Realise What You've Already Got...
Create a system that forges the opportunity to settle any complaints BEFORE they get posted all over the internet...
There's no question that referrals are still the most powerful form of advertising and something businesses rely heavily on, yet most of the time take completely for granted... even though it's something businesses are paying nothing for. So we're talking a new customer for free. Let's just think about this for a second... do you truly realise how valuable this is? I mean, what if that FREE referred customer was then to refer someone else (more likely as they themselves were referred), and think how much business you would generate not just from that referral but from the people they refer, and what about all the other people the other person refers and so and so on.... when does it stop?
That's the thing, this could potentially never stop and referrals are so powerful, one referred patient could bring you a INFINITE supply of new customers. So I ask, instead of sitting and waiting for people to be referred, would you like to take control of this process?
Assuming that's a "yes", there are several ways to achieve this. First of which is to not just provide a good service to your current patients but really make them feel SPECIAL! For example, send them letters with 50% off vouchers for checkups and loyal customer only offers and gifts, they will love that but you are also offering an "upsell", perhaps the offer could be valid for their whole family?
We have all the incentives available to us, use them creatively. This includes utilising social media so I'll use Facebook as an example here of how we recently ran a very successful referral campaign for a dental client. We created an app that posted a 5 star 'amazon style' rating on the patients "news feed", not only did this look good on the clients Facebook page but it also showed up on her feed, and on her friends walls too. So all of her other friends saw that she visited XYZ dentist, had a great treatment and left a 5 star rating.... Now this is going VIRAL!
But that's not all, when the patient clicked through to the dentist's Facebook page where the review was left, she saw all the other 5 star reviews left by all other patients that weren't even her friend. This generated enormous amounts of "Social Proof". This is just one of many strategies that we use to enhance the power of referrals, feel free to emulate any of our ideas.
Another strategy we used on Facebook was a free "clean and polish" but in order for them to claim the free gift they must "share" the coupon with their friends who then also had the money off. Its amazing and works really well... we are not trying to brag here, we just want to stimulate you creatively to help you come up with some ideas you can use for your practice.
By William Lawson, GetWise Marketing