Use Marketing to Develop Patient Connections and Increase Referrals

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Many dentists I work with have no interest in marketing their practice. They insist they’ll grow by word of mouth referrals, and that dental marketing is just a waste of time and money. While referrals are an important part of building a successful practice, they usually come from patients who feel a connection to the dentist and the team—and those connections are often the result of continual, targeted marketing.

Successful marketing campaigns typically are educational, whether they serve to let patients know about a service you provide or the importance of maintaining their oral health. When you take the time to educate patients, they feel more connected to your practice, making them more likely to stay loyal, to accept treatment and to ultimately refer.

When used correctly, marketing can be a great practice building tool that leads to referrals. I suggest you invest in this system and commit to making it work for your practice. You’ll not only attract more patients, those patients will turn into happy patients who refer.

Want more tips to help you increase referrals? Here are a few:

-Focus on offering top-notch customer service from the time patients first call the practice to schedule an appointment until they leave your office.

-Show them you care. Ask patients about their families and their jobs as well as their oral health goals. Spend time building a rapport.

-Keep in touch with patients after their appointments. Consider sending out a monthly practice newsletter with educational materials, and birthday cards with coupons for popular services. This will help keep your practice top of mind, which could lead to a referral if a patient’s family or friend is looking for a dentist who offers implants, and they have an article from your newsletter they can easily share.

-Create a relaxing atmosphere. Make sure the reception area is comfortably furnished, and feels more like a living room than a dental waiting room. Keep patients as comfortable as possible throughout the appointment, which could mean tuning the TV to their favorite channel or playing soothing music. Little touches like this help improve the overall experience, making patients more likely to refer.

Want more tips on how to implement a successful marketing program and increase referrals? Feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help. You can take my free marketing assessment HERE.

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