Positive word-of-mouth marketing is undoubtedly the most powerful and least expensive way to advertise your business. It’s easy for you to talk about (and pay for advertising that talks about) how awesome your office is, but your patients doing the talking is a game-changer.
Word-of-mouth marketing is free advertising based on a patient’s experience. In most cases, something about their visit went beyond what they’ve experienced somewhere else, making it truly memorable.
So, how do you get people to talk about you? It starts with designing a unique in-office experience.
1. Create an awesome patient experience: You need to give your patients an experience worth talking about, and one they want to share. The patient experience can look different at every practice, but should always include:
o Stellar customer service
o Patient-centered education
o Strong relationships with patients
2. Encourage patients to share their experiences with their friends, family, and online: According to Neilson, 83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family. Additionally, 88% of consumers also trust online reviews from other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family. Potential new patients are more likely to listen to current patients. While patients are sharing in conversation with friends and family, it is far more common they share through online reviews and social media posts. Encouraging patients to share their experience also provides you with powerful anecdotes, that truly showcase why you are a great practice. Add asking for a review part of your conversation flow during appointments, and the rest will fall into place! 3. Reward the desired behavior: No, this is not a training manual for your pet - but it works! Rewarding patients for referrals or online reviews motivate them to actually leave a positive review. This might look different depending on your practice and budget, but some ideas include discounts off services, be entered to win gift cards or a free pair of glasses, or fun logoed items like mugs, coolers, or t-shirts. And, always acknowledge and thank them when you see or hear their comments. Incentives and acknowledgment make patients feel valued and appreciated, ensuring they return and continue to talk about you.
Encouraging word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. You can get started today simply by wowing your patients with customer service and encouraging referrals and online reviews!