Despite all the new advancements and marketing methods out there today, using word of mouth referrals from current patients still continues to be a very powerful marketing tool. In fact the power of word of mouth has never been greater thanks to the use of social media.
It’s still thought that even in this technology driven era, 50% of new patients should be coming from word of mouth referrals. But why is this form of marketing from your patients so valuable?
The truth is, a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member carries some serious weight and as such can really convince them to try out your practice.
However don’t take our word for it – instead here are some hard facts.
Research into the subject shows that 92% of customers will trust a recommendation given to them by either their family or friends when it comes to new services.
This makes sense because when a person hears a glowing report about a service from someone personally, they’re far more likely to believe and trust them.
The good news is that as well as the personal trust factor, there are 3 other benefits you’ll get from referral or word of mouth marketing. Let’s take a look.
Firstly, it reaches an audience that may not have been searching your dental practice. In other words, it’s highly targeted and opens you up to more people than your SEO and social media efforts ever could. So it’s very likely that you’ll see your referrals coming in fast and taking action, even if they’d never heard of your practice previously.
It’s very cost-effective. In fact, generally word of mouth marketing is free. All it really costs is your time and effort in making sure that each of your patients receive an outstanding experience during treatment. That said, even when you offer rewards or discount programs to patients, the cost is still only very minimal and much lower than other forms of marketing.
You’re more likely to get stronger loyalty from patients who were referred to you by friends or family. That’s the great thing about word of mouth marketing, it’s not just a ‘one-time only’ tactic. When your new patients build up a relationship with you and your practice, they in turn spread the love to their friends, family, and others producing a chain reaction.
That’s all well and good, but the question is, how do we get more people talking? By providing great service of course!
At the risk of sounding old school, good customer service is always the key. It breeds happy patients, and happy patients talk. So go above and beyond to make sure that you and your team always deliver the best dental care possible. Doing so will guarantee that patients have you top of their mind when they need to recommend a dentist. At the end of the day, word of mouth is not really about marketing as such…it’s primarily about creating happy patients.
That being said, it can require a little more effort than just sitting back and waiting for streams of new patients to roll in.
Well people are busy and sadly, supporting your business is not top of their ‘to do’ list. To combat this, you need to be proactive.
For instance, are your existing patients even aware that you are accepting and welcoming new people to your practice? How about asking your patients for referrals? A good way to do this is through the use of regular newsletters. These can make a world of difference.
While most of your patients will probably be happy to refer their friends and family without an incentive, it’s a good idea to reward your patients who do refer. If you’re tracking the results, (which you should be) then you’ll know when you get referrals and from which patients. The reward can be as simple as a thank you card, a voucher, or even a discount off the price of their next treatment. Now that’s great word of mouth marketing!
The truth is that your patients can market your practice better than you ever can. So it would be stupid not to leverage that opportunity right? But how?
Give Them A Voice
You can give them a voice by including a testimonial page on your website that has success stories including before and after treatment photos from a visit. While not every patient wants to be in the limelight, new patients are always looking for positive experiences and ways to review your practice. Why not ask them? You may find the majority would love to help promote you.
Traditionally word of mouth marketing was only really done in person. However now, with the use of social media platforms, word of mouth can spread like wild fire. A discussion about a service can be done online and broadcast to hundreds of friends and family using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In fact, nowadays everyone is connected, even to friends they might have lost contact with otherwise, so there’s a large audience out there.
Don’t forget that the main reason people have social media accounts is to connect with others, including you, but you need reach out and encourage people to engage. To do this, update your page regularly, add or invite as many as possible, and stay connected. So, if you are looking for one of the most effective ways to promote your services, take advantage of social media. Starting an account is quick and simple and even better, it’s completely free!
Hopefully, this article has given you the help you need to launch a powerful word of mouth marketing campaign and help increase your loyal customer base. Don’t forget, we mentioned that half of new patients should be coming from word of mouth referrals, but the other 50% continue to come from strategies such as having a well maintained blog and having new fresh content. If this is something you need help with, then get in touch at www.dentalwriters.com or contact Dale on 044 (0) 844 307 9127.