Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Easiest Patient Referral Program in the World

Aesthetic practices wrestle with the challenge of patient referral programs. They want to reward patients who bring them more business, but they fear violating their association and/or board's code of ethics. I believe our simple method will pass the test. It's simple to create, simple to administer, and easy to check out with your local ethics folks.

Open a blank word document. Create 2 vertical columns. Both columns will be identical. At the top is your logo, tag line, address, phone, website URL, email address for the office. Hit the "enter" button twice.

Next area is a "note" to the referring patient expressing your appreciation for patronizing your practice and thanking them in advance for sending you their friends and family members for treatments. Explain that if they complete the 2 cards below and share them with others, that when their referral comes in for a treatment, they and the new patient will each receive a $50 discount--the new patient receives $50 off his/her first treatment, and the current patient gets a $50 credit toward his/her next one. Hit "enter" twice.

Beneath the 2 areas at the top, create 2-3 sections with perforated lines between them, so that the printer can create tear-off cards. Each card has your office info (so the referred patient has your name, address, etc) and a line for the current patient to write his/her name and another line for the name of the referred (new) patient. Be sure to note again that each one enjoys a $50 discount from your practice. In 8 pt type put in an * to state that this card can be used only once by each new patient.

Duplicate the left column onto the right column.
Depending on the size of your logo, name, tag line, etc, you may end up with either 2 or 3 referral cards. Email as an attachment to your printer and tell them to print these on post-card weight paper, and to create perforations at the appropriate spots to make it easy to tear off the referral cards. Print a gazillion of these and place in brochure stands in the reception area, on the side tables in the waiting areas and in the exam rooms. If you want to be really fancy, attach them to 2-3 brochures, so when the current patient gives them away, the new patient has a brochure to go with the card.

That's it. Easy. No difficult computer skills needed here. Easy to administer when the patients come in. If the front desk is too busy to record the referral to the proper referring patient's file during the day, just put a box or small bowl in the receptionist's area into which the receptionist places each "used" referrer card. When she has time she takes the cards out of the box and enters the information either in each patient's computer file or on a separate spreadsheet for easy access when the referring patient comes in to "collect" on his/her $50 discounts. Naturally, when the new patient checks in, the receptionist must make a note on the file so that when s/he checks out, the $50 discount is applied.

There are many ways to do referral rewards. This is just one of them. I'm eager to hear from readers as to other ideas they may have.

As always, to your success,


Anne Cohen said...

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Beth @ Bayview Plastic Surgery said...

I hope that you know that many people are closely following your blog. I can't wait to see what easy to implement, genius idea you will present next! Thank you for breathing new life into long forgotten ideals. Your blog has sparked a lot of brainstorming sessions in our cosmetic plastic surgery practice. Keep it coming :)