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Memberships Make Sense

posted on June 7, 2016 by Smile Advantage Plan

Membership Card

Take a minute to think about some of the major membership or subscription based companies today: Costco, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, Stitch Fix, and YMCA are just a few.

These organizations are thriving and their memberships are strong. Why is this? They are operating under two major components; loyalty and membership spending.

Once signed up under a membership, such as Amazon Prime, members rely on the company for everything, including simple, everyday items. When placing an order members simply add on items they know they may be out of or running low on. It’s easy, convenient, and allows them to do everything in one place, at one time. A recent TIME article showed that on average Prime members spend 40% more per order than non-Prime members. On the opposite side of the spectrum, non-Prime members were more likely to shop around for more convenient and less expensive items.¹

In addition to greater spending, members show continued commitment to the organization. In 2011, Costco raised the prices of their membership fees. Analysts wondered if Costco memberships would decline due to this increase. In fact, the exact opposite happened. In 2012, Costco memberships reached an all-time high. In a recent Forbes article they discussed Costco again increasing membership dues early next year. Some voiced concerns on how this would affect Costco’s membership based. However, early projections show that Costco’s membership is set to raise from 84 million to 115 million. The bottom line is that Costco continues to offer quality products and customer service, something that not only brings back their members each but also an influx of new ones.²

So how is this different from offering an in house membership plan to your patients? It’s not. It’s not lost on dentists that the majority of the country operates under the belief system that you must have dental coverage in order to go to the dentist. Yet, that’s simply not the case. Places like Amazon and Costco have shown us that people benefit from being part of an organization that works well for them. These companies have offered consistent customer service, quality items, and allowed members access to items at a price they can afford; as a result their membership base has increased as has customer spending.

Dental practices can use this same model to not only attract the over 50% of Americans who don’t have dental coverage into their offices, but also to retain those ¬¬¬-patients who fear rising dental coverage prices, retiring, or the Affordable Care Act might be the end to their dental visits. In office memberships allow members and dentists the freedom to control their spending, request necessary procedures, and access to consistent, quality dental care.

1. Forbes
2. Time

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