We all know that one of the most powerful marketing tools available is word-of-mouth referrals. That applies whether you have a dental practice or any other kind of business, but are you making the most of your patients and their reviews at your practice?

An article for Dentistry.co.uk recently explored some of the top ways you could make your dental practice more profitable, and one of them was making the most of referrals.

“Word of mouth is by far the best marketing tool a dental practice can ever have. Happy patients bring in other patients and it soon leads to exponential growth,” the publication asserted. 

There are many ways to maximise patient referrals, including offering some form of incentive to the patients who bring you new patients. However, Dr Jeffrey Shearer told the website that, in his experience, the best way to thank a patient for making a referral is with a personalised ‘thank you’.

He explained that this could take the form of a physical card, a phone call or an email. Either way, taking the time to thank them personally for bringing in new business “makes people feel valued and special”.

Dr Shearer also added that this approach is more likely to lead to other patient referrals in the future. 

In addition to focusing on how you can encourage your existing patients to make referrals, you should also make sure that your online house is in order. Having a website that looks professional and is easy to navigate is one essential step.

Displaying your reviews on here is also important, as is having reviews associated with the Google listing for your business.

As Dr Shearer explained, prospective patients will spend time reading your website and they will certainly read reviews left by your patients. He noted that having a Google rating of four or more stars will “spark customer confidence”.

In addition, having good reviews (and as many of them as you can) is also beneficial to your search engine ranking. 

When it comes to word of mouth and reviews, you can’t afford to ignore social media either. Another article for Dentistry.co.uk this month looked at how dental practices can use their social media accounts not only for marketing purposes, but also to keep in touch with their patients. 

This became particularly important this year during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it was a fun and informal channel through which dentists could reach out to people to share advice and answer queries. 

During this period, where people may be unable or unwilling to go to a dental practice unless they have an emergency, sharing prevention tips could be invaluable and highly useful for your patients. 

Whatever social media channels you’re using, make sure you also share important information about the treatments you’re able to offer at present, as well as any restrictions to your opening times, on your social media pages as well as your main website, the publication advised. 
If you feel as though you’d benefit from some assistance with digital marketing for dentists, contact our experienced team to find out how we can help get people talking about your practice for all the right reasons.