Did you know that 83% of Americans say that a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member makes them more likely to purchase that product or service? That makes word of mouth one of, if not the most effective form of marketing. As such, your employees and your clients essentially become your most valuable marketing assets.
That being said, you shouldn’t just sit around and hope that your clients will spread the word or that your team members will sing your praises. You have to be proactive. Here’s how.
Deliver on the little things.
Your clients expect that you’ll provide good medical care to their pets. Your employees expect that you’ll pay them on time and treat them with respect. But while these things are certainly important, they’re not enough to get people energized and excited about your practice.
To accomplish this, you need to go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected. Things like greeting a client outside with an umbrella on a rainy day, following up on a patient after a procedure or illness, and recognizing and rewarding your team for a job well-done. Those are the things that will really get people buzzing about your practice.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stagnant in your practice, take a step back and acknowledge the good in things. Your loyal clients, without whom you wouldn’t even be in business. Your rock star employees who are dedicated to carrying out your mission and vision.
Practicing gratitude, both internally as well as outwardly, can do wonders not just for your own mood and morale, but for that of the people around you. Say thank you often and be genuine. Show your appreciation for your clients and employees. In turn, they will repay you with continued support.
It should go without saying, but giving back through things like donations and volunteerism can make a tremendous difference, not only to those you are helping, but to your reputation as a whole. One study showed that charitable giving can increase employee productivity by 13%. Furthermore, 6 out of 10 Millennials list “a sense of purpose” as a big part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer. Engaged, productive and happy employees will naturally want to share their experience with others.
From a client perspective, 90% of consumers say they’d switch brands to one associated with a cause that matters to them. When you make community involvement and social causes a priority, your clients will know that by choosing you as their vet, a portion of the money they spend with you will go to helping others. And they’ll gladly spread the word about it.
The easiest way to get people to share their positive experiences with your practice is to come right out and ask. Seriously. 86% of consumers say they’d consider leaving a review for a business if prompted to do so. And since the same percentage of people will turn to online reviews before choosing a local provider, getting more positive comments is important. Post reminders at the front desk, include a link to your third party review pages in online communications and make it as easy as possible for people to share their stories.
You can do the same with your employees. Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed offer areas where current and former employees can rate your practice and provide valuable feedback, both for prospective clients/employees as well as for yourself. If your team is happy and engaged, they should be more than comfortable sharing their insight online.
Of all the time, money and resources you put into marketing your practice, perhaps no avenue is more important than the people with whom you interact on a daily basis. Getting your employees and your clients engaged and excited about your practice will produce valuable returns for many years to come.