Marketing your medical practice can feel overwhelming when you’re so busy trying to run your practice and see patients and clients all day. But tapping into your patients to help spread the word can be a simple, effective, and budget-friendly way to grow your business and keep attracting a steady stream of new patients.
You likely already know that positive reviews can be the lifeblood of a thriving practice. When people are looking for a new provider, whether it’s a physical therapist, a certified hand therapist, a massage therapist, or even a new primary care doctor, they usually do one of two things – ask their friends and family who they recommend or check out online reviews.
And if your practice doesn’t have a lot of reviews or your clients aren’t actively referring others to you, you could be missing out on a significant amount of new business.
We’ve put together 3 of our best tips to turn your patients into your secret marketing weapon and make sure you are top of mind for anyone who needs your services.
1. Have a process to ask for reviews
Did you know that most medical practices don’t have a process to ask for reviews and they just hope people will choose to leave a review on their own?
But reviews don’t just help new people decide to try your practice. More reviews also improves your SEO ranking, so more people can find you in the first place. They are critically important to growing your practice, which means you can’t just sit around and wait for reviews to come in.
If you are providing exceptional care and service, your patients and clients will likely be more than happy to leave a review for you – if they are asked!
If you see patients or clients on a recurring model, such as if you are a PT who sees patients for 6-8 visits, you could implement a process to ask patients to leave a review after their second or third visit. You could also make it part of your discharge process when you are talking about your patient’s next steps.
If you tend to see patients or clients on a more infrequent basis, you could have a process to ask them to leave a review when they are checking out.
Whatever timeline you decide is right for your practice, make sure all your providers and front desk staff are on board and know and understand the process of asking for reviews.
2. Make it easy to leave a review
People often don’t mind helping businesses they like by leaving a review, but they are more likely to take action when it is easy and convenient for them.
You can include a link to leave an online review as part of your email communications, including appointment reminders. You can set up emails to be sent to patients or clients after their first appointment, with a link asking them to leave a review if they had a positive experience.
Some review systems can be set up that if someone replies with a 4- or 5- star review, it will post automatically to the review site of your choice, but if they leave a review that is less than 4-stars, it thanks them for leaving a review and prompts you about their response. This gives you an opportunity to address their concerns or issues and possibly change their experience to be more positive.
You can also have fliers at your front desk with a QR code that takes people to your Google My Business review listings. This makes it easy for them to access, and they can be prompted by the front desk when they are checking out.
3. Thank your fans!
When patients or clients become fans or super fans of your practice, they aren’t just leaving a positive review for your business. They tell THEIR friends and family to check you out first. That kind of word-of-mouth referrals can take your practice from just getting by to thriving.
You should be asking every patient or client who comes in to your practice how they heard about you. If they say they were referred by a friend or family member, ask them who referred them to you.
Those are your super fans!
Send them a personalized letter or thank you card, thanking them for referring people in their lives to your practice. Let them know how much they are helping your practice and how much you appreciate it. Those kinds of personal touches can really make a difference, and they will be more likely to continue to recommend you to others.
Periodically offer a small giveaway, entering people who refer others to your practice into a raffle to win a gift certificate, perhaps to another popular local business. That can help encourage other patients and clients to be mentioning your practice first when given the opportunity!
Make sure your front desk and providers know who your top referrers are, and make sure everyone in your practice thanks them at some point. People are more likely to trust a business or medical provider more when recommended by friends or family, and when your super fans are celebrated for helping your practice, they are more likely to keep recommending you.
Your patients and clients can be your secret marketing weapon and help you grow your practice. Make sure you have a process for asking for reviews, make it easy to leave reviews, and thank the loyal patients and clients who are actively referring you to their friends and family.
Do these regularly and you’ll see a steady stream of new clients coming in the door!