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Every patient journey is unique as each patient has a different reason or motivation for choosing to have an aesthetic treatment. As an aesthetic practitioner it is important to understand the patient journey, from initial consultation to aftercare and is crucial to the success of your aesthetic business.
In this guest blog for Consulting Room, Hamilton Fraser talks through the five stages of the patient journey and provides guidance on how to make sure their journey is as smooth as possible. Hamilton Fraser also offers their expert advice on how to proactively build and maintain relationships with your patients throughout their journey.
Stage one: Brand awareness
The patient journey begins when they are first aware of your brand, whether this be through digital marketing or word of mouth. A good way to help build your brand and engage with your audience in the first instance is social media, as a practitioner you are able to connect with prospective patients, answer questions and show examples of your work as well as advise patients on treatments and procedures.
Word of mouth also plays an important role in promoting your brand too, with 92 per cent of people trusting recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising.
Stage two: Patient consultation
The second stage of the journey is patient consultation, which is often thought of as the most important part of the journey. Understanding your patient’s needs and expectations is the key to a successful aesthetic business, and by building a relationship with your patient it also helps to put your patients at ease. By creating a relaxing atmosphere, talking about your experience, and discussing the patient’s reasons for undergoing aesthetic treatment it will help to make them feel comfortable.
The consultation is also an opportunity to make sure that you are selecting the right patients. Following the consultation with your prospective patient, including finding out a detailed medical history background check, you should have established whether they are suitable for treatment – there may be certain reasons as to why you shouldn’t go ahead with the procedure such as if the patient is pregnant, showing signs of body dysmorphia or has unrealistic expectations of results.
Emma Bracchi, Senior Claims Technician at Hamilton Fraser, says: “Patient selection is an important part of your aesthetic business. During your consultation, please take extra care to look out for signs that identifies that the patient may not be suitable for treatment. If you feel a patient is not suitable, do not be afraid to say no. Hamilton Fraser are here to assist if you need guidance on declining patients.”
Stage three: Patient treatment
As a practitioner, you should allow your patient plenty of time to decide whether to go ahead with the treatment and not pressure them into the appointment. It is recommended that you provide the patient with a cooling off period of at least 48 hours. Once they have consulted to the treatment be sure to make the patient feel comfortable and explain the process of the treatment in detail.
Top tip: Ask your patient how they are feeling throughout the treatment to identify any discomfort.
Stage four: Upselling
This stage provides practitioners with the opportunity to extend their services by educating patients on further treatments, products, and services. It is important to explain to the patient how you can support them following their treatment and this may include follow up treatment or products to use post-treatment that are available at your clinic.
Stage five: Maintaining patient relationships
The key to a successful aesthetic business is maintaining the relationship with your patients to make sure they return. We recommend keeping in contact with your patient post treatment not only to discuss recovery but also to keep them updated on any new treatments or products that are available.
Other effective ways to maintain patient relationships are to ask for feedback following treatments, or to implement a patient referral programme, where patients are rewarded for recommending friends or family.
Throughout the patient journey, keeping patients informed at all stages, making them feel comfortable and reassured, communicating effectively, and maintaining relationships is key to success.
Providing team training, implementing the latest treatments and techniques, and keeping things simple and accessible will help ensure the patient journey is as smooth as possible for both the patient and practitioner.
With over 25 years' experience, Hamilton Fraser is the industry's leading provider of cosmetic insurance services and were the first to offer medical malpractice insurance. As a leader in the market, we’ve got you covered and are proud to insure the most comprehensive range of cosmetic treatments. Get a quote online today or call the team on 0800 63 43 881.
For more expert information, guidance and advice join us for the Aesthetics Business Conference (ABC), our step-by-step conference for start-up practitioners. Hosted at the prestigious Royal College of Physicians on 19 September, the conference discusses a variety of relevant sector topics helping you to develop and grow your business. New for 2023, ABC will host several key medicolegal sessions including tax, legislation, regulation, and insurance. Join our expert panel as they discuss upcoming industry regulations to fully equip you for the changes ahead.
For 10% off your ABC 2023 ticket use discount code CONSULTINGROOM10.