Dental Referral Programme – What Is It? How Does It Work? And Why Do Patients Like Them?

So, you’re flicking through the local paper or magazine and stumble across an advert for a local dental clinic that happens to be running a referral programme. But what exactly is it? How does it work? And how exactly does it benefit you? Let’s take a look.

What is a referral programme?

A referral programme (or ‘program’ as it’s known on the other side of the pond) encourages existing customers or patients to share and recommend products and services to friends, colleagues, and family. It’s a marketing tactic as old as the hills and has been used to steadily grow businesses for centuries.

Julius Caesar himself was a great advocate of referral marketing. It’s true!

In 55 BC, he signed a decree stating that he would pay serving soldiers 300 Sestertii for anyone recruiting another person into the Roman army.

And, just in case you didn’t know, 300 Sestertii was roughly one-third of a Roman soldier’s annual pay, so it wasn’t to be sniffed at.  

While companies (and armies, so it seems) are incentivising people to spread the word and recommend products to others, dental practices can also leverage them to bring in more patients.

Why is this important?

Natural attrition means that practices regularly lose around 17% of patients each year. Therefore as dentists, we need a constant stream of new patients to remain sustainable. In dental terms, a referral scheme is very similar to other loyalty reward schemes like air miles on your credit card or cash-back rewards on groceries or fuel. In essence, dental referral programmes offer incentives for every new patient you send our way. It’s known as word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), and it works!

So, why should you take notice of a dentist that offers a referral programme?

The answer’s simple. You regularly get rewarded in some way every time you introduce a new patient. But more importantly, the clinic in question needs to have a constant supply of happy patients. After all, if we want you to become brand ambassadors, you yourself need to have an outstanding experience when you visit. Otherwise, the process simply doesn’t work.

So here’s the thing…

Dental clinics with successful referral programmes are typically trusted clinics with many satisfied patients. Or at least are very confident in their abilities to deliver an outstanding experience from the moment you walk through the door.

Patients need to know that when they recommend a dentist to another person, that person will receive the same high level of service. Of course, it would be remiss at this point not to mention our own fantastic 5-star reviews, but you get the point?

So now you know what a referral programme is and why it should matter to you, let’s talk about how they work.

Dental Referral Programmes – How They Work

The process itself is a relatively simple one. In this case, programmes work on a recommend and reward scheme. Let’s say a friend or relative was asking if you knew of a good local dentist in the area who could help with a niggling tooth problem. You might suggest your dentist because you’ve been happy with their service.

You may then hand your friend or relative a redeemable coupon or voucher and get them to register via a specific online account. Or, in our case, you share your unique link to Foxbury’s referral app where they can register via their mobile phone.

Either way, the dentist can track the referral source and reward the parties concerned accordingly.

Then, when your friend or relative turns up for their appointment, they’ll be given a gift. Typically, this equates to money off their first treatment or a complimentary treatment thrown in. But it can include physical gifts like oral hygiene kits, take-home teeth whitening treatments or mugs, pens, stationery, etc.

In addition to the consignee receiving a gift, the consignor (that’s you!) also gets rewarded with a treatment voucher or gift.

The good thing about dental referral programmes is that they don’t stop at one person. The more people you refer, the more you get rewarded. It’s a win/win situation all round.

Dental Referrals Programmes For The 21st Century

At Foxbury Dental, we like to align ourselves with technology that brings value to our business and patients, and our referral programme is no different. Our mobile referral app is convenient, easy to use, and fits today’s tech-savvy users.

Here’s how it works?

  • Visit our web app link
  • Share your link with friends, family, and colleagues alongside your unique referral code
  • Once they have signed up, they get money off a new patient exam
  • You earn a £25 treatment voucher
  • Rinse and repeat!

Dental Referral Programmes – The Key Takeaway

As mentioned earlier, dental practices offering dental referral schemes or programmes need to be confident in their abilities to deliver an outstanding service. Typically, they need to be trusted enough by their existing patients so that they want to become ambassadors for the brand.

Ultimately, you should know that if a friend or colleague refers you to a dentist via a referral programme, the dentist will at the very least provide excellent service and, at best, be outstanding in all areas. So if you are looking for a new dentist and anyone talks to you about a referral program, you might want to prick your ears up and take note!

If you are an existing patient, like what we do, and would like to recommend us, we invite you to download our Foxbury Dental app.

Alternatively, if you’re curious to see what the fuss is about and want to book in as a new patient, call us on  01858 455 100, email us at [email protected] or book an appointment below. On behalf of Carmen and the team, we look forward to welcoming you!


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