Use Data for More Oral Surgery Referrals
From time to time, we receive inquiries from oral surgeons asking how they can tell how well their referral-generating newsletters are performing. One of our first questions for these oral surgeons is this—how are you measuring new patients referred to your practice? What we’re often struck by is what oral surgeons are not looking at. These dentists tell us they aren’t looking at hard data. Instead, they are drawing conclusions based on their sense of recent referral patterns.
This is somewhat surprising because medical science is driven by accurate data. Most oral surgeons intrinsically know that they can’t make sound decisions without it.
The only way for you to know how well your referral newsletter program is working is to measure results against your goals to learn your true return on investment. If your office properly records referrals, the data will tell the story. You’ll know which dentists provide the referrals with the highest dollar value, and you’ll be able to see any declines from specific dentists or with any procedures. This data can be critical to planning and implementing your ongoing marketing efforts.
Don’t forget to ask
If a referring dentist you’ve never worked with sends you a referral, find out where the source learned about your practice. Maybe a colleague spread the word or forwarded Oral Surgery Update or Report on Oral Surgery from your practice.
Armed with that data, what can you do with it? Here are four ways for you to overcome assumptions and put data to use to build your oral surgery practice.
1. Look at the data to see which marketing methods are working, and which aren’t.
If you learn that no referring dentists (or patients) are finding you through your large yellow-pages advertisement, it’s probably time to spend your marketing dollars elsewhere. If referrals increase once you started to attend a local networking gathering of dentists, be sure to keep that up!
2. Know your most commonly referred procedures—and your least referred.
Consider contacting referring providers and reminding them of additional services that could benefit their patients. This will help ensure that you get these additional referral opportunities. It may be that your colleagues didn’t know there was a great option for such treatments. Or maybe they had some questions you could answer and put them at ease.
Your oral surgery newsletter will aid in this effort in a subtle way by using excellent content to reinforce your areas of expertise. If you’re not yet leveraging the power of a dental newsletter, contact us for a free consultation.
3. Reward your top referring performers.
Some oral surgeons treat their best referring offices to dinner or an upscale lunch. Others send gifts. These “thank you” gestures make a significant impression and show that you value the patients they send to you.
4. Don’t give up!
What about those offices still not sending you referrals? Take a bold step. Set aside time to call or visit them to find out why. Maybe they misunderstand how you can help their patients or have been too busy to consider your practice. Personal outreach could change all that.
Contact us with any questions or to learn more about newsletters.
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