Catering to multiple generations in your aesthetic practice can sometimes feel like a losing battle. Older patients prefer you call them, while those younger than 30 refuse to pick up the phone. Your patients over 60 want a paper bill, but younger patients prefer an online payment portal.
What Are the 5 Generations of Aesthetics Patients?
- The Silent Generation
- Baby Boomers
- Generation X
- Gen Z
Keeping up with the preferences of each generation may seem like a lot of work, but with the right technologies and an understanding of the five generations, it can be easier than you think. And the first generation to explore? Millennials. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between millennials and aesthetics.
Who Are the Millennials?
When we peel away the Harry Potter books and avocado toast, who are the millennials? First, they are the largest generation alive today. These digital natives were born between 1981 and 1996. Millennials live in fast mode and expect quick medical appointments using state-of-the-art technology.
Millennials’ values, early experience with technology (millennials grew up with computers and the internet), and need for speed influence how they approach all aspects of the aesthetics process, including:
- How they respond to different marketing and advertising styles
- What aesthetic treatments they are seeking
- Their expectations for retention and loyalty
- What provider qualifications they value most
- Their communication preference
#Trending Aesthetics Treatments
While Gen X receives the most surgical procedures, millennials aren’t far behind, thanks to their favorite influencers and celebrities destigmatizing plastic surgery. Millennials get plastic surgery at a younger age and are often concerned with how they look now, as well as fending off signs of aging.
Millennials’ preferred nonsurgical procedures:
- Non-invasive fat reduction
- Non-surgical skin tightening
Millennials’ favorite surgical procedures:
- Breast augmentation
As the first generation to grow up amid the rise of digital technology, social media and email marketing are often seen as on fleek (that means good) to this generation. In contrast to older generations, millennials are much less brand loyal, and anyone seeking their business must adapt to acquire these patients.
Here are a few millennial marketing principles to keep in mind:
- As millennials have come of age amid a constant barrage of advertising, they've developed a natural skepticism toward promotional content.
- Millennials lean toward the recommendations of their peers over being swayed by traditional marketing or public relations messages.
- Millennials spend a larger portion of their time online, and as a result, they are inundated with information. Because of this, a multichannel marketing campaign where they view ads multiple times before booking an appointment may be effective.
- User-generated content and virtual word-of-mouth marketing play a big role because they are the first generation who regularly watch influencers.
- This generation has grown up with everything at their fingertips. Because of this, an EHR with online, 24/7 access will generate more millennial leads for your practice
It’s All in the Patient-Physician RelationshipFor millennials, great healthcare technology matters as much as your medical qualifications. They want to see that you are not only qualified, but that your technology is capable of providing a quick administrative experience, easy payment process, and cutting-edge treatments and care.
While physician qualifications and your tech stack are important to millennials, they aren’t the most valued part of the aesthetic treatment experience. Above all, millennials value authenticity, open communication, and good mental health. These values drive their search for a strong physician-patient relationship. Fostering this connection is often key to recurring visits from millennials.
Communicating with Millennials
Often, millennials prefer email communication. Text message reminders may also be effective, though not as useful as they are with the younger Gen Z. Social media is often an effective communication tool when millennials are searching for an aesthetics provider, but making it “email official” is a step they expect.
The worst way to communicate with millennials is through mail or phone. Phone calls and mailed brochures are likely to go unanswered, and probably won’t inspire them to sign up for a consultation or new treatment.
Earning Millennial Loyalty
As the most likely generation to post a negative review online, millennials are important to keep happy. To do so, provide a smooth and efficient process with plenty of physician-patient communication.
Millennial loyalty, however, is hard to earn. Millennials are less loyal than older generations, especially if they don’t feel an authentic connection with the healthcare provider. To retain millennials, cultivate that human connection.
Millennials are just one of five generations visiting your practice. Their preference for virtual communication and influencer-inspired aesthetic treatments is very different than how older generations approach the industry.
Final Tech Tips:
- Offer online scheduling.
- Ensure you have a strong online presence that provides clear insights into your expertise. Great before-and-after photos as well as a list of accolades will certainly be important considerations for this generation.
- Provide easy forms of communication via email and texting.
- Retention is hard to gain, but with authentic communication, loyalty can be gained.
- Don’t get on a millennial’s bad side! At the very least, give them a way to vent via a survey or you are certain to see their opinion on any number of rating websites.
When communicating with all five generations, you don’t want to be square, lame, or cheugy. Instead, you want to cater to a multi-generational patient pool. Get more information about other generations' preferences and how to become a multi-generational practice in our in-depth white paper “The 5 Generations of Aesthetics Patient Personas.”