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The most successful aesthetics practices often excel in two key areas: consistently supplying outstanding clinical outcomes and providing a best-in-class customer experience throughout the patient journey. Delivering on these two items is extremely important these days, given current market softening and inflationary pressure. Patients appear to be erring on the side of caution, spending less of their discretionary income and spreading out treatments when they do come in. Therefore, it’s critical to capitalize on your current patients and that revenue stream, while simultaneously encouraging patient retention. One way to achieve this is by making the most of patient interactions while they are in the chair.


Often, when patients are meeting with a provider, they are asking themselves: Do I like and trust the provider, and do I find the provider competent? The answers to these questions often determine whether patients will move forward with the provider and treatment. To increase the likelihood of providers being viewed in a favorable light, it’s important for them to truly listen to each patient they see. To showcase that they’re listening, they can speak to the patient’s main decision-making value and tailor the consultation accordingly. Below is how providers may want to approach such discussions.

Patients who are concerned about cost. Possible indicators of money-conscious patients include detailed questions about prices, financing options, and practice deals. Providers working with patients who have economic concerns may want to consider creating a long-term treatment plan. Packaging treatments can provide lower costs upfront while simultaneously helping to retain patients over time. Providers can also offer rewards programs and financing avenues to increase the likelihood of these patients moving forward with treatment.

Patients who prefer simplicity. Signs of patients who value simplicity include wanting an easy transaction with clear and concise options. In these interactions, providers may want to limit choices and address concerns with three simple treatment plan options: good, better, and best. Avoid overwhelming these patients with too many facts, products, or options. They will likely appreciate a concise plan that maps out treatment(s) over time and limits what is asked of them to get treatment under way.

Patients who put a high value on their time. These patients may focus on how long the procedure will take, the number of visits or amount of time needed for follow-up appointments, and get frustrated with any delays. If time is a major driving factor for these patients, providers may want to take a simplistic, concise approach when discussing treatment options. Practice staff can also contribute to an efficient appointment by sending patient forms in advance, keeping the appointment on time through proper scheduling and internal workflows, and maintaining a fast and easy checkout process. Should a delay or scheduling conflict arise, it’s best to inform these patients upfront and use efficient communication means, such as text messaging and email to get ahead of the situation.

Patients who are nervous about risk. During a consultation, these patients will likely hone in on potential treatment complications, safety, and side effects. They may also express nervousness and be hesitant to book a procedure. To help ease patient fears, providers can offer education around products or procedures (ie, data and scientific studies) and use the feel, felt, found approach. A physician-led feel, felt, found conversation may sound like this: “I hear your concern and understand how you feel. Many other patients have felt the same way about X treatment. What they’ve found is that with Y option, this concern is mitigated.” Practice staff can also help alleviate fears by credentialing the provider’s background and experience to establish trustworthiness and competence. All practice employees would do well to avoid minimizing these patients’ concerns. Instead, they can acknowledge them and meet these patients in their emotional space to help them move forward with treatment.

Patients who care about status and reputation. For these patients, the reason for getting a procedure or product may hinge on something they saw or want to experience based on who else has gotten the treatment. They will likely mention that fact in the consultation. Given that outcome depictions can be elevated by traditional and online media channels, marrying patient expectations with actual clinical outcomes can be tricky. Providers may want to consider sharing their credentials, establishing what may be clinically appropriate, and clearly defining clinical outcome expectations. To avoid the likelihood of retreating or touching up these patients due to unmet expectations, providers can document the outcome with before-and-after photos and make specific chart notes on what was discussed and agreed upon. These objective exhibits can help establish that clinical outcomes were met the first time.


Actively listening to what patients’ value—whether it’s cost, simplicity, time, risk, or status—and addressing those drivers can influence their decision to do business with your practice. Individualized consultations can help create a positive patient experience and build client trust, which may turn into treatments and loyalty. Securing initial and ongoing patient business is a key component to weathering current economic times.

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