By building trust with your pCreating and sustaining success in your independent practice requires extra work and dedication, above and beyond what you might expect. In addition to providing quality services and patient care, you must proactively think of ways to bring in more referrals—the lifeblood of any successful independent practice.
Referrals are the best way to keep your patient panel growing, but drumming up strategies to make that happen when you’re just starting out can be daunting. Where do you start?
We’re here to help. We’ve scoured the world wide web to find several simple, yet effective referral strategies that you can start implementing right away.
So, if you’re determined to grow your practice, read on—and get ready to take your referral strategy to the next level.
1) Ask for referrals
You can also add a few incentives to sweeten the deal, like discounts or freebies for patient engagement. For example, you can offer current patients a discount or gift card if they refer someone who becomes a new patient. Or, you can give a discount to new patients who were referred by a current patient.
And don’t forget to thank your patients for their referrals and follow up with them. This will show that you value their efforts and appreciate the referral, and it might even encourage them to refer more people in the future.
2) Network like a pro
Networking is not a new concept, and it can be a powerful tool for getting referrals. Dedicate some time to building your professional network and getting to know other medical experts who have the same or similar interests as you.
Attend industry conferences, seminars, and meetings. Join industry associations & participate in online forums. Getting to know as many people as possible in and around the medical field could work wonders for your practice.
Once your network has been established, you can begin asking trusted colleagues and contacts for referrals. You can also offer referrals in return, creating an effective reciprocal relationship.
3) Build a robust online presence
You can also use paid ads to target potential patients and drive more referral traffic to your website. This way, your practice will stay top-of-mind, and you’ll be more likely to get referrals.
4) Leverage the power of social media
Social media has become one of the most effective channels for connecting with potential clients. Utilize the power of platforms like Facebook and Instagram to build hype around your practice. Start conversations, share interesting content, and engage with people who show an interest in your practice.
Your current and past patients whose data are stored on your EHR system are the best sources of referrals. Testimonials from real people carry a lot of weight in the world of referral marketing. When done correctly, this social media tactic can create the kind of buzz that will bring in referrals from all corners of the web.
5) Employ QR tech
You can also use QR codes to get more referrals for your practice. If you’re unfamiliar with QR codes, just think of them as a more efficient version of a barcode—that can be read by a smartphone. QR codes can quickly and conveniently connect people to any digital resource you want to share with them.
For example, you can print and distribute promotional flyers with QR codes that link to your practice’s website or social media profiles. Then, all someone needs to do is scan the code with their phone, and it will direct them straight to your digital assets.
This can be a great way to get the word out about your practice and drive more referrals. Plus, you’ll find many online QR code generator tools to help you customize QR codes for free.
6) Focus on providing excellent service to patients
If you want more referrals, then focus on providing the best possible service. Your current and past patient are your best source of referrals. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to ensure they’re satisfied with what you offer.
Take time to listen to their concerns, understand their needs, and provide high-quality care. When patients feel like their needs are being heard, understood, and valued, they’re more likely to recommend your practice to people in their circle.
Give your best, and in no time, you’ll have a steady stream of referrals pouring in.
7) Partner with local businesses
Partnering with local businesses is another great way to get more referrals for your practice. Find other organizations with whom you can set up a health camp or collaborate on a joint project. By working together in this way, you’ll be able to tap into their existing network of customers.
For instance, you can partner with gyms or fitness centers in your area to offer free health check-ups or health education seminars. This will help you reach new audiences, build relationships with potential patients, and get more referrals in the process.
8) Conduct your referral campaign ethically
Finally, remember to always be ethical in your approach. Leading ethically means being honest and transparent with yours patients. Don’t make false promises or exaggerated claims about the services you offer. Be respectful and refrain from using corrupt or deceptive practices to secure referrals.
Patients and leading with ethics, you’ll be more likely to get more referrals in the long run. Focus on developing relationships, providing excellent service, and using honest tactics—that’s the surest way to get more referrals for your practice.
9) Establish a referral plan
A single tactic isn’t going to cut it if you want to get more referrals—you need to have a comprehensive plan in place. You’ll need to use a combination of strategies, from online marketing to local partnerships, if you want to see results.
So take some time to sit down and map out a clear plan of attack. Think about the tactics you’ll use to generate referrals, how you’ll track and measure the results, and who will be responsible for each piece of the puzzle (more on that below). With a clear plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your referral opportunities.
10) Organize your resources
A project that lacks proper resource planning is bound to fail. This is as true for setting up a referral system for your new practice as it is for any other project. Because if something doesn’t start right, it would be foolish to expect it to end right.
Before you even attempt to get referrals for your new practice, do your homework and create a comprehensive plan detailing all the resources you’ll need.
To begin, clearly define your goals and objectives for the referral system. Then allocate and schedule sufficient resources (both financial and human) to make those goals a reality.
Get more referrals
Referrals are an essential part of any successful healthcare practice, so don’t forget these tips.
From listening to your patient’s needs and creating an incentive program to partnering up with local businesses and leading with ethics, all of these tactics can help you get more word-of-mouth referrals and grow your business. Give them a try, and watch as the referral rate of your practice steadily increases!