10 Ways To Get A Patient Referral
I think just about everyone is in agreement that a patient referral is the best way to get new patients, even I as a marketeer would have to agree with that, however you can only get so many new patients by referral only, so I would still recommend a proper marketing strategy. That said if you are going to increase the number of referrals you get, here are a few hints and do's and don'ts.
Most dental practices have no patient referral strategy in place at all, getting patient referrals has to be ingrained into the philosophy of the practice, you should view every single patient you see as someone who is going to recommend your practice and services to someone else.
Obviously to do that you have to offer great dentistry, that goes without saying but simply doing this isn't good enough, because you patients expect you do deliver that anyway. Your services are no different to any other service or product that they are willing to spend their money on, you simply have to deliver quality.
So now we have that part out of the way how can you increase the number of patients who are willing to give you a patient referral?
- Strange as it may sound Social Media is becoming more and more important in this area. Quite literally social media is the new "word of mouth" marketing, so if you have an active Facebook and/or Twitter account which has lots of interesting content on it you are likely to increase the number of referrals you get.
- The appearance of your practice is incredibly important. If you have a practice that looks shabby, do you really think that your patients are going to refer you to their friends and relatives, I don't think so.
- Don't think that only long term patients will refer you, in fact quite the opposite is the case. You are just as likely to get a patient referral from a new patient than you are from someone who has been using you for years.
- You don't have to deliver fantastic results to get a patient referral either. Courtesy, smart appearance and attention to detail and giving them exactly what they want is just, if not more important.
- Just because a patient has referred you once don't think that they won't do it again, you should encourage your patients to refer you as often as possible and reward them for doing it.
- Your staff are incredibly important in getting patient referrals, you might be the best dentist in the world and offer a fantastic service, but if your patients don't have a great experience on reception, you won't get those much needed patient referrals, reception staff have to be well trained, just as you do.
- Communicate regularly with your patients, a newsletter is a great way to share things with your patients along with social media. It's not rocket science, the better they think they know you the more they'll give you a patient referral.
- Market your referral program everywhere in your practice. Tell them what you are prepared to offer in return for a patient referral, it could be a bottle of wine or a big thank you, but you need to have a rewards system of place and tell everyone about it.
- Every new patient that comes to your practice should be given a welcome pack and that should include information about your patient referral program and the benefits they can achieve if they refer a friend or relative to you.
- Finally and here's the real big one. ASK FOR THEM you'll be astounded the difference this simple little thing does.
If you would like more information on implementing a patient referral program or how to promote this using your social media or training your reception staff, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk