Positive Referrals

5 Ways Healthcare Providers Can Improve Word-of-Mouth Referrals

May 18, 2022 For Dentists, For Doctors

Even in today’s highly online world, word-of-mouth referrals are critical for building your healthcare business. These referrals may come from patients or other doctors and play an important role in both discoverability and patient acquisition. Here’s how your practice can encourage referrals.

1. Actively request referrals

There is a reason websites contain a “call to action” text that tells people what to do next. Calls to action result in significantly higher conversions. The same is true when you actively ask patients to recommend your practice to friends or family. Let them know that you’re accepting new patients and provide them with everything they need to make the referral simple and seamless. A business card or piece of branded merchandise can help; being active on social media makes it easy to “tag” you on appreciative posts. Consider also offering incentives to those who bring in new referrals.

2. Build expert networks

Not all referrals come from patients. Your staff and other medical professionals offer a powerful referral opportunity. Build networks with physicians or providers who are likely to see patients who may need your services and encourage staff to spread the word when the opportunity arises. Use social media channels such as LinkedIn to connect with other local professionals and attend business meetups and healthcare conferences with the goal of expanding your networks – and potential referral base.

3. Deliver a great experience

A truly great experience naturally inspires people to talk. Look for ways that your practice can be exceptional. This means seamless booking and billing, short wait times, great aftercare and follow-up – and an impeccable bedside manner. Remember that you may be the face of your practice but that you’re a part of a larger team. Ensure that your staff is delivering the same degree of care that you expect of yourself. Offer training so that they’re comfortable with your procedures and processes.

4. Seek feedback

Learning how your patients feel about their experience is vital for improving. Use surveys and informal interviews to see which areas of a patient’s visit were excellent and where things could use some work. Showing that you care and are committed to continuous improvement will encourage them to think of you when discussing providers with friends and family – and will give you a roadmap for delivering a truly exceptional experience.

5. Create a welcoming space

One final way to encourage people to spread the word about your practice is to provide a welcoming and visually appealing environment. A practice that looks great delivers an elevated experience – and is one that will make patients feel cared for and appreciated. Strive for a space that’s accessible, open, and modern, which showcases your brand’s personality and specialization.

At Gittleson Zuppas Medical Realty, we have decades of expertise in connecting healthcare organizations of all sizes with their ideal building or space – and in negotiating lease terms that work in your favor. If you’re looking to grow your practice through referrals, don’t discount the value of a great-looking environment. Talk to us about how we can help today.