Expand your reputation through proactive outreach.
Now that you’ve laid a solid foundation for building a great reputation, it’s time to come out of your shell and engage past, current and prospective patients.
Start Generating 5-Star Reviews There’s only one path to consistent patient reviews, you have to ask for them. You need to:
- Reach out to patients
- Assess their level of satisfaction
- Encourage satisfied patients to post a review
Requesting patient feedback with occasional email blasts is better than waiting for patients to initiate an online review themselves.
Note: AHPRA guidelines when asking for reviews & where patients can post them
Provide Patients with an Outlet for Complaints This doesn’t necessarily mean you should request negative feedback, but you should make it easy for patients to voice their dissatisfaction to you directly. Also, patients should know that if they were to contact you, you’d consider their issue, take action and, hopefully, resolve their problems. Although it may be uncomfortable for you, it’s better to hear complaints straight from the patient (in a private, controlled setting) than to read them online. Treat each encounter as an opportunity for progress. That way, your practice will improve over time and your flow of negative input will shrink.
Get the Word Out with a Patient Referral Program The best way to attract new, quality patients is to leverage your present patient base. But your current patients will only feel motivated to refer you if they love your practice. Understandably, some clinic owners & their staff (clinical or reception) are shy about asking patients for referrals. It may feel awkward at first, but you still need to do it. And, what you may not realise is that patients appreciate being asked. (Hint: When the Practitioner does the asking, it’s more powerful and effective.)
An easy and effective way to ask for referrals is to give patients a referral card. You might have an acknowledgement for both the referring and referred patients, such as a restaurant gift card or a small gift. Your referral card should include:
- A brief greeting
- Space for the referring patient’s name
- Encouragement to leave a review on your social media or doctor review profiles (provide links)
The new patient should bring the referral card to their first appointment. Ideally, your patient referral system will create a perpetual cycle of new patients. After patients hear about you from a friend or family member, they’ll check out your online profiles. Then, after reading your 5-star reviews, they’ll see you for treatment and post a review themselves. Finally, they’ll refer other friends and continue the cycle.