Are you looking to increase your new patient numbers but not sure of the best marketing method? Is word of mouth not working all well as it did? Maybe things just need a little nudge to get back on track.
You can do this by using your existing patients to help attract new patients.
Loyal patients could be the key to unlocking a growing source of potential new dental patients. Word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing tool but how do you encourage your patients to sing your praises?
Most people will only talk about a positive experience when prompted but they will happily tell people about an unpleasant experience. So, it starts with making sure that your patients are happy and that they have had a pleasurable experience (well, as far as you can when visiting the dentist!).
Why are patient testimonials so powerful?
It’s because they are REAL people, they aren’t paid actors; the fact that they are words from normal everyday people makes them relatable. It builds brand trust and increases your authority as an expert in your field.
People are scared or at least very unsure about visiting a dentist, so recommendations from other patients are really influential. This is true for every sector, not only dentistry. Think about the last time you went out for something to eat, especially if it was somewhere new. Did you ask any of your friends and family for recommendations of where to go? Most people want a pleasurable experience, especially when it comes to spending money.
But where to start?
1 – Just Ask Your Dental Patients for a Testimonial
The first step is to simply ask your patients: you will be surprised how many people are happy to say something positive about your business. Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes and leave feedback; it shouldn’t take up their entire day to do a testimonial.
You don’t know unless you ask, and what’s the worst thing they can say? “No”, and that gives you an opportunity to find out why and improve what you do. But what do you do if they do say yes? What is the best way to capture their testimonial?
2 – Start to Grow Your Google and Facebook Reviews
Google reviews are a good place to start, they are quick, easy and have a massive impact on your online presence. Crucially, they also help with your local SEO results.
For those of you who don’t know, Google and Facebook reviews are when someone leaves a review on either your Google My Business page or your Facebook Business page., It involves writing a comment and giving you a star rating out of 5.
The impact of this is shown when someone is either googling “Dentist Near Me” or if they are researching which dental practice to visit on Facebook. The more positive reviews you have the more likely a patient is to choose your practice, as it builds confidence and puts unsure patients at ease.
Speak to one of our SOE experts about how Reputation Manager can help you gain more Google and Facebook reviews.
3 – Ask your Patients Questions and Type Them up for Promotion
Put together a little survey and ask your patient some questions, you then could type this up into a blog or social post, which could be hosted on your website. Remember to put in direct quotes from your patient to give it more authority otherwise people might not think it’s genuine. If you haven’t got time to write it down, then you could interview them and record it on your phone; there are plenty of free audio recording Apps that you can use, ready to type up when you can.
You could even send them an email asking them to write a few short lines about why and what they like about your dental practice, and then type this up or put it straight on to your website.
4 – Create Patient Video Testimonials
A video is a powerful art form not only in the cinema but in marketing too, where it has become a staple and “must have” type of content. Think about your social media news feed, 90% of it is some sort of video content and video marketing is not slowing down.
“Video is expensive and time consuming” I hear you cry! Yes, but it doesn’t have to be. Does your phone have a camera? The chances are you have a video camera incorporated in your camera. All you need is a small tripod and tie clip mic which you can buy online, and you are good to go to make a professional looking video.
Remember to be thankful to your patients for taking the time to give your dental practice a good review; a small gift or thank you card is always a nice touch. However, this is not the same as offering incentives. This is something you should not do; people should be happy to give you a good review because they believe in your business. In fact, Google will actually penalise your online reputation if it knows reviews are not genuine, so be mindful of this
In summary, if you are looking to attract new patients, then the best place to start is by asking your existing patients for feedback. It’s as simple as that.
Written by Rob Gibbs, Marketing Executive at Software of Excellence.