7 Of The Best Dental Patient Program Referral Ideas
Many dental practices rely on patient referral programs to grow their business. Although this form of marketing is easy to manage, you need a little bit of creativity. Explore the ideas below if you are just getting started in referral programs or if your existing program is not as effective as you hoped.
- Ask for Referrals
Regardless of how happy you make your patients, they may not know if you seek new patients if you don't tell them. Unfortunately, many dentists shy away from asking for referrals as they think it is a tacky or awkward thing to do. However, satisfied patients are often willing to recommend your services to a family member, coworker, or friend.
Timing is critical, and it is best for referrals after you have offered excellent service. For instance, you can ask, 'are you excited to flaunt your dazzling smile at your wedding?" after a tooth whitening procedure. If the patient offers praise, follow it up with a referral request. For example, say, "We enjoy having you as a patient, and we would treat your family and friends with the same level of care if you refer our business.
Keep your referral requests short and clear and make them all about your patients. Also, train your staff to look for opportunities to ask for referrals.
- Talk About Your Treatments
Ensure that your patients know the range of services and treatments you offer. When patients come in for specific procedures, let them know how other treatments can benefit them or their families or friends.
- Write Referral Cards
Referral cards are a cost-effective way to market your dental practice. You can include discounts and space for the current patient to note down their name. Ask visiting patients if they will take referral cards and encourage them to pass them to friends and family.
- Offer Rewards in Line with State and Federal Rules
Dentists abide by ethical rules that prioritize patient care above financial gain. Thus, check state and federal laws to ensure your referral program is compliant. Under most state regulations, you cannot offer anything of value as inducement for patient referrals. However, you can offer discounts or specials as a thank you for a referral in line with applicable laws.
Ensure that the rewards are exciting, such as monthly drawings for electronics and other larger prizes or discounts on specific dental procedures. Other possible rewards include gift cards to other businesses and invitations to events.
- Show Appreciation
It is essential to acknowledge and appreciate your patients for referrals. A simple call, email, or personalized thank you note will suffice. When a patient who referred your business visits you again, let them know how honored you were to serve their family or friends.
- Invite Social Media Referrals
Integrate social media marketing with your referral program for the best results. Once a patient recommends your business, their friends or family will likely check your website, social media channels, or find you on Yelp.
Thus, invest in a professional website with an opt-in form that makes it easy for new patients to schedule appointments. Then, run a series of before or after pictures and ask your fanbase to share them in their circles. Also, encourage your followers to share their favorite things about your practice or leave reviews or testimonials. Keep in mind that good online reviews attract new patients in need of personalized and affordable dental care.
- Provide Outstanding Services
Patients who feel valued and appreciated are more willing to market your business. Thus, treat your patients with the best care from the minute they walk into your practice. Also, engage your staff in the referral program as they can be great ambassadors with the proper training.
The ideas above will help you craft a cost-effective and successful referral program that boosts the growth of your practice. However, remember that outstanding service is the foundation of a successful dental patient referral program.
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Author bio: Ayat Huseen assists practices and dental professionals with attaining the most return on assets, while reclaiming their space. As a purchasing manager, she appraises, consults, and purchases excess or unwanted dental equipment globally. She assists practices by appraising, producing quotes and leading them through the entire sale of their secondary idle equipment. Tasks also include producing quotes, arranging payment and shipping, across the U.S. and Canada. TacomaQuickSale.com is a service for selling used dental equipment in the U.S. & Canada.