The best referrals come from current patients of yours who have already told your new potential patient about you, your practice, and why they think that you?re amazing. These patients are amazing because they already know what you do and why they need you. They know someone who has had treatment with you, and know that they can trust you. ?Not only do they know someone who has had treatment with you, but they know the outcome of that person’s treatment, and know that their friend/family member is happy with the treatment you have provided. ?Because of this level of trust they already have when they walk into your office, they?re already sold on booking treatment with you and only really need to know the specifics of how things work.
While going after referrals can seem like it?s something that?s just on the to-do list for your practice but not something that you actively make sure gets done, it’s important to drive new patients and income into business (DUH). ?But I know this seems like such a difficult task. ?It used to be for me, but now it’s second nature. I promise you that it can be easy for you too, and it should be a big part of your marketing strategy.
I wanted to share a few ideas that you can start implementing right away to get more patient referrals into your practice intentionally and something that you actually put effort into instead of something that just sometimes gets done in your practice.
Make It Easy For Existing Patients To Refer New Patients To You
It should be a super easy process for patients to refer patients to you. While there are definitely limitations on the information that we can disclose to patients and potential patients about who has been referred and things like that, it should be any easy system in place that you can use to let patients know how to refer people to your practice and when they?ll be rewarded.
The referral process doesn?t have to be overly complicated or tedious, in fact it can be very simple and easy for you to implement into your practice. In fact, the simpler the process is the easier it is on your patients and your staff to manage.
You could implement things such as having referral slips that your patients can take and give to your potential patients, have a special recording that referrals can listen to when they call your office, train your staff on how to get information from referrals so that they make sure everything is collected and your existing patients are credited with their referrals, create a simple tracking system for patient referrals (cards are great for this), and put a simple referral form on your website that patients can access 24/7.
Offer Incentives They Actually Want Whenever Possible
Referrals are great for your practice and you want to make sure that your patients feel as though you truly appreciate the fact that not only do they trust themselves and their families with your practice but they also trust you enough to refer you to others that they care about as well. When a patient refers your practice they?re putting their reputation on the line just as much as yours and you want to make sure that your patients know that you don?t take that lightly at all.
So, it?s really nice when you can offer incentives that your patients really want to have. Free visits are great however, it?s often not enough to make people really think about who they can send your way. But, when you offer things that are tangible and desirable to your patients you?ll find that they will go out of their way to refer you to those who need the services that your practice provides to them.
Think about creative things that you can give based on the kind of referrals or number of referrals that your patients send to your practice. Having tiered referrals is a great way to make your patients want to do more and send more referrals so that they can win. And when you think about it, it?s actually your practice that?s going to be winning in this situation because you are gaining new referrals which means new patients and income into your practice.
Make Sure Patients Know You Are Taking New Patients
We assume that our patients know that we?re taking new patients all of the time. It’s so bizarre but sometimes they simply don?t know. ?You don’t know how many people used to ask me, “Are you seeing new patients?” ?It was like “DUH!! I’m trying to build my business, I need new patients ALL THE TIME!!!” ?It took me a while but I eventually learned that it?s our job to make sure that we?re not leaving it up to others to figure out if we?re open to new patients coming into our practice. Make it easy for them to know that you are taking new patients into your practice and use the tips mentioned above about how to get them to refer new patients to you.
While the tips that I mentioned above are great, they don?t mean anything if you?re not letting your existing patients know that you?re looking for new patients, right? So, make sure that your existing patients know when you are and aren?t taking new patients so that they know when they can refer their friends and family to your office.
Again, this doesn?t have to be overly complicated either. It can in fact be very simple for you to implement. Consider putting signs up in your office that you?re taking new patients, when talking to patients about referrals let them know that you?re accepting new patients and how they can send them to you, and of course when you?re working with patients feel free to mention it to them directly and let them know how grateful you?ll be to have their referral. ?One thing I do is send my patients thank you cards when they are done with their treatment (only if they have extensive treatment). ?In the card I congratulate them on their new smile, I thank them for trusting me, and then I tell them it would be such an honor for them to refer friends and family. ?It doesn’t take long to do, it makes me feel good as I write the card, and the message goes a long way!
I hope that these tips have shed some light on how to increase patient referrals and why it doesn?t have to be complicated or take a lot of work on your end. ?To help you with this process, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that will help guide you. ?You can click here to download it for free!
Once you are done with the worksheet, I want to hear how are you implementing a referral process into your practice. ?Leave me a comment or reply to this email so we can chat!