Word-of-mouth is NOT marketing

When talking to businesses, they often mention that word-of-mouth is their best form of marketing, their strongest source of new customers.

But ‘word-of-mouth’ isn’t marketing is it? For dental practices, it’s the result of great customer service, happy patients and the perception that your team have made their ‘patient journey’ the best it could be, especially if those patients are nervous or a little anxious. Let’s be honest, nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “I’m really looking forward to my check-up or root canal treatment”.

Certainly, if your patients are pro-actively telling their friends, family and colleagues about your wonderful practice that’s great, it’s where dental businesses want to be. The truth is probably no more than 10% of your patients are telling others about their experience at your practice.

So what about the other 90%? How do you encourage word-of-mouth?

Assuming your patients are happy with their dental treatment and they like the wonderful warm welcome they receive on arrival as well as the glass of water or hot drink you offer them (and today’s newspaper to flick through), why are they not referring your practice to others?

Maybe they just need a little encouragement, a reminder that you ARE looking for more patients like them and that (and some practices like this) there’s a little incentive for them to refer – whether a deli voucher or oral health goody bag.

After patients leave your practice, they generally go back to their busy lives and your dental practice is no longer ‘on their radar’ and that’s the importance of a referral process in your business (which may involve some team training) and regular contact with your patients, so you remain on their radar.

For best practice advice and guidance on setting up a referral scheme for your practice, contact us on 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.