Consistent and Creative Internal Marketing – Strategy #3 to Increase Growth and Profitability in 2018
January 17, 2018
A key component of growth for successful practices is the acquisition of new patients – patients hopefully who appreciate good clinical dentistry and are happy and willing to pay for it.
This result is not going to happen by joining every PPO plan. It is not going to happen by offering free exams and free consultations to every bargain hunter. It is not going to happen by offering Groupon type programs- those kinds of approaches were an unmitigated disaster. And it is not going to happen by trying to compete on price – someone will always be willing to charge less.
Over the years, I have found the best source of quality new patients is referrals from your existing patient base. Word-of-mouth advertising is by far the most positive and effective and inexpensive way to market your practice. So how do you create the WOW experience that compels people to rave about you?
• An extraordinary customer service experience at every level with every interaction with every person in the office. This is easier said than done. The effort to achieve this needs to be continuous and consistent. Something that always gets people talking at cocktail parties is when they have received post treatment telephone calls by doctors and hygienists following difficult procedures.
• Rewarding patients for referrals. The greatest management principle in the world says that if you reward good behavior, you will get more of that behavior. So you certainly want to thank patients in meaningful and creative ways for the referrals of friends and family.
• Informing patients of how much you care. Every day we hear through the patient grapevine about someone in the practice who has suffered a tragedy – a parent, spouse or relative dying; someone who may be gravely ill; someone who perhaps lost a job. We also hear wonderful success stories – kids getting into the college of their choice, job promotions, or new business achievements. The magic of a short personalized handwritten note from the DOCTOR will bring a smile to the face of your patient. In the mind of the public, such behavior from a busy doctor’s office is unheard of. You will forever be marked “special”.
There is an old saying that relates to fee sensitivity. “Why pay the difference if you can’t tell the difference?” Accept the challenge to make it very obvious to your patients that your office is indeed different. Take every opportunity to let your patients know that you care.
It is impossible in a 500 word post to give all of the details and all of the specifics and innuendos of how to implement an effective Internal Marketing program. Please contact me if you are seeking more information.
This is the third in a series of five posts about how to create growth and profitability in successful dental practices in 2018. Next post –improving leadership skills.
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