Getting referrals from your existing patients is the fastest, easiest way to build your dental practice – making it more profitable and helping you build the kind of personal life you dream of.
So how do you get patients to refer their family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to your practice?
You have to stand out from the crowd. You have to make your practice a pleasure to visit. You have to create a “wow” experience for every single patient so that they feel compelled – even excited — to share their experience with everyone they know.
Once you generate a steady stream of effortless referrals, your practice will run more smoothly, staff morale will skyrocket, and your business will grow.
Here are three simple strategies that will make it easy and fun for patients to tell everyone they know about you.
1. Create a unique “story” and patient experience to make your practice stand out from the crowd.
Others make their waiting rooms pleasant with coffee-table books about art or culture.
And some give new patients formalized office tours, pointing out the practice’s mission and core values, with the “tour guide” pointing out the features of the office they find most meaningful.
Patients enjoy learning about the technology you’re using, and understanding how your technology benefits and serves their goals.
And there are practices that create a spa-like environment, making patient care and comfort a priority while reducing patient anxiety.
These examples help practices create an amazing, unique brand or “story” that is easy for patients to rave about.
2. Ask your patients – especially new patients — to help you.
Don’t assume that your existing, long-term patients are the best source of referrals, though. Research indicates that new patients are twice as likely to refer their friends and family to you. That’s why it’s important to end each series of visits by telling patients this:
It’s been our pleasure to work with you. We hope you’ve enjoyed your experience with us.
If you’ve committed to creating a unique patient experience and story, your patients will certainly agree that they’ve enjoyed working with you.
Then, give patients referral cards as you ask if they’d be willing to pass them along to family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors. Directing patients to think about specific people will actually make it easier for them to refer new patients to you.
3. Allow patients to give their friends a special gift from you.
Do you have a “go-to” strategy for generating referrals?
Earning referrals from existing patients validates everything you do as a practice, and it’s the ultimate compliment for a job well done.
If you treat patients well, give them an exceptional experience and a unique story to tell, ask them to recommend your practice to people they know, and make it easy for them to pass along a gift from you, they’ll be more than happy to tell everyone they know about you and your practice.
We’d love to hear your ideas for increasing referrals in the comments below!
And if you’d like help to grow, run, and market your practice, contact us today for a complementary consultation. We’re P&S, with over 25 years of experience assisting practices just like yours to prosper and grow.