How to increase referrals through existing patients in your dental office. Increasing referrals through existing patients can be very expensive, time consuming, and frustrating. The key is to have a strong marketing strategy as well as patience… Never expect over night results. One of the best ways to increase referrals is through your existing patients, so always make certain your current/existing patients are satisfied. If your patients are satisfied with your services, then they are very likely to refer family, friends, and co-workers to your office. It’s extremely important to offer some sort of discount or incentive to your existing patient that made the referral to you. Let your patient know how much you appreciate them marketing your dental practice. The discount doesn’t need to be over the top, you could do something as simple as giving a Starbucks gift card simply saying “Thank You” and personally addressing a letter extending your gratitude. It’s important to advertise to your existing patients that you will offer a discount or small gift if they refer their family, friends, or co-workers to your office. Designate a page on your website explaining how your patients can refer other patients to your office and explain what’s in it for them in return. This website page would also be a great place to display patient testimonials describing their experience with you dental office and staff. Patients love reading what other patients have experienced at your office. Another way to market your referrals is to explain verbally to your existing patient at the time of check out how much you appreciate patient referrals. The marketing doesn’t stop there, always send a follow up “Thank You” card/letter thanking your patient for their continued business. Remind the patient again by mentioning in the card/letter that you always appreciate patient referrals and provide an explanation on how to refer. Following this marketing strategy is sure to help increase your patient referrals and increase your office growth.
How to get patients to pay their bills. It’s always best to encourage your patients to pay at the time of service. Many staff members can become nervous or uncomfortable when asking patients to pay. You need someone with a strong and confident personality to be in charge of getting the payments at the time of service. It’s very important to have a system that works in your office. Communication is the key to getting your payments on time. Make sure your staff is explaining to the patient exactly what services they will be performing, how much everything will cost, and most importantly confirm that the patient is accepting your treatment plan and prices.
- For example: Your staff should never just tell the patient they are due for x-rays and perform the service without confirming with the patient that they are comfortable with the extra expense.
Displaying signs in your waiting room explaining to the patients to please update any insurance changes, pay at the time of service, or to please prepay before your appointment is not acceptable. These signs will completely take away from the communication between your staff and your patients. Your patients need/want to be told what to do at their appointments… This is why you pay your staff. The most effective way to receive your payment is to have your staff just simply ask for payment after you have rendered services. Always accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash. Make the process as simple and convenient as possible for the patient.
It is extremely important to respect your patients privacy. Make certain your office is designed in a way that allows complete privacy between your patient and your staff member asking for the payment. It is highly recommended to have a staff member escort the patient to the front desk after their exam is complete. The staff member asking for the payment should always be prepared to present the bill to the patient and explain all services and costs. If the patient is unable to pay in full at the time of service, always have options for a payment plan ready to discuss in private with the patient. Remember… some payment is better than none, always try your best to accommodate the patient with affordable payment plans if necessary.
It’s never easy to discuss money, but clear and direct communication will help improve the financial situation within your dental office.
How to attract new patients to your dental office. New patients are the key element in growing your dental office and making it a more profitable business. You must start with a marketing plan that is sure to get you the results you are looking for. You might stop and ask yourself the following question…
“How does your current dental lab affect your business???” There are many ways your dental lab can affect the profitability of your office. Ask yourself the following questions:
- 1. Can you save on lab fees by trying a new lab?
- 2. Is the shipping paid for to and from your office?
- 3. What is the turnaround time with your current lab?
- 4. Does your current lab guarantee their work, or do they charge every time a case has to be remade?
Saving and cutting expenses with your dental lab will allow you to pass those saving onto your patients. This will result in life long happy patients that will be sure to recommend your dental office to others… Easy marketing! Dentek Lab located just outside of the Kansas City area can assure you that you will save on lab fees when using their crown and bridge lab. Dentek offers prices that are very attractive – flat and complete prices with no additional charges, free overnight delivery to and from your office via FedEx, fast turnaround time, and a lifetime guarantee on all work. Dentek Lab believes that to be successful in today’s economy we must be able to provide products and services of world-class quality and yet also be able to offer them at very reasonable prices. Click here to contact Dentek Lab today!
Any office that has a strong marketing plan can attract new patients to their dental office by using the following steps:
- Create a strong yet personal “mission statement”
- Do not use dental terms that the patient can’t understand
- Always provide multiple testimonials… There is no easier marketing tool than testimonials. Patients love reading what other patients have experienced at your office.
- Make an offer for new patients. Let them know you are willing to give some sort of a discount to assure the patient that you have complete confidence in your office and staff.
- Follow up with the patient after their first appointment. Ask them how their experience was and what you could do to make it better.