Kick Off 2018 Right: 2-Question Patient Survey to Jumpstart Marketing

You know that January is a big deal for your practice. When you kick off the New Year with strong momentum, you set the tone for the rest of the year. You feel it when you hit new patient numbers in the first month, and when treatment plans plus a couple of large cases are scheduled in the months to come. Solid top-line production and bottom-line profit from the start set the pace for year-long success.

A great way to jumpstart marketing, boost new patient traffic, and increase treatment acceptance, right from month one, is to administer a very simple survey. Select a pool of patients or patient families who:

  • Are extremely loyal to the practice
  • Accept treatment
  • See the doctor(s) as the expert
  • Pay on time
  • Refer to the practice

Extract (no pun intended) from the patient database the email addresses of those folks who fit the bill. Then send them the survey, just 2 questions:

  • How has our practice made your life better?
  • How likely are you to refer us?

The answers to the first question will be great testimonials to add to the website.

Plus, when you ask for permission to use their words as testimonials, you can ask them to post those responses to Yelp, Healthgrades, Google+ and other review sites. It’s always best to send patients detailed instructions on how to post to review sites. Get instructions now.

Finally, you can email these testimonials to any and all patients who have not yet accepted treatment. Have the front office pull a report showing who has not yet signed on for treatment, craft a custom email to each of them reminding them of their treatment plan, and include relevant testimonials gathered from the surveys and a suggested date and time for an appointment to get the treatment plan started. All you want them to do is take the next step, and life-changing stories from others are like marketing gold in making that happen.

The easier you make it, the more likely they are to act.

The second question is suggested by Fred Reichheld, author of The Ultimate Question, as the best and only customer satisfaction question that need ever be asked. Learn more.

Based upon responses to that question, you can gauge how happy your best patients really are. There may be some light-bulb moments. If 80% or more of the respondents gave a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, you have a healthy customer satisfaction rating and a practice that’s set up for success. If fewer did, it may be time for team training, practice coaching or financing for a technology or office design upgrade.

The immediate reward from this question is that you can nurture respondents who gave high ratings into actually referring more often to the practice. A campaign of handwritten notes, thank you emails and “Please send your friends and family” reminder postcards can ratchet up referrals in a jiffy, especially if focused on that small pool of people that Reichheld refers to as “Promoters.” 80% of your referrals will come from just 20% of your practice database, so focus on those who love you most.

Here’s to you in 2018!