Strategies for getting more patient referrals to your independent practice September 7, 2017
Most people do not choose a primary care physician randomly. They do research and they ask other people for advice. When someone is looking for a new doctor, they will usually ask their trusted friends and family members for recommendations. The key word there is “trusted.”
Word of mouth, or referral, marketing is the most effective way to grow an independent practice. It is also the least expensive as word of mouth costs you nothing but the effort to make your patients happy and healthy! There are a number of strategies that can help generate those treasured patient referrals.
Make sure your patients’ experience is always customer-focused, from start to finish. Train your staff to welcome each patient with a smile and a pleasant greeting, whether in person or on the phone. Patients who are made to feel comfortable and appreciated will tell others about your practice.
Communicate with your patients professionally and personally. When you are responsive to your patients’ questions and concerns, they will spread the word about how wonderful your practice is about responding to them quickly and efficiently. Be sure to answer questions promptly and in clear and concise language that ensures the patients understand the explanations and any further instructions you may provide.
Testimonials are a “credible and human” way to generate referrals. Capture your patients’ comments on your website or use them in direct mail campaigns. Those testimonials can come from surveys you conduct of your patients or from spontaneous letters or emails they send to you. Ask your patients for permission to use their testimonial and be sure to thank them for their kind words.
Maintain an accurate and current website that provides the information new patients will need to learn more about your practice when they are referred to you. Highlight those points that set you apart from other independent physicians, whether it might be extended hours or the use of technology in your practice.
Your current patients will tell others about your practice. Be sure they are saying great things and, in doing so, are getting more referrals for you!