Word of mouth therapy referrals | The Private Practice Hub

Word of mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is one of the most difficult to initiate. It describes the process whereby your customers help you market your therapy business by talking positively about it and/or the experience they’ve had with it.

Q. “Do you know a good therapist I could try?”

A. “Yes, I’ve heard that [……….] is really good…”

We live in a recommendation-driven culture – a visit to Amazon will show you what other books, CDs or DVDs people have bought; TripAdvisor collates no-nonsense hotel reviews to influence our holiday choices; while star ratings often determine what film we’ll watch at the cinema on a Saturday night.

Not only is WOMM difficult to create, it’s nigh-on impossible to control. Word of mouth grows organically and self-replicates. Good WOMM can make a business. Bad WOMM can break a business.

Deliver a great service

WOMM starts with a great service. If you’re not currently going above and beyond what is normally expected of a therapist, then it’s difficult to make your business memorable.

Analyse your own business by listening. Consider giving a satisfaction survey for clients and listen carefully to what they have to say; what they like and what they don’t.

And don’t stop there. What experiences have they had with other therapists that they liked/disliked? What did they expect from you but didn’t receive? What could you do better?

If you want clients to recommend you, they need to be impressed by what you do. Examine all aspects of your private practice, from where you choose to work to your billing. Make it all customer-friendly.

And if you can use testimonials in your business, use any positive comments you receive from a survey to reinforce your marketing efforts. It’s ideal for kick-starting the WOMM process.

Otherwise, think about what can you do to improve your service so that people go away with a good experience.

Top tips for creating great word of mouth marketing

  • give people something to talk about – good service, short waiting times, etc
  • encourage referrals with discounts or special offers
  • survey your existing clients and listen to what they have to say
  • use testimonials (if applicable to your business) as proof of your good service
  • be easy to find wherever somebody might look – a website, google maps search, therapist directories, etc