Referrals are a crucial part of growing a company, especially when it comes to dentistry and health care. After all, you’re sticking sharp things in their mouths. It’s understandable. There are three main ways to increase these referrals, and they’re both internal and external to your practice.
Whether you want to build relationships with other dentists or focus on giving patients the information to share with friends, these are how we recommend increasing these new patient referrals.
How to Increase Patient Referrals
- Great customer service
- Patient referral programs
- Outside dental practices
- Great Customer Service
This may not be at the top of your mind when thinking about referrals, but it’s true. When patients experience outstanding customer service, they’re more likely to tell others. Word of mouth is the best marketing, and it’s free.
By focusing on creating these personal and high-quality moments with your patients, you’re showing them their value, and that you care about them as people, not just as a chart. Then, when these patients get asked if they know a great dentist, they’ll remember the incredible experience they had with your office and refer their friends.
- Patient Referral Programs
This is a more strategic use of patient satisfaction, and is more overt. This could include discounts for both the patient and their referral, entries into a giveaway, or a number of other ideas. If you’re promoting a new type of whitening treatment, for example, you can offer a patient a discount if a new patient mentions their name.
You can also utilize social media by having patients share a post or mention you in a post to be entered into a drawing. You’ll want to be careful of how you do this, as it could hurt your social media “karma”, but it’s still a good option as part of a patient referral program.
- Outside Dental Practices
Even if you’re a full service dental practice, there are ways you can build relationships with other practices that can be mutually beneficial. By building relationships with an oral surgeon, then you’ll both be able to send patients to a trusted practice, and you’ll both benefit from an increase in patients.
If you’re a general dentist, and you have patients that need orthodontic work done, then you can build a referral program with a local orthodontist. They’ll send patients looking for a dentist, and you’ll both benefit.
Whether you’re looking to focus on patient-initiated referrals, or building relationships with other practices in your area, referrals are a go to way to bring in more patients and help more people. The more holistic approach of focusing on customer service is where we recommend starting, then you can build on that with the external referrals. Doing so will help you be in a better position both with your current patients and external practices you’re looking to do business with.