Word of Mouth: How to Get Patients Talking

Posted by Team PracticeForces on Nov 14 2016

There is no advertising quite as effective as a recommendation from a happy patient. How do you get your patients to start talking about your practice? Here are a few simple tips to increase your patient referrals.

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Give patients service worth talking about.

The number one tip for getting patients to talk openly and positively about your practice is to give them an experience worth talking about. Sit down with your staff and come up with a few items you could change to make your patient feel more welcome and cared for. For example, does the waiting room need a makeover? How are patients greeted when they arrive? Sometimes a few small changes can add up to a big difference in the patient’s experience.

Ask them for feedback.

Let your patients know you’re striving for their satisfaction by asking them for feedback. For the best results, ask while they are still in the office. An online survey loaded on a tablet is an easy way to accomplish this. If they had a particularly good outcome, ask them to share their story at the end of the survey. With the patient’s permission, that story can be used in your practice’s advertising and marketing.

Support the experience with content.

Providing patients with trusted, expert information extends their positive experience beyond the office. Include a mix of content topics that answer questions your patient might raise if they were in the office or on the phone. For example, a pediatrician’s office might offer an article about ear infection symptoms and another with tips for getting toddlers to eat a variety of vegetables. This type of content also makes it easy for patients to share your information - and your website - with friends and family on social media.

Create a social community.

Speaking of social media, that is where a lot of patient recommendations are happening these days. Make sure your Facebook company page has the correct name, address, phone number and website of your practice. You can let patients know about upcoming classes or events, post your content and, with permission, share pictures and stories of happy patients.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

Asking for referrals may seem awkward at first, but it is perhaps the most effective way to get them. Save a minute or two at the end of each patient’s visit to let them know that you appreciate their business and how much a positive recommendation or referral means to your business. It may help to share a bit about all the services your practice offers, but don’t give patients a sales pitch. Be sincere about your practice’s mission to help patients live the healthiest and happiest life possible.

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Topics: Patient Experience

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