As you well know, most dental offices get their patients through a system of dental referrals. And it makes perfect sense. In the end, it’s our health we’re talking about!
Every medical procedure carries its risks, and in terms of teeth, it is also something that can affect your visual appearance. An inexperienced dentist can ruin your teeth in a hurry, potentially affecting your business and intimate relationships.
Referrals are a perfect solution to this problem.
If one of your friends of members of the family had a successful dental treatment, it is only normal they will recommend the professional. Unfortunately, this is where the issue occurs, as most people are reluctant to do so!
The thought process is simple: patients usually overlook successful dental treatments.
Because they are supposed to be successful! Or, they might think you already have a good dentist. But when we need a dentist the most, we often cannot find the right one.
Ideally, your patients should be proactive in telling everyone how awesome your dental office is. But as most people are not proactive, you have to nudge them in the right way.
Here are six excellent tips that will increase the number of dental referrals.
This is the first and crucial step of the process often overlooked even by seasoned professionals. If you’re unable to provide an awesome experience, patients will never refer to your dental office!
Now, this is where the majority of dentists go wrong. They think if they do a good job, the patients will instantly recommend the dental office. Wrong.
When we talk about a positive experience, there is much more than simply doing your job. The main phrase is “experience.” A visit to the dentist should be much more than a medical fixup. It should present a complete experience. Most of these things have nothing to do with the treatment itself but instead refers to the way staff is treating you.
For example, if someone greets you at the door and walks you out, that is a big thing. Small talk, asking about your comfort level, whether you’re in pain; it all goes a long way. First and foremost, you have to create a human experience.
Keep in mind that most people are scared of dentists and doctors. If you can alleviate that discomfort for at least a bit, you will grow in the patient’s eyes.
Of course, every smart person will try to keep a customer by creating a good relationship. That doesn’t mean you should become friends. However, over time, it is normal to start asking personal questions, to have small talk, and show genuine interest in a person.
Long-term relationship building is not a quick solution, nor will it create an instant funnel. Instead, it is something you need to work overtime. Calling patients from time to time, asking for their health, or simply congratulating them for some achievement or celebration goes a long way.
Relationship building can also be done via phone or email. You don’t have to invest too much time into it. Just create a list and send a message from time to time (on birthday, for example). This way, you are no longer only a dentist, but you’re the patient’s “personal dentist.”
When we visit a doctor or a dentist, we have certain expectations. One of the first things we consider before a procedure is how much it will cost, how long will it take, will you be in pain, etc. If patients have any questions, they are most likely to ask you in advance so they can plan their visit.
But what if you surpass these initial expectations?
There are lots of ways you can leave a positive impression. In some cases, it can be as simple as providing an extra brushing or paste. You can gift a product that a person can use after treatment. Perhaps painkiller? Another good way is finishing early or giving a free checkup or other dental freebies.
In most cases, this refers to money and efficiency of the procedure. However, it can also be perceived through the extra physical effort you had to go through so that a patient is happy.
Most patients will notice this and will refer your company to others.
Besides good, friendly service, you can also get a lot of dental referrals through proactive dental marketing strategies.
Specials are an excellent way to get started, for example. Once you successfully finish a procedure, you can tell a person that the practice is giving discounts to all the referrals.
While this might not be 100% profit, you will still get a friendly customer who is less likely to cause any issues and who will be a treat to work for.
You can go a step further by creating a sort of pyramid for dental referrals and a benefits system. Discounts and coupons are another way to go about things.
One of the reasons why people don’t recommend medical practitioners is because they forget to do so. Even if they have a friend or family member that needs immediate treatment, they are too worried about their dental procedure. As a result, they will be distraught and might not even remember to recommend your office.
The best way to circumvent this is by giving patients queries after treatments.
Among various things, you can ask them whether or not they would refer a friend. This is a bit sneaky, but it might force them to think.
If they have someone in their immediate vicinity who needs treatment, they might recommend your practice immediately. You can also use these answers and ask them to contact you.
Lastly, the most natural way to get a dental referral is to ask the patient for it.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should ask anyone for a referral. Instead, focus on people who are happy with the service or those who are your regular clients. No matter what, it is essential to be sure about this move. Otherwise, you risk losing that client.
Make sure to be polite. Start by asking simple questions and leading an easygoing chat. Then, ask about the quality of the service and how they liked it. Ask whether there is something that could’ve you could do better. If the patient says that everything was perfect, this is a good sign that you can ask for a referral.
In the end, dental referrals are all about the quality of service and interpersonal relationships. You can also utilize some clever dental marketing tricks. However, unless you’re able to provide an excellent service, there is no way you will get them to refer friends.
Make sure always to prioritize friendly clients and those who have been with you for a while. Sometimes, asking a new patient for a dental referral may come off as too aggressive.
Bear in mind that people are more inclined to help those that are close to them than complete strangers.
Anyhow, as long as you follow these simple rules, you will be able to grow your patient list and lead your business to the next level.
02 January 2020
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Dentie Leads is a dental marketing company that serves dental clinics across the USA. We help dentists grow and their practice by providing high-quality dental leads on autopilot. We have over a decade of experience in dental SEO, Facebook ads for dentists, email marketing, and content writing.
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