How to Increase Word of Mouth Recommendations
- Date: October 15, 2012
- Author: eDentalImage
- Comments: 0
Digital dental marketing is great, but there’s still a place for word of mouth in the growth of your practice. Don’t assume that there is no place for internet marketing in this, however. The following tips will help you increase your word of mouth referrals by using resources online and in your office.
Hire friendly staff, and be personable on and offline. Be someone your patients feel comfortable talking to, and try to relate with them. Make eye contact and listen carefully to your patients’ concerns and complaints. They want to know that you care about them, not just their teeth. It’s important here not to neglect online communication with patients. If you have social media profiles or office email account, don’t put off responding to messages just because someone isn’t asking in person. With so many people on the web these days, it’s a prime place for word of mouth too! A timely and friendly response is just as meaningful (if not more) when received online.
Make your website informative and easy to find and navigate.Including tips and patient education materials on the site will increase the number of hits, and the likelihood that your patients will tell their friends, family and coworkers about your practice by word of mouth. By optimizing your website for social media and being involved on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, word of mouth will increase as well. Create e-mail newsletters that are informative, eye-catching, and reflect your patients’ interests.
Display your credentials, but don’t be pretentious. Place your diplomas, certificates, and professional memberships in an area that is visible, but not intimidating, such as behind the front desk instead of in the waiting area. You might include thank you cards and compliments from patients in the same area, stressing that the patient’s opinion of your practice is as important as your degrees. Make sure to provide patient satisfaction surveys and reviews on your website, and pay attention to the feedback given. Accept constructive criticism, nothing puts off a patient more than being told their opinion is unjustified.
Pay attention to patient comfort. This might seem not as important as price, services or location, but nothing creates positive word of mouth more than a positive experience. Make them feel good, and they’ll do your advertising for you! One of the most common complaints about dental offices is the temperature. The waiting room should be clean, tidy, and not too cold please! A cold environment can enhance alertness, but can also increase nervousness. If you can, provide a wide variety of reading materials including patient education literature and magazines that appeal to different age groups, genders and interests.
Go the extra mile. If your patient’s braces have just been removed, give them a celebratory memento. Have balloons or stickers for young children; provide mp3 players for patients to listen to during procedures. Any of these steps – or other similar actions, make your patients feel special and appreciated. You can also make follow-up calls to see how patients are doing following difficult or intimidating procedures like root canals, or implants.
What increases word of mouth referrals more than anything is the dentist-patient relationship. Focus on it, and let us handle your internet marketing campaign. At eDentalImage, we can help your practice grow.