Internal marketing is the most commonly used and widely adopted marketing tactic among dental practices. It is also commonly misunderstood and under-utilized! Word-of-Mouth (WOM) referrals are by far the highest quality leads a dental practice can have, and they are also the least expensive when it comes to patient acquisition costs. Sadly, many practices would rather write a check for a new advertising gimmick than take the time to cultivate this highly effective strategy.
At myDentalCMO, teaching dentists how to run a comprehensive, powerful and EFFECTIVE internal marketing campaign is at the core of every marketing plan we create. Contact us to find out exactly how we can help you boost your WOM referral rate!
What is Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing is more than just asking for referrals. It's a full-scale campaign within your office to generate enthusiastic patient recommendations of your practice. After all, patients can't be expected to share their amazing experience if their experience wasn't... well, AMAZING!
The goal of internal marketing is to make each experience with your practice so impressive that the word "dentist" is irrevocably linked with your practice in each patient's mind. The desired outcome is conversations like these:
"Gosh — I really need some extra dental work done, but the dentist I've been seeing just seems too busy. I always have to wait forever — even if I'm on time for my appointment — and then my visit with the hygienist is over in a flash and I barely get five minutes with the actual dentist. I have so many questions and concerns that never get addressed..."
"Really? You should see my dentist, Dr. Zimmerman — he's AWESOME. I've been going there for years and he ALWAYS takes time to answer all of my questions — he even asks after my kids and remembers their names! I never have to wait to be seen and his entire team treats our family like their own family. I love them!"
The best copywriter in the world can't create something as valuable as the exchange above. There's just nothing on earth like an honest, enthusiastic word of mouth referral that leaves the recipient feeling like they have just been gifted with a pre-qualified dental provider who has already been vetted by someone they trust.
How Do You Take Word Of Mouth to the Next Level?
Providing superlative care is far more than just doing terrific dental work. You have to deliver an over-the-top, all around amazing dental experience every single time your patient steps into your practice, and then find ways to remind them about you even when they aren't physically in your offices.
It's incredible customer service paired with fantastic products that keep patients talking about you weeks and even months after each appointment. Identify something about your dental practice offers that sets it apart. If you can't find anything that makes you different than your competitors, create something.
You want each patient to leave their appointment just DYING to tell someone about their day at the dentist — whether it was the awesome massaging patient chair, the fact that they had ZERO wait time, your ability to provide them with a Saturday appointment, or the terrific deal you offered on Facebook.
Internal marketing activities can include:
- Practice Referral Brochures and Incentives
- Patient Thank-You Gifts (at time of appointment)
- Patient Thank-You Cards or Letters (follow-up after appointment)
- New Patient Phone Calls and Letters (welcome to the practice)
- Patient Birthday/Anniversary/Special Event/Just Because Cards and Gifts
- Staff Bonuses for Referrals
- Staff "Free Dental" and "Personal Service" Budgets
- Patient Monthly Appointment Drawings
- Patients "In The News" Bulletin Board
- Patient of the Day/Week/Month
- Patient Advisory Board
- On Hold Messages (promotions)
- In-Office Theme Days
- Special Occasion Patient Promotions
How Can myDentalCMO Help?
Your practice can do better — without additional advertising! myDentalCMO provides assistance with your WOM referrals by evaluating and coordinating improved internal marketing programs with teleconferences, webinars, on-site training, and more.