plan great. And a great plan is precisely what you need to transform your practice and create a high-performing, profitable, recurring membership business within your practice.
Mr. Monahan, CEO of Kleer, has a passion for creating technology-enabled businesses that improve people’s lives. Monahan’s advocation for subscription-based dental care led to the founding of Kleer in 2016 and phenomenal growth in Kleer dental practices and membership since its pilot launch in September 2017. He previously served as president and CEO of FitLinxx, a leader in the wearables market. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.