Consumers have changed their spending habits in a post 2008 world across-the- board. They want to pay less and get more. They shop for bargains and compare prices. They love a good deal and don’t want to feel that they overpaid for anything. However, slashing prices is not necessarily a good strategy. It undervalues your services and once you lower your fees, it will be much harder if not impossible to get them back up to where they once were over time. In a price-sensitive environment, there are some pricing strategies to consider that will create goodwill with patients and customers without negatively affecting the positioning of your brand.

Deduct the consultation fee
For new patients who are asked to pay for their consultations, offer to deduct the consultation fee from their procedure or surgery when they agree to schedule. This is a simple gesture to let patients know you appreciate their business, and it doesn’t look as though you are price cutting out of desperation. In many markets, charging a consultation fee for cosmetic surgery can be deal breaker. In general, it is a good measure to charge some kind of consultation fee for new cosmetic patients. This establishes your value right up front in the relationship. People don’t place value on anything that does not cost them something and there will be a lower cancellation or no show rate.

Bundle treatments and services
Provide selective discounts on procedures that do not cost your practice dearly, but have high value to your patients. Offer patients a courtesy discount on a second procedure. For example, when a patient schedules a filler treatment, offer a second syringe at 50% off, or throw in 30 units of toxin as a token of appreciation. Once the patient is in the door, or in your exam room, adding another service that he or she wants or needs, is far less expensive to the practice than the cost of acquiring a new patient.

Be sensitive to patient’s budgets
This is straightforward strategy that patients always seem to appreciate. When you sense pricing may be an issue with a patient, yet by all accounts the patient is reasonable and the procedure is appropriate, consider offering a slight reduction on the total bill – such as a few hundred dollars. Or throw something in as a bonus as a simple goodwill gesture. It may make the difference in converting that consultation patient to doing a procedure.

Remind Patients That You Appreciate Them
To reward loyal patients who come back frequently and send their friends to your practice, consider offering a limited-time discount around a special occasion. For example, if you have an anniversary coming up, such as your clinic is celebrating 10 years, take 10% off all of your non-surgical treatments for your anniversary month. Similarly, give patients 10% off all skin care products. You could also start a loyalty program around the theme of the number ten. Be creative and build a special offer around the occasion. Launch a campaign; “In honor of the 10th anniversary of our clinic, we have a very special loyal program for our patients as our way of thanking you for your continued support.” Possibilities are endless. For example, after the 10th syringe of filler or the 10th glycolic peel, you get a gift card for a complimentary treatment of equal or lesser value.

People are willing to spend their money on cosmetic treatments and procedures because they place a high value on their appearance. But everyone likes to get something extra, special treat, and to feel like a VIP. Good service coupled with value for money goes a long way towards keeping patients coming back without devaluing your brand.