Orthodontics is about to go through a transformation. With the onset of aligners, do-it-yourself orthodontics, and referring doctors providing more orthodontic services directly to patients, competition is poised to explode. Are you ready?
New competitive challenges are on the horizon, but there are solutions for those who are willing to adopt new referral marketing strategies and understand the psychology of referral marketing, which focuses on a combination of relevant strategies and quantity. But the time is now. Orthodontists need to implement referral marketing programs before competition increases further. Playing catch-up at a later time will be harder than ever before. So what should you do? Here are six ways to give your referral marketing a boost:
- Hire a marketing coordinator. Your marketing coordinator should work at least 16 to 20 hours per week. This person will be responsible for 95% of all of the marketing, taking pressure off the doctor.
- Design a 12-month marketing calendar. The marketing calendar will become the motivation and guiding force to implementing your marketing program.
- Target at least 15 strategies focused on referring doctors and patients. The key is to have a combination of large, medium, and small strategies that circulate around each other creating a cumulative effect of building powerful relationships.
- Build your practice culture around five-star customer service. Customer service is a definitive strategy that takes time, study, and effort. Companies like the Ritz Carlton, Disney, and Nordstrom have built their culture around customer service. They work hard at it every day, measure results, and constantly seek to improve. It takes effort and persistence, but when you serve referral sources with five-star service, they will greatly appreciate and reward the effort.
- Build a strong social media strategic plan. Everyone knows that Facebook and Instagram are the two strongest places to be present, but not everyone knows the right strategies to use. Seek out experts to help you develop a strategic social media plan that effectively targets your customers.
- Get reviews. You have to create a communications program that lets patients know reviews are appreciated and use five-star service to motivate them to actually take the time to write them.
Build your referral marketing plan and implement it as soon as possible. If you get ahead of the competition, changes, and challenges that will be affecting orthodontics, your practice can be highly successful and remain successful. OP
Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Levin is one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. To contact Levin, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].