Cosmetic surgery is a unique branch of medicine that enhances the patient’s appearance through surgical and medical techniques. These procedures allow a patient to truly love the skin they’re in, as the old adage goes. This type of surgery is considered elective because it doesn’t affect the functionality of a patient’s body; cosmetic surgery enhances aesthetic appeal. According to a 2019 study, the global cosmetic surgery market is anticipated to reach $66.96 billion by the year 2026. The industry is exploding—in a good way—both in the scope of services provided and in profitability.
The most common types of Cosmetic Surgery Include:
- Breast Augmentation
- Hair transplantation
- Lip augmentation
- Tummy Tuck
The cosmetic surgery industry, though incredibly lucrative and, for patients, potentially life-changing, faces challenges. Here we outline difficulties specific to the industry and give ten strategies to help your cosmetic surgery practice grow, no matter what stage it’s in.
5 Challenges Facing Cosmetic Surgery Practices
1. Getting Patients in the Door
Booking an initial consultation is a task in itself, but getting the patient to show up is another thing entirely. Cosmetic surgery practices often miss out on new patients because they don’t follow up with compelling and helpful consultation appointment reminders.
2. Unrealistic Patient Expectations
When a new patient seeks out a cosmetic surgeon, they usually have an exact picture of how they’d like to look after their procedure. Unfortunately, this often results in unrealistic—and unmet—expectations, leaving the patient upset and angry.
3. An Ethical Dilemma
Cosmetic surgery practices have long been under fire for the accusation that they exploit patients’ insecurities regarding their appearance for monetary gain. While this is not true of most cosmetic surgery practices, there is still a burden on providers to both give the patient what they want while still affirming the beauty and unchanging value of those patients, despite how they perceive themselves and their flaws.
4. A Changing Identity
The cosmetic surgery industry was once a market only for the wealthy elites. Today, the industry is changing, and cosmetic surgery is now more accessible than ever. The industry, as a whole, faces the obstacle of proving that cosmetic surgery can be for anyone, not just celebrities.
Because many cosmetic surgeries are elective, patients often find that their insurance won’t cover their procedure. The cost alone can reduce interest in cosmetic services and prevent patients from even scheduling a consultation
10 Strategies for Growing Your Cosmetic Surgery Practice
1. Provide Consumer Financing
Consumer financing for cosmetic surgery makes customer conversions fast and easy—both for your practice and for your customer. If they don’t have to leave your office to fund their procedure, they’re more likely to commit during their visit, giving them peace of mind and providing you with another client. Additionally, order sizes for small-to-medium-sized practices can increase over 100 percent when low monthly payments are offered. Incremental sales increase and the average order value increases up to 15% in some studies.
2. Include Testimonial Videos on Your Site
The best way for potential customers to come to your site, stay on your site, and have the most accurate picture of the kind of work you do is by including testimonial videos on your site. These customer reviews in video form are effective for a few reasons: they provide a personal connection between you and your potential clients; potential clients can see themselves in testimonials and, therefore, under your care; a video shows up-close and from a variety of angels how you can help interested clients achieve similar results, and it keeps them on your site. The longer a user stays on your site, the more likely they’ll move toward a purchase.
3. Have an Active Instagram Presence
Instagram isn’t just for cooking and workout inspiration. Many cosmetic surgeons are taking to the platform and using it as a marketing tool. Not only does Instagram provide photo and video content—something that should be a focus for your cosmetic surgery practice—but you can utilize hashtags relevant to your services to reach your target audience.
4. Show Clients Why They Should Opt for The Procedure
If someone is looking at your website or social media, they’re interested in what you have to offer. Your job is to convince them why they’ll benefit from what you have to offer. Use conversational—yet compelling—language to show them why they should commit to undergoing the procedure they’re considering. By doing this, you’ll proactively answer questions they may or may not know they have and bring them one step closer to getting a consultation—and sale.
5. Appeal to Your Target Demographic
Cosmetic surgery isn’t only for the wealthy anymore. Your target audience is no longer only a high-end demographic. Use language and visuals that speak to your client base, which is becoming increasingly younger and less wealthy than cosmetic surgery candidates from even ten years ago.
6. Participate in Events
Growing your cosmetic surgery business doesn’t only happen online. Hosting events, attending public festivals or workshops, and being present at other spaces where potential clients spend time is the perfect way to get face time, make a personal connection, and let people know who you are and what you do. Making these connections is a great way to bring new business through your doors.
7. Increase Your Availability
Your cosmetic surgery practice should focus on accommodating as many potential clients as you can. This will probably mean extending your office hours past the typical 9 to 5 schedule. Cosmetic surgery, especially non-surgical procedures, are mildly invasive or not invasive at all and are more accessible to a wider array of clients. To get more business through your door, your doors need to be open to patients and clients who can’t come to your offices in the middle of the day.
8. Prioritize Referrals
Word of mouth referrals are an excellent way to organically build your client base. First-time patients are more likely to make an appointment if you offer a discount on your services based on a referral from a friend. Once you can get new patients through the door and show them the service and quality of care you provide, chances are, you’ve already locked in a new client.
9. Create Loyalty Programs
Growing your cosmetic surgery practice doesn’t only mean adding new clients to your roster. You want to continue to focus on current clients as well, and creating a loyalty program is a great way to show them that you appreciate their business. By creating a loyalty program for your existing patients, you’ll incentivize them to share their positive experiences with you—and come back for more services.
10. Create Medicine-Focused Content
Apart from the aesthetic questions potential patients may have, people come to you looking for answers to the medical questions they have as well. In addition to testimonials, before and after pictures, and basic information, you need to provide medicine-focused content regarding the services you provide. Answer questions about recovery time, any health criteria they need to meet before undergoing certain procedures, etc.
If you are a cosmetic surgery practice and would like to learn more about how offering financing can grow your business feel free to contact us.