What is the best way to re-activate clients who haven’t been in for awhile?
One of my viewers sent in a question on that topic. She wrote in to ask,
“How would you suggest to call clients who have not been in our office for a while? Our system does automatic emails when someone has not been in for 90-days and gives them a 20% off coupon. But do you have a sample telephone script?”
First, let’s talk about automated ‘miss you’ deals. I think that it’s great because when you automate that, it makes it really easy. However, I am concerned that you’re using a short 90-day window and offering a generous 20 % off coupon. Here’s the thing with ‘miss you’ deals; if you have a small window like 90-days and you’re offering a discount coupon, your offer is fairly untargeted and unstrategic. I think you’re doing what amounts to unnecessary discounting. In other words, I think the people that are going to take advantage of your discount are those that don’t come in regularly anyway. What you want is to get people who were once regulars in your office coming back in regularly again. I suggest you change that window to more like a six month time period.
When it comes time to make phone calls to reactivate former clients, the first thing to decide is who’s going to make the calls. In my experience, I think the best person to make the phone call is the therapist, assuming that the client was once their regular. That is the person who the client’s primary relationship is with. Having them call comes across less scripted and much more heartfelt. However, if the client was regular but went to many different therapists, then the manager or the receptionist can call. If you’re the owner and the client’s primary relationship is with you, then you should call. If there is a particular receptionist who people respond really well to, then maybe he or she should call.
When it is time to make the actual phone call, I want you to have an “unscripted” kind of script. Don’t print out a big piece of paper with a long list of text that you’re going to read to them. That will come across as kind of phony and it won’t be heartfelt. It will feel like getting a telemarketing call. Nobody wants to receive those.
If you’re nervous and you feel like you need a couple of bullet points, by all means make some short notes. But really, it’s about calling and re-establishing the relationship. It’s like calling a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
Let me give an example of what you might say if you called and the client’s voicemail picks up:[Phone rings]
“Hi this is Jaya Savannah. I noticed I haven’t seen you on my books since last October and I miss seeing you. So I thought I’d give you a quick check-in call and let you know that I am here for you anytime. My number is 800-507-1620. Thanks a lot. I hope to see you soon.”
That is how to do a voice mail “miss you” call.
When you handle a live call it is not that much different except now we have a chance to really engage with them and find out why they haven’t been in. And more importantly see if we can offer them a rebook.
A live call might play out something like this:[Phone rings]
“Hi this is the Jaya Savannah. I noticed I haven’t seen you on my books since last October and I thought I’d give you a quick check in call and see how you are doing?”
You want to be prepared by knowing your schedule and being ready to offer a specific date and time.
“It sounds like you’ve been really busy. By the way, I have an opening next Tuesday at 10 a.m., would you like to come back in? It sounds like you could really use some ‘me’ time.”
So now we have offered a specific day and time and we’ll move forward with them either saying
If you’re getting a deferment, then continue moving it forward like this:
“Oh yeah, I get it, sounds like you are totally busy. Would you like it if I checked back in with you again at a later time?”
We’re asking permission to do another follow-up call in the future. Then you can ask them:
“When would you like me to call you back?”
People will give you a time frame. They might say; call me in a couple of days, it might be a week, it might be a month, they’re going to set the time frame. If they’re not sure, maybe hemming and hawing, then you can again suggest something:
“How about if I just check-in with you in about a month, does that sound good?”
They’ll usually say, “Yes.” Then that’s it! You say goodbye and you follow-up later.
Another way you can play out the end of a live call is to offer a promotion. I’m going to go with the one my viewer told me they are using with their auto-responder, which is 20% off. I think there are better ones promos, but for now, let us just go with that.
Let’s pretend the person has caught up with me now by phone and I am going to close the call:
“By the way, I want to let you know that we are having a special promotion right now. If you book your appointment with me today, you get 20% off your next service. Would you like me to schedule something for you?”
We’ve made them an offer and we’ve told them they need to book it now. If so, then it goes right into a booking conversation. Or you can offer to call them later if they defer.
Those are the best, easiest, and most heartfelt ways to call former clients and re-activate them.
If you’d like some improvement on your promotional strategies, I invite you to check out my Clients& Cash program. I have an online course that is filled with my favorite discounting and promotion strategies that work great for reactivating former clients, attracting new ones, and having some creative offers to get people into your practice.
You can find out about that course by first opting-in to the free portion of it. I’ve also got 3 free videos that proceed the paid course. You can get those by going to clientsandcash.com. Put in your email address and you’ll get the first video on asking for referrals right away.
Hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, leave them down below and I will see you in the comment section.
Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.