Referrals from satisfied patients are the most powerful marketing tool that a dentist can have at their disposal. According to dental marketing agency Patient News, more than 70% of new patient growth should come from internal patient referrals. However, existing patients often don’t put “spreading the word about your practice” at the top of their to-do lists. So how do you change that? How can you motivate your existing patients who already like you to tell to tell others about your practice? By offering your patients an incentive, of course!
Choosing an Incentive
By offering an incentive referral program, you provide your patients with a reason to recommend your practice to their friends and family, and you’re not just relying on their general kindness. Offer them discounts on your services, special rates or even gift cards to local businesses in exchange for them making a referral that leads to new business. The value of the new patient they bring in should more than offset the cost of whatever incentive you choose to offer them. You know your patients well; take some time to think about what is important to them and what they truly want.
Tell Your Patients
Don’t just put up a vague sign and expect your patients to spread the news instantly. You and your staff should do everything possible to educate your current patients about the new referral program and how it works. Get them excited about the program. Tell them how they can take advantage of the new program and why they should put in the effort to get involved. Send out a well-crafted email giving them all the details or send them some direct mail that outlines the program completely.
Make it Easy for Patients to Participate
Whatever you do, keep the program simple. If you make your patient referral program too complex or too difficult to figure out, your patients won’t do it. Utilize simple online forms or create a spreadsheet at your office and have a trusted staff member manage it. Removing any and all obstacles to participation can pay off big in the long run. The fewer steps involved in the referral and reward process, the more willing your patients are to put in the time and spread the word.
Remember that your patients are some the most valued members of your sales team. If your practice is interested in instituting a referral program, consider working with a marketing agency that is well-versed in the dental industry. At Conversion Whale, we understand how to market to current and potential patients and how to get them to walk in the door.
About Conversion Whale
Founded in 2014, Conversion Whale is a rapidly-growing marketing firm that has become the nation’s leading Google AdWords marketing company for dental practices, legal offices and franchise companies. Its dedicated and knowledgeable staff specializes in turning existing websites into profitable marketing engines and promises its clients a minimum of 50 new leads a month. The company currently has more than 500-plus partners throughout North America and is rapidly expanding its reach. For more information, visit www.conversionwhale.com or call (855) 699-4253