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Give your referral program a boost

Two patients reviewing a dental practice on a tablet

A referral strategy is vital to keeping a steady flow of new patients coming into your practice. These simple tips can improve your referral program.

Thank you notes

Show your appreciation to patients who have given a successful referral by sending a hand-written thank you note. Even if your referral program already includes a gift or other benefit, this personal touch makes it more likely they will refer again.

Track referral incentives

Patients can be motivated to give referrals for relatively small financial rewards. From coffee shop gift cards to free oral hygiene products, you don’t need to spend a lot. Try a variety of rewards over set time periods and track how many referrals you get for each type. You might also find that one large prize given away raffle style is more popular.

Don’t wait to ask new patients for referrals

It might feel a bit pushy to ask new patients for referrals, but the opposite can be true. When a new patient has just been wowed by your practice and treatments, they’ll be the most excited about finding you as their new dentist. Take advantage of this window of enthusiasm earned by your great first impression.

Build a dedicated referral landing page

Remove friction from the referral process by creating a page for referrals to flow through. Having a dedicated landing page also makes it easy to link to from your newsletter, website, social media posts and printed materials.

Treat online reviews as de facto referrals

Choose one staff member to search for and track online reviews. When you find a new positive review, reach out to this patient to thank them. Offer them the same incentive you give for referrals. This will encourage them to provide direct referrals in the future, and the personality type that takes the time to write positive reviews online typically also shares thoughts on service providers to friends and family.

Referral reciprocity

A good way to encourage patients to provide referrals is to give one first. As you get to know your patients, take note of who is a small business owner, professional service provider or salesperson. When someone in your personal circle needs a product or service one of your patients sells, take the time to help them connect.