Are people talking about your practice more than about gas prices?
Word of Mouth marketing is the best way to attract your ideal new patient. These patients will be on time, say yes to the dentistry you recommend, pay their bills, refer more patients like them, etc.
Most people will ask their friends about who their dentist is when they are in pain, have had an insurance change, or notice that that person had significant anterior work. But how can you get your patients to talk about you and act as raving fans and ambassadors without those circumstances…especially when all you seem to hear these days is the conversation about how EXPENSIVE gas, groceries, and (dentistry) seem to be.
One of the first rules of Word of Mouth marketing is that you must be interesting, or you will become invisible.
Nobody talks about boring stuff
No one is going out with their coworkers to Happy Hour and raving about how thoroughly their hygienist flossed their teeth that afternoon or praising the perfection of their crown margins. Most of the interesting experiences you want people to share have nothing to do with your dentistry. They are brought upon by their interactions with people and the unexpected – the surprise and delight strategies.
Take a moment to think about how your office is similar to other practices you have visited. Sure, the basics are all reasonably similar. There is a front desk, there are patient operatories, there are offices, there is a reception area, and people are answering the phones. Now, tell me the things in your practice that are different.
What sets you apart in a way that people cannot help but share the experience they had?
It doesn’t have to be expensive. It has to be memorable.
Perhaps you keep on file what toothbrush your patients have purchased and provide them with the correct brush head in their ‘goody bag’ instead of a manual toothbrush that they will donate back for your Christmas hygiene kit supply drives. I once worked with a practice that would sell full-size tubes of toothpaste in their office one Friday every month for $1. Did that make a significant dent in their profit margins? Doubtful. Did they have a lot of patients who slipped through the cracks when scheduling their six-month cleaning? They did not.
Did you send Mr. and Mrs. Jones (who have been patients for 20 years) a gift for their 40th wedding anniversary? When was the last time you made a personal call to a patient to say hello and ask how they are doing? Extraordinary reactions can come from what you may perceive as mundane behavior.
So what are you doing in your practice to make yourself interesting instead of invisible?