Yesterday we offered you a 12-point checklist on the systems you employ to encourage patient recommendations.
Today we explore the reasons why team members and (especially) clinicians do not habitually ask for word of mouth recommendations:
- Fear of rejection – the assumption that patients will say “no” and that will be uncomfortable. The reality is that most patients are delighted to help if approached properly;
- Lack of self-confidence – a big problem in the UK as dentists are getting hammered by the press and the regulators right now. You can be proud of your achievements and the number of patients you have helped over the years. Confidence is not arrogance – confidence is just confidence;
- Lack of a script – not knowing the correct form of words leads to ad lib – always a problem
- Lack of accountability – unless you start asking, in public, at your daily huddle – nothing will change.
Here is a suggested script:
Now that we have come to the end of your treatment, may I ask:
- are you happy with the clinical outcome that we have delivered?
- are you happy with the customer service that we have given?
If so, I wonder if I can ask a small favour?
We are expanding the practice at the moment and it would be wonderful to see more patients like you.
Would it be OK if simply gave you three of my business cards to pass on to any family, friends or colleagues that might be interested in visiting a practice like ours?”
Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.