Who can grow your dental practice? Your patients — thousands of them. These are all people who know you and entrust you with an important part of their health care. They are a source of potential new patients … and one that is relatively easy and inexpensive to access. This is the power of internal marketing.
RELATED |Four essential strategies for creating a highly successful practice
RELATED |Post-election: the effects of Obamacare on dentistry
Leverage the power of happy patients
Every day, you and your team have personal contact with patients in the office, on the phone, through mail and email, and perhaps even online. All of these connections are marketing opportunities. Once you capitalize on them — mainly with effective scripting to guide team members in interpersonal relations — you will be on your way to achieving an important target that Levin Group sets for its clients:
Within six to 12 months, 40% to 60% of patients referring at least one new patient every year.
Generating so many patient referrals is easier than most dentists think. Levin Group shows clients many proven tools for reaching this target, including:
- Ask for referrals. Many practices fail to tell patients they would appreciate referrals. If patients are happy with the service you provide, they will be glad to recommend you to friends, relatives, fellow workers, and others they know.
- Put up signs. Posted in areas of high patient traffic around the office, signs are a simple way to let patients know you appreciate referrals.
- Thank patients warmly when they make referrals. When new patients call or walk in, be sure to ask how they found out about your practice. If they were referred by patients, send thank-you cards or emails right away and thank the referrers personally the next time they visit. This will encourage them to continue recommending you in the future.
- Use all channels of communication to remind patients to refer. Virtually any kind of patient correspondence is an opportunity to include a reminder that referrals are welcome.
- Think of the customer service you provide as a form of marketing. Exceeding patient expectations with excellent customer service not only “wows” patients but also gives them all the more reason to recommend your practice to others.
By taking advantage of proven internal marketing techniques, you can take full advantage of a powerful referral source — patients who will be all too happy to recommend your practice. This is the easiest way to reach your goal of having 40% to 60% of patients refer a new patient every year.
To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at www.levingroup.com/gp— a free online resource with tips, videos, and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.
Dr. Roger Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice management and marketing firm in the United States. As a leading authority on dental practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will increase practice production and profitability, while lowering stress. Dr. Levin has authored more than 60 books and over 3,000 articles. He presents 100 seminars worldwide each year.