Whoever said that the only way to win at becoming the best medical service provider is to compete against your medical contenders, was entirely wrong. While keeping a healthy competition is necessary for your medical business to strive, you also need to nurture your relationship with other medical service providers. Medical marketing, in a nutshell, can be best described as managing a flow of patients. Doctor Referral marketing is one of the ways to do just that.
You may provide your patients with your own trusted network of referrals for other doctors, and the other medical services will do you the same favor. Referral marketing is a process of give and take. Not only are you ensuring that potential patients can come to you by other medical services, but you are also guaranteeing that they receive good medical care.
Despite your strongest medical marketing tactics and high-quality medical services, patients will always come and go. To always keep your medical business running and at the top of its game, keeping all doors for potential patients is crucial. Building good relationships with your competitors or allies is important if the goal is clear. By creating a network of patients that can circulate from other medical services to yours is a healthy and fruitful way to keep the medical business industry afloat.
What are Doctor Referral Marketing?
Doctor referrals are when patients are prescribed or suggested other medical services from the one they currently use. Medical marketing experts describe patients who are referred by another medical business to be more loyal and retainable once you manage to impress them on the get-go. Here are the most important benefits of doctor referral marketing:
- New Patients: The most obvious benefit of referral marketing remains the increased flux of patients. Referred patients come looking for your medical services instead of you reaching out to them.
- Brand Authority: After you get an influx of referred patients, brand recognition starts to follow you on its own. This boosts your medical business’s image in your patient base.
- Higher ROI: Referral programs aren’t just done by word-of-the-mouth nowadays, eNewsletters, online discussion groups, and medical blogs promote other medical businesses, making their ROI considerably higher than other traditional medical marketing methods.
How to Get Started With Effective Doctor Referral Marketing?
As mentioned above, referral marketing isn’t just a quote of suggestion, rather full-fledged medical marketing strategies. Here are different ways to use doctor referral marketing to make strong connections and start receiving and giving patients with other medical services:
It doesn’t matter if you have started your medical business just now or you have been a contender for a decade, you have to take the initiative to introduce yourself to the other medical business first.
An email or a 1:1 meeting works best for this by explaining who you are, what your business statement is, and where you are located. If you see new medical businesses spring up, greet them to form friendly relationships with them by offering some business advice.
After your formal introduction to the other practices in your area, you have to keep the contact going to create future referral liaison programs with them. Make sure to provide them with your medical business’ official email, medical site, social media platforms, and other contact information.
This information will be what patients may receive from the other practice to contact you. You can also consider creating special business cards just for referrals. This helps create a robust referral network and shows that you are determined to give your all.
With your information provided and out of the way, you can let the medical business know that you want to start a referral program with them. Instead of being indirect and vague about it, you can set your pre-determined goals for potential patient acquisition forward. This helps in keeping the communication process clear and ensures that both parties are on the same page.
A common referral setup can be something like an urgent care service in a referral relationship with a physician service provider. Make sure you communicate your expectations right away and can do the same for the other medical business.
It is important to keep your relationship healthy with other medical businesses after you have entered a referral liaison with them. This process entails keeping a constant line of check-in with these medical businesses and nurturing your relationship with them by sending them holiday gifts, social media collaboration offers, and special messages.
You can also send them emails about the patients you are referring to their medical service, informing them about the patient’s status to ensure all three parties benefit from an improved experience.
Referral marketing can often be messy since they are so spread out. To manage and track your referred patient progress, you can use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
This tool helps you manage your patient base efficiently while keeping track of your referrals, sorted by patient acquisition and the referral provider. This tool is best when you have more than 10-30 referral relationships going on and want to keep your progress sorted and managed.
It is important to monitor your medical business’s status and image portrayed to other patients by these referrals. This helps you to develop your patient goals and manage your progress better. By ensuring that potential patients only see a strong image of your medical business, you pave the way for their conversion.
Document your progress whether you have a referral network of three medical businesses or more than three hundred. If you feel as if your medical business’s rapport is not being portrayed as you want to, you can create referral infographics or promotional emails that you can provide your fellow medical business with so they can send them those with their referral.
If you are quite busy managing your flux of patients and medical marketing programs, you can take the help of an automated referral campaign. An automated referral marketing campaign works by setting pre-written emails to be sent on a monthly basis to other medical businesses who are in a referral relationship with your medical business.
This approach is hands-off, easy to manage, and beneficial as it makes sure your referral contacts keep in touch with you and are being sent messages that convey a healthy business objective to them which nurtures your business relationship with them to keep up strong referral programs in the future. You can also share positive patient reviews or infographics about your marketing for medical practice so that they can share that with their patients.
Business growth depends on healthy competition, and that means helping out your medical competitors by keeping up steady referral programs with them while still staying ahead of the game. By using these referral strategies, you can amplify your medical service’s success and growth while making your patients experience high-end and diverse medical care to increase the patient satisfaction, acquisition, and retention process.