How to increase your word of mouth referrals?
We’ve all heard word of mouth (WOM) referrals are the best way to get new patients. In fact, in any industry retail, service, and, of course, healthcare, WOM is the single most cost effective way to grow your business. So how do you effectively increase your WOM referrals?
The benefits to WOM referrals are many. New patients coming to your office through WOM have already heard about you from a trusted source, usually a friend or colleague. This means someone has been impressed enough with some aspect of your office to let others know about you and your team. This is so very special because people who have had a positive experience worthy of WOM are likely to tell one person while someone who has a negative experience are likely to tell four! Also, Referred customers were about 18% more likely to stay with your office than other patients. In fact, according to one study, an analysis of customer activity from January 2006 until September 2008, showed that referred customers indeed generated higher margins than other customers
So we all know the benefits of WOM referrals. The question remains, what can we do to increase WOM referrals? The first is an old business adage: Take care of your customer (in our case, patient). Be sure to respond promptly to your patient’s needs such as answering the phone promptly, explaining treatment, and having financial arrangements to meet their needs.
Second, although it may sound simple, keep your office clean and free of clutter. This also includes keeping you magazines and other reading materials up to date. It may sound basic but what do you think a magazine from 6 months to a year ago hanging around your reception area says?
Third, use a membership reward program to increase your WOM referrals. According to a study by COLLOQUY, the leading loyalty marketing experts in the world, it was revealed “Reward Program Members 70% More Likely to be Word-of-Mouth Champions than Non-Members New Word-of-Mouth Research Shows Reward Programs Are Marketers’ Best Source for Finding Consumers Who Recommend their Brands.” Compared that to this finding from the same COLLOQUY study: “Only 32% of non-reward program members are self-described WOM champions. What this translates to in the dental office is this: Simply by adding a membership program you can see a 70% increase in new patients from WOM referrals.
To find out how QDP can make it easy for you to implement and manage your very own customized, sustainable patient membership program request more information today.