Word of mouth has always been an important source of prospective patients for dental offices. In today's economy, consumers often conduct thorough research before spending, and people are more likely than ever to ask their friends and families for recommendations and consult social media before choosing a dentist.
Track how patients found you. When new patients visit the practice, the front desk staff should ask how they heard about you -- and then make note of the answer. Over time, tracking referral sources reveals which marketing strategies are working best.
Don't forget to thank referrers. Not only does documenting referral sources reveal which marketing efforts are the most effective, but it also enables your practice to identify the patients who refer and thank them. Expressing your thanks strengthens the patient-practice relationship and encourages additional referrals in the future.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at www.levingroup.com/gp.
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