When I work with practices, one of the biggest areas I find that is not being worked is referrals within their practice. I encourage every practices implement a "Care To Share" Program. This is a simple program where a practice implements an incentive program in which their patients are encouraged to refer friends in for a new patient exam and for doing that they receive a gift from the practice. Now it is important to note I said for "referring" a patient in to the practice NOT for a patient that starts treatment. When you think about it you want your patients out there talking about you and telling their friends and family your practice is the place to go for treatment. What you do not want is your patients only talking about you only to those friends and family members that they think need treatment. Doctors, you want your patients passing out your name and sending their friends and family into your practice so that you can determine treatment plans. Remember, if you do a good job with the new patient exam you will either have a start or another patient in your savings account for a start later. The practices that have implemented this program have had a great response from their patients and have seen an increase in their new patient’s case acceptance. Ideas on how to implement a program like this:
- Have a business card designed with practice brand on front and a "care to share" form on back (I have examples if interested).
- Type up a flyer for the practice front desk; advertise the program on your website and in your newsletter, at your new patient exams and debands. Talk it up!
- Decide on a suitable referral gift- $50 gift card- in these hard times this goes a long way with families
- Make a big deal out of this program, highlight your referring patients.
This will be some of the best money spent on marketing in your practice and in most cases they are "hot" leads which will lead to new patient starts.