Looking For An Easy Way To Increase Referrals?

How did you find your vet for your pet, your barber, your doctor, or your auto mechanic? Many of you were probably referred by a family member or a friend. Either you flat out asked them if they knew someone or in your everyday conversation the topic came up and they were willing to help with a referral.

Referrals are your LOW HANGING FRUIT! Easy patients to get. Less costly patients to get. Less likely to be price conscious. More apt to give you referrals themselves. They should be a top source if not THE top source of where you are getting new patients.

The question now is how many referrals are you getting in your practice each month? I’m going to bet not as many as you should be getting. Of course you do great dentistry on a daily basis, and I bet your patients let you know that. But even if your patients love you and your practice, giving you a referral is not at the top of their mind. There is one way to make that Jedi mind trick happen though…You have to ASK. You need to have some mechanisms and systems in place to make this happen automatically.

Here are some things you can do to get this going and get more referrals:

1. Attach an offer to your referral cards

At the end of an appointment, when your patients are most pleased with the work you have done, give them a thank you card that has an offer for referring a patient (e.g. Refer someone to receive a $50 credit on your account). While receiving a referral is beneficial for you, it is now beneficial for your patient as well. *NOTE: Please check with your state dental board for any rules regarding referral rewards.

2. Automate the process via email and text message

After a patient comes in for a visit, follow up with them via email about their experience. If your patient responds in a positive manner, follow up on that email with an incentive to refer someone to your practice (e.g. Refer someone to receive a $50 credit on your account).

If you receive negative feedback from a patient, it is also important to follow up on this, see how you can correct the problem, and improve their experience. When you receive customer feedback, it is important to act on it. This is PR 101.

3. Respond to online reviews

When someone leaves you a positive online review, they are a great prospect to approach about submitting a referral. For example, you could write something like this:

“Thank you [insert name here]. Providing great dental care is what drove me to start my practice in the first place. If anyone comes to mind who is in need of [insert solution here], please let me know! We are always looking to offer my expertise to help as many people as possible.”

Don’t have a review system in place to get reviews fast and easy? Check this out!

4. Under-promise and over-deliver

If your patients are expecting more than what you can give them, they may not be 100% satisfied, and may not give a referral. However, if you can wow your patients, they will be so over-the-top thrilled they won’t be able to help themselves from telling everyone about you.

5. Change the way you ask for a referral

The way you phrase something can completely change how the message comes across. For example, instead of asking for a referral by saying, “Do you know anyone who could use my service?” Say something that is much more specific. For example, you might say, “I am always looking for people like you who take their dental needs seriously and are looking for exceptional dental care. Does anyone come to mind?”

Phrasing your question like this will give your patient more context to go off of, and may jog their memory about a conversation they had recently with someone about dental care.

6. Build a network of local companies

As a local business, your patients are customers of other local businesses. If you can build a network of local businesses that promote one another, you will share each other’s business. Do you have any patients who own their own local business? If so, these may be good people to approach about creating a network. You can promote one another online, on social media, in office, and through mailings!

Want help getting more referrals?

We have a proven system that works! Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Author: Kathy Jiamboi

Owner of Creativedge Marketing, where growth-oriented dentists find dental practice marketing strategies and advice to take their practice to a new and higher level.

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