Ensure Your Current Patients Are Referring For You

Are Your Dental Patients Referring You?
Are your current patients talking about you?

Believe it or not but many times you don’t even need much; only a good patient referral system. This with great quality work and great customer service and BAM! You have yourself a pipeline that will produce good quality patients.

So how can we start getting your current patients to refer more of their friends, family, and co-workers?

Let’s start by assessing the type of patients you currently have. Take a look at who they are and their background. Look at the patients coming in for this week and note down from memory who is friendly and if they have the type of insurance you would like to see more of or if they are the type of patient you would like your dentistry to have more of.

Once you’ve done that make these patients the main priority from who you will get referrals from.

When your patient comes in for their appointment , seat them early in the operatory chair, maybe like 5 minutes early, early enough for them to pull out their phone and start using it. Then have the dental assistants or whoever will be prepping the room and putting the bib on the patient say

DA: “Hey have you ‘checked-in’ on Facebook or Yelp”?

Wait for their response.

A lot of times these patients say

Your Patient: “oh no I didn’t know you had a Facebook or Yelp” (Although you send out newsletters about joining your social media all the time, they’ll still probably say this).

Ask them to “check – in” then and there.

This allows the patient’s friends, families, and co-workers who are following their social media accounts to see that the patient is at the dentist and may remind them that they need to go to the dentist or need some work done. Believe it or not many dental practices receive a lot of new patients this way so make sure this is happening!

Make sure you have “Social Media Icons” around the operatories and waiting room as well so when the patient is sitting down they are also reminded to follow you on other Social Media platforms such as your Instagram or Twitter. (If by now you haven’t guessed it, social media platforms are great ways to generate interest in new patients; just create tactical & strategic campaigns and use the platforms that work best for your audience! *more on that in a later post*)

What Can You Do After The Patients Procedure?

Once the patient is done with their procedure, ask them:

“How did everything go”? *As your handing them a toothbrush*

Wait for them to reply.

If they say: “Everything went great” then ask them if you can take a picture WITH them to put on your company’s or dentistry’s Facebook under “Our Amazing Customers” or “Our Family Is Growing” (I’m sure you can think of a album heading that has emotion in it, if not contact me and I’ll help).

Make sure you feed their ego. 9 times out of 10 they’ll say yes but be sure the doctor or someone from your staff or your whole staff is in the picture, not just the patient alone. People like seeing the dentist that their friends go to, it makes the patient’s friends more inclined right then and there to make a call to action.

Having the patient’s picture on your Social Media platform encourages the patient to tag themselves in the picture; this lets the patient’s friends, family, co-workers, and whoever is following your patient’s account, know that you exist! They are aware of a great dentist that they’re friend (an influencer) has and will think of you when they are in dental pain, have dental needs; stop seeing their current bad dentist and more!

Patient Survey Them Without Them Knowing It

Now that the patient is walking away from the procedure and back to the front office, have them go to the front or wherever the patient has to go to set up their next appointment (whether it is a 6 month appointment check-up or whatever have them set up something then and there).

When the patient is in the front office, hand the patient a “Patient Survey”. It could be the size of half a paper with 2 questions on it and the questions can say:

  1. From 1-10 how would you rate the doctor’s service?
  2. Have you liked us on Facebook?

Then under the two questions have something like this:



Name:_____________________      Number:__________________”


Have about three “Name & Number” slots so that they can refer people. If you see that they put down referrals then give them a gift card from a coffee place with a small amount like $5.00.

If you see that they did NOT put anyone down on the referrals ask them politely: Is there anyone you know who would maybe need a dentist? If they still say “NO” then tell them:

Front Office: “You have good insurance, where is it you work again”?

Telling them the above will do two things.

  1. It fills their ego which helps them to feel more important as a patient.
  2. Now you have a way into their work place! Knowing where they are currently working can give you a means to do research on their company and see if they have any HR events, Company Health Fairs, their jobs may allow or invite local businesses to lunch and learns and speak to employees, etc.

So the point is to never EVER have any current patient leave your dentistry without giving you important information or interacting with your business by referrals or unknowingly referring their friends, families, and co-workers.

Notice how this can all be done within one visit! This should be done with the majority of your patients and constantly! It WILL improve your new patient flow DRASTICALLY!

Please plan this out and if you implement it right, then I guarantee you will love the results and see a huge increase in your new patients/ referrals.

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This guest post was authored by Dr. Andrea K. Choi.

dr. choi_200x200Dr. Andrea K. Choi graduated from Loma Linda School of Dentistry in 1994. Just two years later, she founded and maintained a very successful private practice in the city of Perris. She started practicing as a dentist in Rancho Cucamonga in 2010 and in Newport in 2011. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association and today, she continues to deliver the best in dental care to you and your entire family.

Dr. Choi also holds a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine which qualifies her to provide holistic and alternative care for her patients.

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+Chris Barnard is the Managing Partner at Social Dental Network, a boutique digital marketing agency consistently generating tangible return on investment for dentists across North America & the U.K.