The stats on word of mouth’s effectiveness are staggering. “92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.” Word of mouth is powerful for sure, and that power continues online too. Consider that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust referrals from friends and family. Word of mouth doesn’t just translate to increased referrals; it means increased trust too. 72% of people view businesses with positive online reviews as more trustworthy. What’s impressive about this is that it only takes “2-6 reviews to get 56% of them to this point.” So, how can you tap into the power of word of mouth to grow your clinic? Consider these three tips.
Create wow experiences.
This is perhaps the easiest way to gain word of mouth referrals. Kimberly A. Whitler, a contributor to Forbes, says the first step is to “create experiences worthy of being passed from person-to-person.” You’re already doing this but is there something more you could do to push your care from great to WOW amazing? Try going that little extra bit further; it can make a huge difference. This small extra doesn’t have to be big, little things like:
Keeping your sidewalks completely clear of snow or leaves
Letting patients try products before buying
Answering the phone every time they call
Remember, it’s the little things that people remember and talk about later!
Engage with patients
As we’ve seen, online reviews are just as impactful as person to person word of mouth. If you haven’t already, you can start by claiming or creating social pages for your clinic. Google+, Facebook, and Yelp make it easy, even for beginners. Once you’ve claimed your pages you can start interacting with your patients, that means:
Responding to reviews both good and bad! With the right touch (and a little advice from Forbes), you can turn your haters into your biggest advocates.
Share information and updates about your clinic and your staff, build a little community around your clinic.
Join or strike up conversations relevant to your clinic, get involved!
Incentive and reward
Engagement doesn’t start or end online, bring it into your clinic too. Start by keeping track of referrals at intake. This will tell you who your biggest advocates are and also give you a talking point with new patients. So, what do you do with all this new information?
Strike up a conversation with your new patients about the friend that referred them. This is a great way of building a rapport and trust.
Thank your biggest referrers. Sending a handwritten holiday card thanking them for their patronage is a small touch that goes a long way.
Thank your fantastic staff for creating those wow experiences that turn into word of mouth referrals!
The best part about beefing up your word of mouth advertising is everybody wins; patients get even better care from you, and you get more amazing patients to look after. Just remember to answer the phone when it starts ringing off the hook. Better yet, why not let us answer the phone with Connect so you can focus on creating those wow experiences!