By Stacy Hill
Question: How can you ensure a robust referral pipeline, consistent referral retention and plan future opportunities for growth?
Stacy Hill is a Endodontic Practice Marketing Specialist for Southwest Endodontics and Lake Jackson Endodontics, wife of an Endodontist Dr. @Ron C. Hill in Houston, TX
Referral Relationship Management
A productive and efficient Referral Relationship Management Program begins with an effective marketing presence that’s managed by a staff member dedicated (at least part time) to Marketing.
This process is your key to planned, measurable, results-driven business planning goals that are
data and relationship focused.
Where will your Endodontic practice be in 2030?
Office Loyalty Requires an Insight-Driven Plan
Your commitment to your business is your top priority. How can you serve patients while simultaneously retaining current referrers, gaining new referrers, increasing referral engagement and extending referral lifetime value? These tasks can be delegated to a reliable Marketing Representative/ Office Liaison who can collect and analyze data, set realistic business goals, understand the dental referral process, prioritize outreach efforts, and ensure an ongoing relationship management process.
Key Questions to Ensure Long-Term Success & Profitability
Can you answer these key questions? How can your Endodontic office develop valuable and lasting relationships with referrers in the community? How can these relationships be leveraged to grow your business and achieve referrers for life? How will your Marketing Representative prioritize outreach efforts? How will you measure success? Are you getting an ROI on your marketing/outreach resources (time and money)? Establishing an efficient Referral Relationship Management Plan is the foundation that will optimize your long-term business goals and ensure your overall profitability.
Train Your Marketing Employee to Think Strategically
Your Marketing Representative can take over these facets of business planning once this individual is trained to think strategically about referrals. Referrer prospecting and loyalty is one of the most important building blocks to a successful Endodontic practice. It is critical to protect your business with a methodical and continuous understanding of what’s happening within your target market. An insight-driven Referral Relationship Management Plan will drive the growth of your business.
Where to Begin?
Are you ready to begin planning the next phase of your business planning?
STEP #1: MARKET ANALYSYS
You can’t make a plan if you don’t have the data. A highly engaged referral network can be your biggest competitive advantage. To achieve this requires a 360-degree view of your target market and your referral network. A layered and continuous understanding of what’s happening in your market is critical for protecting and growing your business. Total knowledge of your target market is a continuous process.
Do you understand your:
- Competitive-Market-View: Who is your competition? What is your competitive advantage over them? What is their competitive advantage over you? You’re following all of your competition on social media right? There are at least 20 data points you should collect and consistently update the profiles on your competition. The fastest way for you to understand your target market (in any industry) is to fully understand everything about your competition.
- Macro-Market-View: How many dentists are in your target market? Who do they refer to and why? Who are your top 30 referrers in order of volume of patients or collections? What are the main employing industries in your area? Are these industries cyclical? Is this a growth industry? Who are the top 10 employers in your area? What dental/medical insurance do they provide to their employees?
- Micro-Market-View: You must have a complete profile of every dentist in your target market. This is constantly updated. I keep 30 data points for each dentist in our target market. Here are just a few data points you need: Where is that dentist in their career cycle? What are the names of the office staff? How many hygienists? Where is each office on the adoption spectrum? What is their referring unit? What is their referring process?
STEP #2: ESTABLISH A PLAN
Your second step is to establish your insight driven Referral Relationship Management Plan. To achieve a highly engaged referral network requires consistent and strategic engagement. Once you have a 360-degree informed understanding of your target market and your referral network, your Marketing Representative can prioritize targeted offices, retain current referrers and develop a strategic informed plan that can be measured.
STEP #3: EXECUTE
Now that you have established an insight-driven Referral Relationship Management Plan, you’re ready to implement. Every connection between your office and a referring office is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with referrers. Outreach may consist of office visits, doctor-to-doctor interactions, or staff-to-staff interactions. Look at all touch points and communications and ensure your processes are supporting your brand message and outreach strategy. Record and measure each touch point.
STEP #4: MEASURE
It is important to continually evaluate the data to optimize campaigns to gain and sustain referrer loyalty. Establish a baseline Unit of Measure so you can measure success and growth. Some Endodontic offices focus on Production, some offices focus on Collections. However, I think the best way to measure success of your outreach is by counting the number of patients referred.
STEP #5: REPEAT
After measuring the results of your marketing outreach, you can make an informed decision on what to repeat and what new strategies you should implement.
Earning referrer loyalty is one of the building blocks to a successful Endodontic practice. It is critical to protect your business with methodical and continuous understanding of what’s happening within your target market on a micro and macro level. Having an insight-driven Referral Relationship Management Plan will also drive the growth of your family business.