How to Implement a referral strategy
is an under-focused initiative that is an “untapped” initiative for most businesses, particularly for medical practitioners yet it can generate the highest ROI. Based on experience there is a lack of proper attention to this area for medical practices.
How to ask Customers for Referrals?
Sit down, clear your mind and write down every potential colleague, friend, or other business owner that has the ability and should be sending you referrals.
Most people will go out of their way to refer to their friends and family when they feel appreciated, valued, and had a favorable experience. Patients will refer those closest to them because of their experience with your clinic, professionalism, your office appearance, convenience, competitive pricing, technology, and/or rapoor with you or your staff.
Create interactive engagement with patients through conversations and content while addressing questions or concerns to make your referral programs extremely successful.
The referral process starts with the first contact with your office whether it be calling in, finding you on the net, visiting your website, being referred by another customer or business associate, seeing a social post, reading your blog or webinar that you offer to educate the market.
“92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know more than advertising” – Nielsen
Maximize and leverage strategic relationships with centers of influence (COI). It all starts with a conversation and communication which turns into a relationship and evolves into partnerships. Partnerships get communal recognition. Market yourself to other professionals capable of sending you, customers.
Communal recognition creates a context that translates into a customer.
Make the customer feel like royalty like they matter because they do!
Centers of influence are great sources of referrals. Gaining the trust of other professionals that can refer new clients takes time but is worth it! If you are a doctor and your specialty is pain management, for example, 80+% of Chiropractors and Physical Therapist’s patients are candidates for your practice. Network, make calls, use Linkedin, go to conferences, email/text, train staff and ASK!
What is your referral strategy?
Questions to consider analyzing with your employees:
How many referrals have you received in the last 12 months?
Who, how, and when do you ask for them?
What percentage of your clients gave you a referral in the last 12 months?
Do you have an automated process?
What is your plan to get more referrals?
Acquire More Referrals By Asking Patrons For Their Opinion
Everyone likes to share their opinions and to be valued, particularly when being asked by someone they trust, is well educated, and more importantly someone that has helped them get results.
Questions to consider asking customers in person or through surveys:
- To “describe the perfect doctor/lawyer/CPA/bakery or restaurant” .
- “In your opinion, if you were me, how, when, and where should I approach more people like you that would benefit from our services or products?
- “What do you like best about our company, product, or service?”
- “What could we improve?”
- “Is there something you don’t like about our business”?
- “Do you have friends or family that you discuss the products or services with that we provide?”
- “Is there something that made you hesitate to buy”?
- “Have you found the way we do business easy and straightforward”?
- “If you could change one thing about our company what would it be”?
Make sure to genuinely thank anyone that refers a customer to your company! Remember, they are helping you!
Engaging customers with interactive conversations addressing their questions or concerns can make your referral programs extremely successful. Referrals from existing customers should be prioritized so there isn’t negative feedback.
- Reminding staff to tend to the referred clients promptly.
- Don’t keep them waiting too long
- Establish a direct line of communication with the referring colleague
- If possible let the referring colleague know the outcome.
- Thank them! Email, send a card or call preferably.
Assign the customer referral marketing program to a specific employee so they can build a relationship and have accountability.