Before the power of the internet and social media, word-of-mouth referrals were one of the top ways to attract more patients. Today, even with digital marketing and information at our fingertips, referrals still are a great way to meet new patients.
Here are four tips to consider when you’re looking to increase referrals for your dental practice.
Do you have favourite patients that you love working with? Of course, you do! Wouldn’t you want to work with more patients like them? Of course, you would! So, don’t be afraid to ask your patients to refer their family and friends.
You can start by saying something simple like, ‘You’ve been a great patient, and we all look forward to seeing you. We would love to meet any of your family and friends who are also interested in receiving great dentistry.’
Also, train your team to ask for referrals when they’re interacting with patients. Asking for referrals is something your hygienists or front desk staff can work into their conversations with patients using their own words and styles to personalise it.
It’s always nice to be recognised when you help someone, and your patients feel the same way. Thanking them for their referrals solidifies your relationship and shows your appreciation for their trust in you and your team.
You could send a thank-you card or even a small token of appreciation like a promotional item that will also get your brand name out.
Mentioning and thanking patients who make referrals in your newsletter or through social media is also a nice acknowledgement.
Be sure to follow AHPRA’s guidelines when offering incentives or discounts to potential or existing patients. Including all the terms and conditions of your offer ensures that it is not misleading and keeps you in compliance with AHPRA’s guidelines.
Businesses also make great referral sources, so don’t overlook your colleagues or the other companies surrounding you.
Getting to know other dental specialists in your area can help you generate referrals and also give you trusted practitioners to refer your patients to.
You might also consider participating in local community events so your neighbours can get to know your dental clinic.
A referral program can help you get your team on board with asking for referrals. It also creates a simple system for you to follow that will help generate more referrals for your dental practice.
Choose one staff member to be in charge of the referral program. This could be your treatment coordinator or marketing specialist.
This person will be in charge of the referral program and acknowledging patients who refer their friends and family to your dental clinic.
If you have a morning meeting, your referral coordinator can go over the schedule and suggest who to ask for referrals for the day. Your team can decide who will ask for the referral. Maybe it could be the hygienist the patient regularly sees. Or, perhaps the front office staff who wraps up the patient’s appointment can be the one to ask for the referral.
Being consistent as a team and asking for referrals each day will add up to more new patients over time.
Did you know that GDW also has a referral program?
Take a look at our referral page as an example of how you might structure your program. We can even help you create a referral page of your own on your website to help generate buzz among your patients.
Don’t forget to include information about your referral program on your social media accounts as well. Make it easy for your patients to share information about your dental clinic with their family and friends, let them know how you’ll reward them for it, and then get ready to meet some new patients.