Encouraging Referrals in your Dental Business

Posted on September 7, 2010 in Dental Business

X-ray showing my impacted wisdom teethThough it may not be something you think about in your day to day dental practice, the time and effort you put into visiting with your patients is far more important than any money spent on advertising.  This is because your patients are the best advertisement for your dental business that you have. When someone is looking for a dentist they will ask friends and family, look around for reviews online, check out advertisements, look for coupons, scan through the phone book, and ask other people such as coworkers and neighbors.  Out of all these things, guess which is the most effective?  If you guessed, the opinions of other’s then you are correct!

The Power of Word of Mouth in your Dental Business

Recent studies have found that prospective patients are less than 20% likely to believe advertisements, yet they are more than 70% likely to believe the recommendations of friends and family. Consumers are becoming smarter and savvier every day.  They know advertising is not neutral and unbiased.  When it comes to something really important, such as dentists and other care providers, they are far more likely to go with what they hear from friends and family.

Good Dental Business Sense

It is far easier and less expensive to retain a current patient than to get a new one. You have to work at keeping your current patients happy by providing the best customer service that you possibly can.  Be polite, get to know their families, and offer payment plans for those in need.  These are some of the top things that make good dentists in the eyes of others.  You need those patients to say good things about you in order to bring in the new referrals.

Good business sense is the cornerstone of being successful and in your dental business it is its own form of advertisement. Keep in mind each day that both you and your staff are a walking advertisement for your business. Some things are out of your control, and for this reason you need to keep good judgment, but also find out what your patients think. Your patients will leave your dental practice over outrageous prices or rude hygienists in a second.  A good way to prevent these issues from resulting in the loss of a patient is to keep up with your patients’ feelings toward your practice.  Don’t be afraid to survey, take suggestions, and ask directly what patients think about your staff, your practices, etc. Keeping an open mind and being willing to change to suit your patients’ needs is a good way to get the great referrals that will lead to the success of your dental business.

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