July 27, 2016
by Oral Health
Are you using referrals as one of your most successful practice building strategies?
One of your patients has just said great things about you, your office and your team. This is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of one of the most successful dental marketing strategies; asking for a referral.
Your patient won’t think to give you a referral unless you ask them. When you receive a referral, it means that a trust has been developed and the patient is more likely to accept your treatment recommendations.
Many dentists and their team members feel awkward asking for a referral and don’t know what to say. Luckily, the best advice is to make your request simple; “We are glad you like our office; if you have friends or family who need our services, we would love to help them”
The more you ask, the more you will get. Develop a regular habit of requesting referrals from both your long-time loyal patients as well as your happy new patients.
The same is true for online reviews which reach a broader group of potential patients. Research from the American Medical Association reports that consumers will use the internet for their health care decisions and 51% said that other people’s ratings and comments on websites were important to them when making the decision.
An online review holds the same trust level as a personal one. Make it easy for your patient to give an online review by offering a tablet or a place in your office to complete a review before they have left your practice. It is fresh in their mind and they will gladly accept the opportunity.
The more reviews you have, the better, and don’t be afraid of any negative remarks. Patients don’t trust 5-star reviews all the time; they need to see some negative ones as well. Research shows that a business with 10-30 % negative reviews actually receive more business than businesses with 100% positive reviews.
However, it is important to remember to always respond to the review by thanking them or addressing the negative concern. The practice of engaging online with your patients will allow you to own your reputation while drawing more attention to your website and practice.
Because your marketing needs for new patient growth are unique to your practice, consider working with a practice coach to help create a unique marketing strategy with you. TGNA provides a team of professional and experienced coaches, each an expert in their specialist area of practice management to work with your team towards increasing production, reducing stress and building team morale. To learn more about why we can offer up to 3X ROI (Return On Investment) Guarantee on our coaching programs, or to learn about or onsite training modules, we welcome you to contact us. Our team of professional dental coaches work across North America to help dental practices like yours. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-800-345-5157. We’re here to help you and look forward to hearing from you soon.
About the Author:
Linda Anderson is a certified training practitioner and has a certificate in adult education from St. Francis Xavier University. She is the facilitator at the University of Toronto School of Dentistry, Continuing Education Department’s Dental Practice Management program provided by TGNA.