Consumers engaged with customer loyalty program

Why Customer Loyalty Programs For Science & Healthcare Just Make Sense

Does gaming and social media have a role in your customer loyalty solution?

Pharmaceuticals, hospitals, medical manufacturers and distributors have always been cutting edge and some of the earliest adopters of new technologies, but now they are thinking strategically. In general, science and health care take a conservative approach to treatment plans, but what if your rewards program could increase compliance, improve health and satisfaction, save money and increase revenue?  

New Ways to Improve Health and Business

For years, doctors have followed treatment plans according to medical research and etiologies which may have been established decades and even centuries ago. Sometimes things were done because that was just the way it had always been done. Take the low fat diet and coronary artery disease correlation for example. You’ll have to research that one yourself, but my point is that we should be considering new ways to improve health and business. 

Related: Gaming For A Cure

Rewards programs in health care take rewards to an entirely new level. We certainly want to impact compliance, efficacy, and operational cost associated with complex medical conditions or research. But if we are able to accomplish this AND deliver some form of reward, the real winner is the healthy customer as well as your business.

Rewards programs in Science and Healthcare can be both a B2B and B2C model. If you consider the cost of research and development or the expense of a person with multiple complex diagnoses, a rewards program makes perfect sense. A good rewards program should always pay for itself. With the right goals in place and measurable ROI there should be no doubt that your rewards program is working.

There is a place for rewards in:

  • Medical Manufacturing
  • Doctor’s Office and Clinics
  • Dentist Office
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  • Hospitals
  • Physician Groups
  • Insurance
  • Treatment Centers

Your program should begin with a strong consultation to help analyze your goals and objectives. The goals should be clear and measurable. Whatever the case, your goals should be to drive performance and increase efficacy. Your consultation should also include a review of profit margins, budget, outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Most companies already have performance outcomes and compliance regulations. Simply adding a reward mechanism should be simply way to increase outcomes.   An enterprise rewards solution company should easily be able to quickly implement a configurable solution to help health care companies reach their goals.

The line can sometimes become blurred between providing quality care and running a business. Rewarding good behavior, especially when in the form of a game or as a tool which helps patients reach a higher level of health, is engaging and also encourages positive outcomes. The companies who can think outside the box and accomplish both quality care and run successful businesses are the true winners.

Below are two different health care scenarios, both of which could profit from a rewards program.

Scenario 1:

Established Dental Practice

The following provides a general profile of the American consumer and the U.S. dental industry
Sources: ADA, AACD, Focused Evolution, Inc., U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Practice Management Consulting Firms

  • 1 dentist practice: 1,871 patients
  • 6 times – the average number of annual visits per patient for general practitioners
  • General dentists spend 32.6 hours per week treating patients
  • 1-1.2 hours is the length of a general patient session
  • 309,656,316 Americans
  • ~60,000,000 of them avoid dentistry due to fear and anxiety
  • 6 hours – average number of hours per week treating patients for general practitioners
  • 3.2 hours – average number of hours per week managing the dental practice for general practitioners

New patients are generally valued at $900-$1200 dollars as an industry standard.

Simply stated:

  • Goal 1: Increase the number of inactive patients to have annual wellness screenings
  • Goal 2: Increase followers and new patients from social media
  • Goal 3: Increase patient lead referrals

Dentist points mock-up

Developing a solution with an online and mobile connection is a must. Surveying patients who have provided emails will give you valuable information about your program. Online and mobile access to patients will allow you to run reward specials on cleanings, whitening and other services your office offers.  

Related: The Power of Customer Surveys in Rewards Programs … Is It Really That Simple?

Strategically launching your rewards program gives you a number of reasons to reach out to your patients.

  1. Members signing up for the rewards program receive special points
  2. If they provide an email, send an them offer
  3. If they come in for a cleaning during a certain month, they can receive double points
  4. If an inactive patients comes in they may receive special points
  5. If any member refers a friend or new member, they receive points and a free service

Consider an average practice of 1871 patients with 20% inactive patients. If your successful rewards program engaged 374 patients to have cleanings annually, you could add $130,970 gross revenue to your practice.

Consider that by rewarding active patients with incentives to encourage referrals that if only 10% of your active patients (1496) referred someone to your practice your gross revenue could be $149,680.

Customer loyalty and rewards programs work because they engage patients and customers by incentivizing good behavior. The patient gets a reward pat on the back for their good actions. Your program should be simple and clearly outlined. A good customer loyalty consultant can quickly help you outline your goals and achieve positive outcomes.

DBG Loyalty logo

Scenario 2:

Established Insurance Company

The following provides an overview of the obesity statistics in America.

Source: Trust for America’s Health

In the past 30 years, the percentage of American adults who are obese has doubled. Rising obesity rates have significant health consequences, contributing to increased rates of more than 30 serious diseases. These conditions create a major strain on the health care system. More than one-quarter of health care costs are now related to obesity.

The ramifications for health spending are significant. Annual health costs for obese individuals are more than $2,700 higher than for non-obese people. That adds up to around $190 billion every year. And many of these costs are borne by Medicare, which will spend a half-trillion dollars over the next decade on preventable hospital readmissions alone.

A Compelling Case

Some activity is better than no activity. A rewards program in this situation would have a very strong ROI. If a program is able to remove 5,000 people from obese status, it could mean an annual correlation of $13,500,000. Considering a rewards program to incentivize diet management, exercise, and lifestyle improvement has a very compelling case.

In this situation, a great customer loyalty/rewards program would allow participants to chart meals, track activity and share results while chatting in a community. Participants can set goals and track their progress.

There is a place for customer loyalty and rewards programs in science and healthcare. Contact DBG today to find out how.

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

DBG Loyalty is a leading innovator in loyalty and rewards marketing. DBG was founded in 2002 because the industry was looking for a trusted technology leader who could develop and establish consumer loyalty programs. DBG has customer relationships which span from the time of inception.

Linda Butcher

Linda Butcher

Linda Butcher is the Chief Business Development Officer at DBG Loyalty, where she heads strategy and sales. Linda has extensive experience in consumer engagement through social media, marketing,
and loyalty solutions.

Linda Butcher

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