Building a Delivering WOW practice has a lot of direct benefits. Your practice will run smoother, become more profitable, and even help you build a better personal life. But it also has many indirect benefits. One of the best indirect benefits to building a Delivering WOW practice is the impact on patient referrals.
When you give patients WOW experiences, they’ll be excited to refer people to you, and you’ll naturally see patient referrals go up. You can increase patient referrals beyond the natural increase, however, with a few simple strategies. Here are a few key strategies that came out of a thread about this in the Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group. If you’re not yet a member, be sure to join today to connect with me and thousands of other dentists and practice team members!
Create a story your patients can share with their friends and family.
One of the easiest ways to increase referrals is to make it easier for your patients to talk about you. Make it as easy as possible to create an experience and story they can easily share with their friends.
For example, our patients love our warm peppermint-scented towels. We have coffee-table culture books in our office. We give them office tours, show patients our core values, and have the team member leading the tour point out the value that means the most to them. We show them our technology and why it’s important to serving them well. We talk about our focus on providing amazing patient experiences. We share how our spalike environment helps ease anxiety many patients have when visiting the dentist.
Talking with our patients about what we do and why we do it makes it easier for them to talk with others about us.
Ask patients to help you, especially new ones.
As simple as it sounds, you can increase referrals by simply asking. In the Facebook group, Dr. Arun Garg said his top internal marketing idea is to ask for referrals, especially from new patients, and make it easy for them.
“Most dentists assume the patients who are most likely to refer are those who have been with them the longest,” he said. “This is not the case. New patients are two times more likely to refer patients to you. So say to your new patients at their final visit of the series, ‘We hope you enjoyed your experience with us.’”
If you’ve built a WOW practice, your patients will certainly say they enjoyed the experience.
Dr. Garg also says to give patients two referral cards and asking whether they’d be willing to give them to friends, family, coworkers, or a new neighbor. Giving specific people to think about helps them think of people they can actually refer to you, he emphasized. I completely agree!
Make it easy for patients to give friends something special.
Alyssa Keever of Carolinas Dentist shared about her practice’s Share a Smile referral program. Her practice gives each a patient referral bag and two new patient coupon referral cards. Any new patient who comes in with one of the cards can get a complimentary exam and whitening. Being able to offer people free whitening is a great way to get patients to take action on making that referral.
What are your best strategies for increasing referrals?
We love earning referrals from patients because it validates everything we do as a practice. It’s the ultimate compliment, as the saying goes. Patients won’t refer their friends and family to you if you don’t treat them well. But they will if you treat them well, especially if you give them a story to tell, ask them to recommend you to people they care about, and make it easy for them to give their friends something special.
Share your best strategies for increasing referrals in the comments and join the discussion in the free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group.
If you want more help growing, running, and marketing your practice, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.