5 Ways to Use Their In-office Patient Experience as an Effective Marketing Tool

5 Ways to Use Their In-office Patient Experience as an Effective Marketing Tool

You already know that your current patients are your best source for new patient referrals. But did you know that they can increase your revenue, too? Studies show that existing patients are 67% more likely to buy a new service or product. But how do you get them to pay attention to those services when you only have a finite amount of time with each patient? The answer is internal marketing! Make the most of the time that your patients spend in your office with these easy and affordable strategies.

#1: In-office signage
Grab your patients’ attention with in-office signage! First, consider the path of the patient as they move through your office. Signs that promote new products or services will do well in hallways and on doors that patients pass on their way to the procedure room. Signage that asks patients for a review should be placed along the walk to the exit.

And don’t neglect the waiting room! Patients are probably checking Instagram and Facebook anyway. So encourage them to check out your page while they’re there. A well designed Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, etc.  is all you need to get the conversation started. But take the time to put something together that looks fresh and modern. Use icons instead of writing out Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And keep it simple. You’ll want patients to spend less time reading the signs and more time on your social media pages. This is also a great place to promote your newest products and services with a call to action to view your website for more information.

#2: Videos
Create a video about your office atmosphere, the services you offer, or a new dental technology you’re excited about. Maybe a welcome video that helps patients get to know you and your staff before the appointment. Or perhaps it’s a simple slideshow of testimonials and before-and-after images that show off your best work. The sky’s the limit!

5 Ways to Use Their In-office Patient Experience as an Effective Marketing Tool

But before you get started, ask yourself a few questions: What are your goals? What do you want to say? What do you hope this video will help you achieve? The more clear and precise your answers are, the easier it will be to envision, and the better the end product will be. This is also a good time to consider your budget. Larger budgets mean you can outsource production. But don’t feel that you can’t make a quality product on your own. It’s amazing what cell phones and good lighting can do these days. Ask around for pointers. You could even barter with a tech-savvy patient. Just don’t feel intimidated or discouraged from using this marketing strategy. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

#3: Ask for reviews
It never hurts to ask. If you believe that a patient has had a positive experience, that’s the perfect time to ask for a review. This can also be done with a follow-up email or text after the appointment that includes a direct link to your Yelp! or Facebook page. You can even automate these messages to be sent within 24 hours after an appointment, while the experience still fresh. Never underestimate the power of asking a patient directly, though. When people are personally called upon for support, they’re more likely to respond.

5 Ways to Use Their In-office Patient Experience as an Effective Marketing Tool

Just remember, asking for honest reviews potentially opens the door to criticism. Take it in stride, and use it as a learning experience. Addressing someone’s complaint directly, and doing what you can to remedy the concern, will go a long way – not just for the person who left the review, but for your image as well. In fact, customers who feel their negative review was addressed are 70% more likely to return!

#4: Referral programs
From those good reviews to word-of-mouth recommendations, your current patients are your best resources. They know you, they like your work, and their opinions matter. So why not reward them for being such stellar humans? Referral programs are a great way to show your appreciation. They could take the form of coupons and free services, prizes and gift cards, or even reduced prices (hello free teeth whitening session!).

Just take some time to think about how it will work. What will you offer? How much can you afford to give or spend? How will you market the program? And be sure to review your state’s policies on referral programs as they vary from state to state. 

#5: Provide outstanding customer service
66% of customers switch providers because of a bad experience and 82% have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. A trip to the doctor isn’t how anyone wants to spend their day, so make sure you and your staff are doing all you can to make it as enjoyable as possible. Train everyone, from the front desk to the backend, on your mission statement and vision for the practice. And make sure they understand the importance of listening and responding to patient feedback.
 
Now that you’ve got a few ideas, put your plan into action!
Start with simple steps and evaluate your progress over the next few months. Notice any new patients? A greater social media following? Better reviews? How have these tactics worked for you? Let us know! Follow SmileMakers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram and tell us know how our tips have helped you grow your practice!

Sources:
Market Expert (2017, February 22) Returning Customers Spend 67% More Than New Customers - Keep Your Customers Coming Back with a Recurring Revenue Sales Model, Retrieved from https://www.business.com/articles/returning-customers-spend-67-more-than-new-customers-keep-your-customers-coming-back-with-a-recurring-revenue-sales-model/

Help Scout & Lee Resources 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics – How Your Business Can Deliver With the Best of the Best
Retrieved from https://www.helpscout.net/75-customer-service-facts-quotes-statistics/

Burke, Collin (2015, April 22) 100 Customer Service Statistics You Need To Know Retrieved from http://www.insightsquared.com/2015/04/100-customer-service-statistics-you-need-to-know/