You may be a rockstar physician with a practice delivering the most advanced techniques in your field. You may have hired the best and brightest staff and spent a fortune to offer the latest and greatest facilities and equipment. But, as we all know, if no one knows about you, the needle on your referral business isn’t going to move one bit. You have to let other providers know about you. Like the peacock, you need to get in front of referring providers and show them what you’ve got!
They say elephants never forget. Neither do unhappy customers. How many times have we heard, “Dr. X is wonderful, but his front office staff . . . UGH!”
Yelp is full of reviews like this. Google reviews, Facebook posts with tags, blog posts — it doesn’t take long for word to spread when a customer has a bad experience at a business. Assuming your business will prosper because you’re the best at what you do and not giving attention to ensuring your front line provides phenomenal customer service is one of the worst business mistakes you can make. Repairing the damage done by poor customer service is costly, time-consuming, and not even guaranteed.
Do you take gift baskets around to all of your referral sources during the holidays in hopes that they will continue supporting your practice the following year? That is a very nice gesture - after all, who doesn’t like receiving a gift basket?- but that’s kind of like the sparklers of the fireworks show. They are fun and safe, but they don’t make a lasting impression.
It's January 9th and I am still writing about goal setting. In fact, I can let you in on a little secret. I will be writing about goal setting all throughout the year. One of the reasons I write about setting goals is, I love setting goals. You could actually call me a a goal-setting junkie. But, I will also tell you this. I love accomplishing my goals even more than I love setting them and I take every step necessary to make sure I achieve them along the way.
Let me map this out for you.
As a physician, it’s important to carefully consider who you will have running your marketing program. It’s natural, and sometimes a good idea, to look first within your own office to find a marketing liaison who can represent your business to potential referral sources. After all, they already know all about your practice and they are already on the payroll. That sounds like a no-brainer, right?
Maybe so. but maybe not.
My husband and I took our family of six on a week-long ski trip a couple of months ago for spring break. We had planned the trip for months making sure that we had the perfect place to stay, the right gear for each family member, and we even created a menu for the week ensuring that each one of our kids would get their favorite meal during the vacation.
So how did the trip go?
Our kids LOVED it, my husband beamed with pride that each of our kids became better skiers, and I came home mad.
If you’re anything like most physicians I’ve worked with, your practice started small—and so did your referral marketing program. You probably had plenty of time on your hands to visit neighboring medical offices to introduce yourself and leave some of your literature.
But as your growing practice matures, adding new providers, new satellite locations, and new services, your approach to connecting with referral sources and telling your story needs to mature, too.
After the game, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said "They really have a simple offense. They come out in a bunch of different formations that they shift around, and they run one or two plays out of them. If you can figure out the formations, what they do is really simple.”
That’s an awful lot like the gameplan we use to market our physicians. There aren’t really a lot of technical plays involved in what we do. We follow a simple plan to acheive our results.
What’s the key to our game winning play?
We visit the RIGHT people, and deliver the RIGHT message, the RIGHT number of times. That’s a pretty simple play, right?