By Stacie Pawlicki
At least 50% of people rely on word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends when choosing health providers.
Your staff can be your biggest referral source, but how do you know if you are maximizing the marketing potential of your employees? Engagement is critical. Below are 5 things you should consider doing to ensure staff engagement and drive more referrals.
1. Show staff you value them.
- There is a reason why restaurateurs typically check on patrons’ tables to make sure everything is okay. The same applies for healthcare.
- One simple way to make staff feel valued – take time to interact with them, even if it’s just a “hello” while taking a walk around a part of the hospital you don’t usually go.
2. Communicate regularly and effectively.
- However you communicate, whether it’s through Intranet or memos, make sure you ask for feedback. It allows you the ability to communicate how and when people want you to.
- Through regular communication, staff feels more in touch with new initiatives at the hospital, which if interesting, can become a breeding ground for word of mouth marketing.
3. Influence the influencers.
- Remember the kid on the playground when you were younger that seemed to hold the key to everyone else’s popularity? That kid, grown up now, still has the ability to influence those around them.
- Identify the mavens of your hospital and make sure they are on board with new initiatives. Their ability to influence others’ can be exponential!
4. Solicit feedback, good and bad.
- People like to hear the sound of their name and like to give feedback, so make sure to ask.
- Whether positive or negative, asking for feedback gives you the opportunity to make it better.
5. Reach out to family members.
- Working in health care can be tough on family. How do you currently thank your employees’ loved ones? The appreciation you show them will influence the appreciation staff directly feel.
- Consider sending a letter home to families on a quarterly basis to thank them for their support of the hospital and the loved one that works for you. The pleasant surprise could result in word of mouth conversations about your hospital!