Patient Referrals are Golden
The upper cervical practice that fails to have a solid base of patient referrals is doomed to fail. Let's face it, attracting qualified new patients is and always has been the #1 need for the chiropractic office. Without new patients, the practice dries up. And, one of the best sources for new patients is referrals from your current patients! You've seen it. When someone comes in that was recommended by a family member, friend or co-worker they are WAY more likely to start care. Patient referrals basically come with a trusted social proof stamp that makes them want to say, "YES!" While there are dozens of creative ideas, here are the top 3 ways to increase your chiropractic patient referrals:
Helpful & Engaging Events to Increase Your Patient Referrals
Notice the key words "helpful" and "engaging". Never do an event if from the potential patient's view the event will not be helpful to them and they won't feel engaged. If you want to further establish yourself within your community, be an outstanding source of practical and helpful information and present it in an way that connects with people. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MASTER COMMUNICATOR! Keep it simple, don't get lost in the technical side of what you do, and above all else let your passion for upper cervical care shine. We're changing lives here! Every market (and office) is different, but these events consistently bring new patient referrals:
- Dinner with the Doctor: Who doesn't like food and a great dinner conversation? This event makes it easy for your current patients to invite someone they know. And, you'll have a captive audience to speak to! To make it easier on yourself, use your team to help coordinate, set-up, and communicate. If you would like a tool to help you pull these off, click here.
- New Patient Orientation Class: Don't just think of an orientation class as a way to educate your current patients. Repackage the class to provide something helpful and engaging so your new patients can invite family, friends, co-workers, etc. The best time to get referrals from your patients is when they are the most excited. Anyone that signs up for chiropractic care is motivated! Get them registered for a helpful & engaging new patient orientation class and encourage them to invite a guest. Maybe even give something special to those who have a guest attend.
Content Marketing to Increase Your Patient Referrals
Have you ever read an article or watched a video and shared it with someone you thought would love it? Consistent, powerful, condition-based, upper cervical content is not just for educating your current patients. They will also use your chiropractic content to reach out to people they know. Warning: make sure the content matches what you do! Bad content that misrepresents you as an upper cervical doctor will cost you. Remember to keep content as simple as possible and easy to share! Some common content marketing includes:
- Short Videos: Many times your patients get asked, "What does an upper cervical chiropractor do?" 9 times out 10, your patients are unsure exactly how to answer that question. Make a 2 min video they can share! You can also create some condition specific or patient testimonial videos. Shareable videos help increase patient referrals.
- Blogs: Create regular blogs that discuss relevant topics to patients and potential patients. Make them interesting! Consistency and shareability is key. Sometimes finding time to write a blog every couple months can be difficult. In this case, find a company who understands what you do and can do it for ya. Blogs are also great for improving your SEO and Online Presence.
- eBooks: Sometimes your patients know people who have a more analytical mind and are looking for detailed info. Have a few eBooks for your patients to share with this type of people. You can have eBooks on your website and periodically link them in a newsletter.
- Newsletters: Sure, they're a little old school, but they STILL work! Keep 'em simple, toss in some links to great content you've created and you just might find that your patients not only read your chiropractic newsletters, but share them from time to time.
Increase Your Patient Referrals by Asking!
Over 90% of the time, there is no office system in place to encourage your patients to refer others. Wow! Although it is great to have the doctor plant the seed of referrals, you're often focused on the key, hands-on aspects of the day. Well, is your team equipped to increase your patient referrals? Is it part of the protocol? If you can cultivate an atmosphere for you and your team to ask new patients for referrals, you will invariably see results. If done properly, it won't feel forced or cheesy. Here are a couple helpful tips on how to better ask for patient referrals:
- Use a Script: I know, I just mentioned not being forced or cheesy. The purpose of a script isn't to sound like a robot telemarketer. The point is to train yourself and your office staff to use key terms, have a similar language and eventually internalize this so it flows naturally. Bottom line, scripts help with effective communication.
- Assign Responsibility: If you don't determine who is responsible for asking for referrals then it is likely to fall by the wayside. Assign someone on your staff (if you're a solo practitioner, then it's you) to encourage patient referrals. A great time for asking for the name and email of someone who may benefit from UC care is: right after a patient has signed up for care or after experiencing favorable results from their care.
- Use Tools to Make Asking Easier: Simple, clear, and well-placed signs can help. What about doing a quarterly referral contest? Make it fun and keep the main point about helping more people experience hope and healing!
One Final Thought
Helpful & engaging events, content marketing, and simply asking are the top 3 ways to increase your chiropractic patient referrals. However, there is also a component here of the office mindset. If you can cultivate a positive and engaging team environment that is passionate about helping others...that is half the battle. When bringing hope and healing to sick and suffering people is the heart beat of any office...the above ideas will work when implemented. If you'd like to know more about how to cultivate this kind of personal and team attitude (and build your team), consider grabbing Dr. Bill Davis' book, "Upper Cervical Practice Mastery" as it contains ample tips and strategies on these points and more.
Stay the course doctors, and as always...
Go Team Upper Cervical!