Interpersonal Relations & word of mouth referrals-
This forms a major part of an important type of marketing called Internal Marketing.
It is found to be the most effective and least expensive type of marketing.
This occurs inside the practice and focuses on current patients and their willingness to accept costlier treatment options and also to recommend friends, family, and neighbours through word-of-mouth referrals.
Interpersonal relations do not only mean good communication between the dentist and the patient, but more importantly between the team members and the patients.
Most patients talk more freely with your assistant or front desk than with the dentist.
Many team members today do not possess exceptional interpersonal skills. This is an area not taught in school or any type of training programs.
While your assistant may be excellent in setting up a tray for extraction, root canal or bridge, he/she may not have the skills to necessarily relate with your patients in a positive and friendly way.
Training points to get that ‘wow’ experience from patients may depend on
– How the phone is answered
– How patients are greeted when they arrive at your clinic
– How often does your assistant check with the patient to see if they are comfortable during procedures
– Do they remember patient names and a bit about their personal lives
– What does the team member talk to a patient when the dentist is not around , at the front desk or in the treatment room
– How do first consultations happen for a new patient
– How do they deal with irate patients, complaints and objections
Patients leaving your clinic with a positive and happy overall experience feel comfortable and confident referring their friends and family.
Based on interpersonal relations, some strategies for marketing may include
– Educating and training the team the importance of referrals
– Asking patients to refer after they had an exceptional customer service experience.
– Calling patients in the evening or next day after treatment to build trust and confidence
– Handing out referral brochures to every patient
– Making exact scripts for various scenarios on phone, on the front desk, in the treatment room etc.
For example, at the end of a treatment, the staff member can thank the patient and say, “We love having patients like you. Please tell your friends about us.”
Take advantage of and invest time in one of your clinic’s best resources – your dental team. A proactive and confident dental team will help give that ‘Wow’ response from patients leading to more referrals and recommendations.
Social media & testimonials is a new word of mouth for everyone. So capturing great testimonials and and making people aware about our services through social media or website is a great way to get referrals through word of mouth.
To do list for word of mouth referrals
End of treatment protocol
Asking for feedback
Asking for testimonial
Education through social media
Projecting yourselves as a premium service provider