Some practices give pensioner discounts of up to a 50%. Some practices give 10% discounts for anyone who pays on the day. Some practices give away a free initial check up, x-rays or cleaning. Some practices give away free whitening or hygiene visits.
There are some big problems with using discounts as a means of attracting and retaining clients:
- It tells clients that you are desperate.
- It tells clients that you probably do low quality work.
- It demoralises the staff who work in the practice.
The net result that I have observe is low staff morale, low levels of customer service and a practice full of highly price sensitive bargain hunters. The good honest patients who are happy to pay a fair fee tend to leave discount practices. As a friend of mine once said: “I'd rather pay and get it done right.”
If you use discounts in your practice I urge you to rethink. In my opinion it is a big mistake. You not only lose the discount but you also burn off good clients and replace them with people who it is hard to look after profitably.