Nothing can better help your dental advertising than knowing what your patients think about you and your services. But what I find is that most dental practices never ask. They might send a small form after an appointment or occasionally ask patients, but never really find out what their patients like, dislike or what keeps them coming back.
A good patient survey will help you find out how your patients heard about you, what sets you apart and what their biggest frustrations are.
Come up with 10 to 12 questions you would like to know the answers to. You may want to start your questions with a couple of easy ice breakers, e.g. how many years have you been a patient? Use the same questions for each patient so you can spot trends among the surveys.
It is best to select a list of ideal patients to survey. This way you can better understand what they like about you and craft a message that resonates with prospects similar to themin your dental advertising. Get the name of 20 or so patients and survey a good 10 to 12 of them. You can email them a notification or mail a letter prior to the survey call, to let them know someone will be calling and you would appreciate them taking their call and taking the survey.
Open up the phone call by directly explaining who you are and the purpose of your call. For example, “Hello my name is Shawn Russell with Red Star Marketing, I am calling on behalf of Dr. Kimes. We are working on some marketing initiatives and would like to get your thoughts and opinions on your experience with Overland Park Dentistry. Do you have 5 minutes to answer some questions?”
If they don’t have time at that moment, ask them for a good time to follow up and make every effort to call back at that time.
The best dental surveys are run by a third party. A person outside the operation who can be objective and obtain sensitive information from a patient, who might not be willing to share with someone they know or with someone who works in the practice.
A dental practice marketing survey works best when it is done verbally over the phone. To find out the real reason why they like you or why they are frustrated with your practice may take a little prompting. You might need to ask them to give you an example of how they went the extra mile to serve you or why you’re the best dental office they ever visited.
The real nuggets come in the form of trends. I gave one survey where three-quarters of the respondents mentioned trust as a factor and not feeling over treated by the practice. When I asked them to explain, it became apparent that this had been a big issue with them with other practices in the past. So we made it part of their dental advertising so other like-minded patients would be attracted to the practice.
Be sure to thank them for their time and it is a nice gesture to send them a little something for their effort. I like to surprise them with a hand written thank you note and a Starbucks gift card. I never mention it ahead of time to prevent any sort of persuasion to the survey questions.
A bonus to the survey is that patients actually like giving their opinion and feel more valued that you took the time to get their outlook. If you are getting positive answers to your question you may want to finish up the survey by asking for a testimonial.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting help with a patient survey for your practice.