Let’s face it, building a solid referral network is hard work, takes a lot of time, and sometimes is impossible to manage. But if you do it properly it can be very rewarding to all colleagues involved.
In order to be successful, one needs to have a goal in place and an action plan on how to achieve the desired results.
See for yourself how ReferralMD can improve your patient referral process with patient engagement tools that reduce no-shows.
Let’s start off with the first step: Identifying your objectives
- Are you looking for more referrals from new practitioners?
- Are you trying to expand the amount of referrals you receive from existing practices you work with?
Referrals from new sources:
If you are looking for more referrals from new sources, you will need to build trust and authority. Below are a few methods that are easy to do and can achieve great results.
- Create a compelling website that is updated weekly with fresh content about concepts your potential referral colleagues would find interesting. This can be in the form of a blog that you write a few times a week. Here are some tips on how to write an interesting doctor blog.
I know what your thinking – I barley have time to run my practice, pay my bills, see my family, play with the dog, let alone write content that would interesting.
Well the good thing is you do not have to do it alone, there are many great ways to start generating content.
- Your current staff can be a great source of engaging content; they know the business and are on the front lines when talking with your current referral colleagues.
- Cross promotion content from your current colleagues, set up a blog exchange where both you and your partners post each other’s blogs on a weekly basis.
- Guest post on influential blog writer’s publications and eventually they may do the same for you.
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2. Create a want list of the top specialties your office would benefit from the most, and identify 10 organizations in each category type. Then take some time, and have you or your staff reach out to them and invite them to a welcome party. – Read more with the Top 3 ways to market your medical / dental practice in 2012 Check it out has some great ideas.
What are the Benefits?
If done consistently, these activities will greatly improve the chances that others will notice you, and reach out for advice, and refer to you.
Referrals from current sources:
In order to build up your current activity level from your existing referral colleagues, you will need to be top of mind on a daily basis when your colleague’s staff is choosing which doctor to send their patient to.
We will go over some details in a moment, but before we do we will need to establish some baselines metrics. To properly build out your network and increase referrals you must have proper tracking methods in place for your referrals. Without a way to accurately tell in real time who is sending you the most referrals, or the least, you will not be able to judge what marketing efforts have a positive return on investment.
Create a virtual patient referral network with a web based application like ReferralMD, that provides both referral colleagues the ability to exchange referrals online without having to use inaccurate and slow paper triplicate forms and faxes.
This does a few things:
- Reduces the amount of staff time from 30 min to an hour per referral down to 3 minutes
- Improves communication between you and your referral colleagues (Information is not lost in transit)
- Patient experience is improved – no need to courier the referral letter or have the paper triplicate form or fax lost or misfiled.
- Reporting that tracks who, what, why, and when all in real time.
Referral Marketing for Dummies – Part 2
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