Simple Tips to Increase Patient Referrals

Simple Tips to Increase Patient Referrals

“Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

-Omer K. Reed DDS

Patient referrals from your good patients are one of the best sources of quality new patients for your practice. These referred patients tend to arrive in your office with a high degree of trust and confidence. Showing your patients that you genuinely care about them is a great way to nurture more referrals. The evening ‘we care’ call from the Dentist is a powerful way to demonstrate your care and compassion for your patients.

I recommend that the Dentist call any patient who received an injection. Here is a sample script for that call:

Dr.:  “George, I like to call my patients on the evening they received   treatment. I was just calling to see how well you are doing.”

Notice that this message is carefully crafted. You frame your call in a positive manner by asking how well they are doing, rather than asking if they are having any problems. On very rare instances the patient may indeed be having some trouble that you can then be informed about, however the vast majority of the time this is a public relations call that lets your patient know you care about them. Patients are completely surprised that their Dentist called them. It is unexpected and as a result becomes a memorable event for the patient. While team members can make these calls, they are most effective when made by the Dentist.

I want to encourage you to develop some discipline around calling your patients. Until it is a habit, set your phone alarm for 7pm to make those calls. Get your team members to support your efforts by printing a copy of the day’s schedule with every patient who received an injection that day highlighted for your attention, along with their contact phone numbers written beside their name. It should only take 10-15 minutes each evening to complete your call list, yet this may be the best investment in your time to build your practice! In the increasingly impersonal world that we live in, a call from the Dentist is more effective than ever.

Here is another tip to increase patient referrals. A very good friend of mine (Brad Stewart) has developed a referral gift card program to ‘thank’ patients who refer someone to your practice with a small gift card to express your appreciation. I love this idea because it recognizes your patients and everyone appreciates recognition. While this idea of rewarding patient referrals is hardly new, Brad has added a level of graphic design and brilliant copywriting that really makes this program sing. Take a look for yourself:

Dr. Reed is right on! Patients really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Consider making a personal phone call to your patients on the evening of their treatment and installing a referral card program as two great ways to demonstrate how much you care. Keep Smiling!