Practical, Proven, Marketing Advice
Consumer Insight & Research
The First New-Patient Call Is Merely the “Tip of the Iceberg”!
Practice growth & prosperity are related to far more than simply getting new patients in the door. A very subtle & long-term snowballing “Domino Effect” is far more effective than merely making a phone call or appointment. Understanding it – & using it to your benefit – may be key to your future practice growth & security.
We have been noticing the increasing power of the domino effect for many years now in the dental marketplaces. I suspect that you have as well: It is the snowballing slew of referrals that flow from a handful of positive new-patient experiences.
It occurs when the initial new patient is properly appointed & positively handled over the phone. The new patient comes into your practice, enjoys exceptional service & has a great experience. He or she then tells family & friends who have already been or will be reached by chrisad marketing. A great recall system further enhances this effect.
At chrisad, we shy away from drawing your attention to an effect that is difficult or impossible to objectively & scientifically quantify. However, this effect is simply too prevalent & powerful to ignore. We have found that this “Domino Effect” can work in your favor…or it can destroy you.
When chrisad marketing stimulates a new patient to call for, schedule, & come in for that initial appointment, this new patient being handled properly on the phone, brought in for a convenient appointment right away & being given the best practice experience of his or her life will make that patient far more likely to accept, refer, & come back for many years.
On the other hand, if the patient is roughed up on the phone, is made to wait for a convenient appointment, or has a less-than-positive experience at the office, the dominoes can crush you. These new patients, assuming they even made it into your office, will be far less likely to refer your office to their pals or to ever come back themselves. Your chrisad marketing will appear to have a much smaller impact. Remember that the market has changed. People won't take off work & they want to be assured that they can “use their insurance” at your office.
Each of chrisad's Account Representatives has extensive professional experience aligning marketing systems throughout a practice. Part of our value-added service includes staff training.
First impressions are priceless! You must realize what you are really telling folks by your actions. How long do they have to wait for an appointment at a time that is convenient for them? When potential new patients are seamlessly appointed during times where they don't have to take off work, are given appointments for times they asked for & reassured as to the practice's excellence (& dedication to making the “most of their insurance”) by the receptionist over the phone, they are far more likely to come back, accept & tell others.
Add to that an in-office experience that meets or exceeds the criteria set forth by chrisad research & experience, particularly in terms of personalized attention & perceived clinical excellence, & the “dominoes” will clearly fall in your favor. Your chrisad marketing is designed to consciously & subconsciously stimulate both potential new & existing patients.
The chrisad marketing that re-reaches initial patients (after the first visit) will remind them of your excellence, thereby acting as an additional stimulant for more referral. This secondary referral will only occur if the initial experience was positive! In effect, the marketing & the positive experiences go hand in hand! As your patients discuss their positive experiences with friends, those friends are more likely to act on the discussion if they have been or will be exposed to your consistent & optimal practice marketing.
Whether or not the referred patient or referrer remembers or not, this “Domino Effect” subtly allows chrisad marketing to spark more growth! As with all aspects of chrisad marketing, we watch what they do & not what they say. These new, accepting & referring patients are unlikely to be able to recite a dissertation on the chain of events that caused them to come in, accept or come back. You should only care about what we care about: Do you see bottom-line, new-patient & production increases that are statistically significant? If all aspects of their initial visits were handled optimally, your “Domino Effect” numbers will rocket skyward far quicker than if handled improperly.
What Do Other Successful Businesses Do?
Think of how you recently chose a restaurant, purchased a car, chose a vacation destination, selected a department store, or whatever! If you think deeply about all of the possible subconscious & subtle influences, combined with the more overt & memorable stimuli, I think you'll realize that many of your decisions are made along the same lines. Yesterday's practice-management consultants at one time rested their new-patient hopes on the staff or doctor asking the patient to refer a friend. They used to give the patient discount cards for them to give to their friends!
In the real world, actions speak louder than words. If you stayed at a fine Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton hotel, would the concierge hand you a discount card & ask you to tell a friend what a great hotel it was? No! They simply did whatever it took to intuitively exceed even your highest expectations!
This is the world that exists in today's dental markets as well. Our most successful practices are “blowing away” patient expectations as to what dental care is all about. In fact, in the real world, there is no such thing as an “advertising customer” as distinguished from a “referral customer.” Most customers are influenced by a powerful yet subtle & subconscious synergistic combination of both factors!
Similarly, with chrisad practice marketing, the advertising subconsciously stimulates the referral & the referral is subconsciously stimulated by the advertising!
It is the subtle power of the “herd mentality” & the snowballing of the “Domino Effect.” The sooner you understand the true dimensions of this powerful tool & implement it into your practice, the better you will do!