No matter how quickly your practice grows you always need to be attracting and welcoming new patients into your office. You need to remember that there is a finite amount of work to be completed in each patient’s mouth so having new patients is essential to continuous growth in your office.
The art of attracting new patients to your office still comes down to 65% of your new patients coming from internal referrals and 35% of your new patients coming from external sources. For definition’s sake, an internal referral is a patient who has been referred to the practice by an existing patient of the practice. An external referral is a patient who has heard about the practice from your efforts to advertise the practice.
I want to provide you with some tips for both types of referrals:
- Please ensure that for every new patient, the source of their referral is asked and entered in your software so that you quantify if your external marketing is showing return. You will want to calculate your return on investment. For example, if a Google Ads campaign of $1000 brought in three new patients, then the cost of the marketing was $333 per patient. This may seem high but over the course of time this will balance out over the course of time that the patient is in the office as each patient in your office will have $700 to $1000 of treatment a year.
- If a patient comes from an internal patient referral, then you will want to ensure that the patient who did the referring is entered into the software as well. For the existing patient who trusted you and sent a friend or a loved one you need to ensure that they are thanked. Thanking this patient is best done by sending a handwritten note expressing your gratitude.
- If you have 30 patients, come through your office every day, five days a week, four weeks a month then you will have had 600 opportunities every month to deliver outstanding patient experiences at every touch point. If you are only seeing ten new patients a month from internal referrals, you may want to look carefully at the systems, ask patients some tough questions about their experience and likely make some changes in the patient experience.
- For external referrals, you will want to turn to experts as their knowledge of the algorithms needed for success is far beyond most people’s comprehension. They will ensure that your SEO placement is ranked high, your Google ads will be directed to specific markets and your social media marketing is well placed.
- Many offices design their website once and then rarely update it. Your patients will use your website more than you realize for calling the office and sending a link to another potential client. Keep your website looking fresh and up to date looking.
- Encourage your patients to complete Google reviews when they are happy with the services of the office. You would be surprised how many patients look at reviews before contacting the office especially if they heard about you through your digital advertising.
You can have the best marketing campaign out there and be attracting new patients every day but if the patient experience is lacking when the patients attend the office for their appointments, they will go looking for another office very quickly. You may want to create a report of new patients from eighteen months prior to ensure that you are keeping your new patients active in the practice. When you look at the list, check and ensure that the patients have completed outstanding diagnosed treatment and have kept to their diagnosed hygiene intervals.
Attracting new patients to an office takes concentrated efforts in many different areas, create a plan with defined tasks to ensure that whatever you decide to concentrate on brings you the results are looking for.