Posted on April 14, 2014
Growing your business is an essential element to establishing a long lasting and fruitful clinic. Of course, to do this, many clinics end up spending a good deal of money on advertising. While advertising does have its place, as a startup it can prove rather difficult to pay for advertising, as this is just going to end up costing you all sorts of money that you might not have. However, there are two simple strategies you can utilize in order to book more patients. These are easy to follow, free and don't take much time. By asking for referrals and reviews, you keep your patients connected and can create more of a family atmosphere as you grow your practice.
Word of mouth is a great method for advertising. The more individuals you have coming in and spreading the word about your business the more people are likely to make appointments. Most people are going to listen to their friends and family for reviews over perfect strangers. That is why a referral process can prove lucrative for your practice. Patients are likely going to want to share their positive experience with your practice with those they know, and those who receive the referral are likely to feel more comfortable visiting a clinic where they already know people who use your location's services.
To help boost referrals, you can provide business cards, email messages or links to your website, all of which are inexpensive (if not free) and are perfect for growing your business. To increase the amount of referrals you may even want to offer an incentive. Often a dual incentive works best, that is, a discount for both the referrer and the referee.
In order to better yourself and your practice, you need to know what outsiders think and what their impressions are. While you might believe you run an exceptional business and a top of the line practice, your clients might think otherwise. By having them fill out complete reviews, maybe through an email, in the office waiting room, or through the website itself, the reviews can point out what flaws you have and how you can improve your business. The #1 way to get repeat business is with great service!
It also shows you care about your clients and want to know what they think. You should post the positive reviews on your website (with your client's permission, of course), in order to show potential new patients what current patients think of the services and how satisfied they are with the treatment they receive at your clinic. Reading positive reviews gives a new patient the confidence they need to book an appointment with you.
So while advertising and other forms of marketing have their place and we'll spend time on our blog talking about them, it's important to remember that at the end of the day there is nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth. Be sure to create specific strategy so that you are asking patients for referrals and reviews regularly. This is a surefire way to grow your clinic.
- Print 100 referral cards. When a client leaves, give them one and say they and the person they refer will get 20% off their next treatment if the referral is used.
- Follow up with your regular customers by email and ask them to leave a review for your business on Yelp or other review sites.
- Create a one page feedback document where your client can tell you what they think of your service. Put a checkbox that asks them to confirm it's ok to share on your website