Doctor Referrals: How your office staff can help you grow your practice
If you’re like many health care professionals, the idea of marketing your practice is high on your “need to” list but low on your “want to” list. Perhaps you think of it as too much work or something outside your wheelhouse. Doctor referrals are important for every healthcare practice and it’s easier to increase your numbers than you think.
Here’s a secret.
Instead of viewing marketing as a necessary evil, think of it as a useful tool for building doctor referrals. And one of the easiest tricks and best-kept secrets is how to grow those referrals by building solid relationships.
Regardless of your clinical competence, to develop a continuous source of referrals people have to feel the referral they make will reflect well on them. That means they need to trust you and your staff to be competent, reliable, and successful. Someone just like them.
Okay, so you’re confident in your own ability. But you’re not the only one that helps your practice to be a success.
Enter the medical practice staff.
Whether you are talking about your own staff or the staff at another facility, the people in the office matter. The problem is that too often, nearly everyone, from CEOs to small business owners to physicians, underestimates the power of their staff when it comes to public relations.
The first person anyone speaks to in your office is not you. It is a receptionist or medical assistant. This is the face of your practice. You want – you need – that individual to be helpful and respectful. The message they need to send out based on their attitude and behavior is “This is a great place that offers great service.”
Train your staff to provide the best possible service by:
• Answering the phone promptly with a smile in their voice
• Never leaving a caller on hold for more than two minutes (it always feels longer when you’re the one waiting)
• Answering questions with “Let me find out,” not with “I don’t know”
• Returning phone calls promptly
But that’s not all. A referring doctor may provide a list of approved providers; however, their staff likely has their favorites. The practices they would personally want to visit should they require a referral.
So while you’re busy coaching your staff to present the right image, you as well as your team needs to build rapport with the other staff. As the experts at Healthcare Success Strategies suggest, “Any small talk is appreciated. This is an opportunity to give them a snapshot of your bedside manner and a reason to recommend you over another name on the list.” We recommend having a staff party with your best referral colleagues staff, not just the doctor himself. This is a great opportunity to reach out and make a great impression.
Your Medical Staff’s Happiness
But one major issue lies in between your patients and your wallet, your staffs’ happiness. Learn the 7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Medical Staff is Unhappy and how to fix it.
This may seem like simple logic. However, frequently it is overlooked. The secret to growing doctor referrals is relationship building.
Here are some other articles to get you started.
- 8 Tips for Creating One of a Kind Content for Your Healthcare Facility
- 7 Ways To Get More Patient Referrals Online
- 8 Quick Steps You Can Do Today to Set Your Healthcare Practice Up for Gigantic Success
- Why Video is a Must in 2013 for your Healthcare Practice Website
- Four Innovative Ways for Doctors to Market to Other Doctors
Another secret is having a great patient-referral process. Welcome to ReferralMD, where you will always know the who, what, when, and why when it comes to referrals sent and received. With ReferralMD your patient referrals will not get lost in the mix, both the receiving and sending party will always know the status pre- and post- appointment. Sign up today
Images courtesy of: www.pharmacyowners.com, http://www.tuscaloosasurgery.com
So what places a health care provider on the top of your referral list?