Top 5 Tips For Dental Patient Referral Programs
An Effective Patient Referral Program is Critical
When someone you know and trust recommends a product or service to you, it speaks more loudly than any advertisement. That is why so many dentists rely on dental patient referral programs to attract new patients. They are easy to manage and inexpensive to establish while delivering a significantly higher return on your investment than many traditional methods of marketing.
If you are are just getting your dental patient referral program running, or your existing program is not producing the results you expected, follow these 5 simple tips.
1. Advertise Your Program
If you’ve made the effort to set up a dental patient referral program, make sure everyone knows about it. Set up a prominent display in your office waiting room, and feature the program on your website. You can be even more proactive by encouraging your hygienists and front desk staff to mention the program every time they see a patient. For a more subtle approach, include a card explaining the program in the bag of floss, toothbrushes etc you give out to patients.
2. Create an Incentive
It’s nice to think that people will refer your practice just because they had such a great experience, but it helps to give them an incentive. Offer discounts or special services to patients who make referrals that lead to new patient visits. You could also hold a contest to see who can make the most referrals and give away a substantial prize. The value of the new business you bring in will likely offset the cost of the prize.
3. Set Goals
Make sure your entire staff knows how important your dental patient referral program is. When you first start, explain exactly how the program works, and then discuss it in your staff meetings. You should also set a goal for the specific number of referrals you want to get, so you can track the success of the program moving forward.
4. Make it Easy to Participate
If your dental patient referral program is difficult to participate in, people won’t bother with it. By using modern tools like online forms, you can remove obstacles to participation — not to mention, you can market your program more broadly. Simply put, use the power of the digital age to make your referral program both easy and effective.
5. Show Your Appreciation
In addition to giving a gift to patients who refer your services, make sure they know how much you appreciate their commitment to your practice. Send out thank you notes or cards expressing your gratitude. Also, if possible, when the patient comes back to your office, mention how nice it was to meet their friend or family member. That helps promote a sense of community around your practice.
The Success of Your Program Depends on You
If you run your dental patient referral program in a strategic way, it will produce better results. Use digital tools like email automation to:
- Educate patients about the program
- Explain the benefits of referring your practice
- Keep it at the front of their minds even when they are away from your office
To keep up with today’s digital environment, you’ll want to implement campaigns that make marketing strategies like patient referrals easier and more enticing. And by using your website as a medium for gaining referrals, you’ll begin seeing more new patients walk through your door.
We encourage you to really check your dental marketing plan and if its stale and needs a makeover – check this out.
Request a free digital marketing consultation.