Providers should be cautious in advertising highly discounted or free services. Practices must consider the benefit of luring cost conscious patients through enticing prices, versus planting the seeds of a consistent professional image. While discount ads sometimes produce a short-term bolus of patients, they also make the provider look desperate and unconfident in their ability to find someone who is willing to pay their regular fee.
All consumers sit on a buying spectrum. The bottom-end prioritize cost over any other consideration, while the top-end seek the highest quality regardless of price. Providers attract a consistent and predictable zone within this spectrum based on their individual service and marketing. Free offers tend to attract patients who prioritize “cheap” over “quality” and long-term value. These ads attract skittish patients ready to leave the practice at the first opportunity for a better deal. The most loyal patients sit on the upper half of that spectrum, choosing quality over price. Most “quality” patients understand that nothing is free and appreciate the value of a relationship that is consistently fair and reasonable for all involved.
Providers who price themselves fairly and provide the highest quality service available will attract loyal patients who understand true value.
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