Four creative ways to get more dental patient referrals
- Ask for a referral before the appointment
- Conduct a patient survey
- Reach out to patients directly
- Reach out to patients indirectly
Whenever one of your patients has a very positive treatment experience in your office, you naturally would (or, at least should) seize the moment and ask them to consider referring a friend or relative to your practice.
But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes patients rush out the door too quickly or you simply forget to ask. To make up for those lost opportunities, you need to find other creative ways to get more dental patient referrals. Ways you may not have previously thought of.
Ask for a referral before the appointment
The idea of asking for a referral from a patient before they even receive their treatment may sound odd, but setting expectations up front can be very effective. Explain to them that your goal is to provide them with an exceptional level of care that they will be delighted with. In return, you would greatly appreciate it if they would share their experience with others afterward.
Conduct a patient survey
Focusing on your happiest patients is a smart way to build your referral marketing strategy. After all, prompting your less enthusiastic patients to share their opinion can be counterproductive. To pinpoint which people are going to be your biggest promoters, consider distributing a simple online patient satisfaction survey. Something as basic as asking for a 1-5 star rating will give you a list of “raving fans” who give you a top rating. If you don’t already have a software option to conduct an online survey, low-cost options like Survey Monkey will do the trick.
Once you have your list compiled, it’s time to reach out to them and ask for their help.
Reach out to patients directly
The easiest way to contact your potential evangelists is through email. Depending on the features of your current email software, you may be able to track open rate activity and accurately see how successful your efforts are.
As an alternative, you could also take a lower-tech (but more personal) approach by mailing a printed letter from the dentist. That also provides a great opportunity to enclose referral cards that the patient can easily pass along to friends or relatives so you can get more dental patient referrals.
Reach out to patients indirectly
If you don’t have a targeted list of patients to ask for referrals, or want to reach out beyond your current database of patients, there’s always social media. Posting a call out to your patients to refer other people to your office not only gets the message to them, but also sparks interest with potential new patients as well. Mixing in testimonials from your current patients can help make this approach even more effective.