Word of mouth and online dental reviews can greatly enhance, or hurt, a practice’s image to potential patients. Generally speaking, people are much more likely to post a negative review then a positive one. So how do you create positive experiences with your patients and utilize this for referrals? This all comes down to creating a “wow” experience— every call, every visit, every team member, every time. These “wow” moments stand out above just regular experiences, and following the three R’s of referrals will take these positive experiences a step further, creating new appointments for your practice.
So what is a “wow” experience? This is something that is unexpected, exceeding your patients’ expectations. Every patient interaction is an opportunity to to go above and beyond, including:
Outstanding Attitude – the way your team members interact with your patients. Welcoming smiles, conversation and tone of voice all contribute to a patient’s overall experience.
Price Transparency – be sure to make pricing clear and easy to understand, you want to make sure to present all viable options and amounts to help patients make informed, educated choices.
Welcoming Environment – Is your office clean and presentable? Little things like attractive dental wall art or up to date reading material and comfy chairs make strong first impressions.
Short Wait Times – While you can’t always control it, a long wait time will get a patient’s experience off on the wrong foot. Running behind? Make sure the patient gets a quick call or text to alert them. Setting the expectation initially will help avoid any escalated situations.
The Three R’s of Dental Referrals
Request – When you create a “wow” experience for patients, the referral process can happen naturally, but all you have to do is ask. Simply asking them if they know what dental ofﬁce their family and friends use or if they know anyone who can benefit from your care. Often times practices are hesitant to ask, but if you are making positive impressions on all your patients then the responses you get will amaze you.
Remind – Make sure your staff is trained and comfortable reminding patients that you are accepting new patients. Along with talking to patients about referrals, use materials inside your office, your website, any patient mailings you send out and take-home materials to make sure its as easy as possible for your patients to refer their friends and family.
Reward – Letting your patients know how much you appreciate their referrals is crucial to creating a referral culture. Send a handwritten thank you note to the referring patient and a matching Welcome Card to the referred patient after their ﬁrst visit. You can also reward referring patients with a token of appreciation such as movie passes, gift cards to local eateries, books for their children or a personalized take-home Whitening Kit.
While a-lot of the referral process will start face-to-face in your office, you can look into solutions to automate the process to aid your staff and maximize your referrals. PracticeMojo’s reviews & referrals gives you more options for patients to provide feedback and push reviews all over the web.