June 21, 2021 | Net Health

4 min read

How Outpatient Therapy Clinics Can Increase Direct Referrals

There isn’t a single form of marketing that is more effective, economical, and conversion-driving than a direct referral. The ability to create and cultivate raving fans who generate business for you is the most sustainable way to stretch your marketing dollar and ensure the longevity of your practice.

Knowing this, it begs the obvious follow-up question—how can I drive more direct referrals to my outpatient therapy practice? Here are some thoughts worth considering.

Be Worth Referring

Before we talk actionable strategies to increase direct referrals, we must ask a question that’s a much bigger piece of the puzzle—is your outpatient therapy business worth referring people to? Are you delivering the best experience possible for your patients that gets them excited about telling their friends, family members, or patients to see you?

The answer very well may already be a resounding ‘yes.’ But just to be sure, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Take an ego-free, unbiased look at your business from the outside. Put yourself in the shoes of your patients. Look for areas you can improve and existing successes you can build on. The more honest you can be with yourself and your team about the level of service, the better.
  • Benchmark your operations against other similar service providers. Outcome Management Services (OMS) like FOTO offer providers a unique way to improve the patient experience by helping to measure quality of care metrics and comparing that data against a massive database of other providers.   

Congruency of Quality

When someone recommends a restaurant or a new movie, most people will take that testimonial sight unseen and give it a go. However, when it comes to something potentially more impactful like medical care, many people will look for a second opinion—pun intended.

Generally, that second opinion is some form of review source from the internet, like Google My Business, Yelp, or other social media platforms. Because of this, it’s imperative that your online reputation matches the actual quality of your operations, and the quality your referral source shared with your potential new patient.

The quality must be congruent across all three of these mediums if you want to have success with direct referrals.

Here are some actionable steps to consider:

A Structured Revenue Funnel

One of the most powerful ways to increase direct referrals through your physical therapy marketing efforts is by creating and implementing a structured revenue funnel.

If the term is new to you, a revenue funnel is a step-by-step roadmap that your patients walk through from the moment they first hear about your business to the moment you convert them as a paying customer. It affords you the ability to maximize your opportunities to capture new business and utilize data to tweak each step of the process as needed.

  • If you don’t already have a revenue funnel in place, consider creating one. By adding more structure to the customer acquisition process, you can really make a difference in your bottom line.
  • Ensure you’re measuring the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), especially those that pertain to direct referrals. Look into things like the diversity of your sources, the quality of each source or source type, and the consistency or seasonality of sources. If you’d like to learn more, we’d encourage you to check out our free e-book—Top 6 KPIs to Understand and Optimize Your Rehab Therapy Revenue Funnel.

Supervise and Refine

The recurring trend through all of these suggestions to drive more direct referrals through your physical therapy marketing can be summed up in one word—data. Whether it’s benchmarking the quality of your services, measuring your different referral sources, or assessing the effectiveness of your revenue funnel, data can help empower you and your team to make more confident decisions.

Here’s some suggestions of where you can start with data:

  • Ensure you’re collecting the right data points.
  • Verify that your data collection methods are accurate, unbiased, and use the same processes at all of your locations.
  • Have a system in place to aggregate the data and draw out the meaningful conclusions needed to enact change.

The best news about all of this is that you don’t have to go any of these steps alone. If you’d like to see how Net Health might be able to help, we’d encourage you to set up a time to chat with a member of our team.

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