Asking a patient for a referral is the first step and is an obvious one. But it’s one that a lot of practices skip tbecause it feels uncomfortable.

The best time to ask for a referral or review is after they have said something positive about your office, one of the team members, or the dentist. When a patient says something positive, the team member should immediately respond with a thank you, and then ask them to share that information.

Timing Is Key
Know when to ask for a testimonial or referral. Just as in any business interaction, there is a right time and a wrong time to ask your customer for support. If you haven’t provided stellar customer service – for whatever reason – now is not the time to request a referral.
Acknowledge All Referrals
Thank clients for all referrals, and follow-up to let then know the outcome of their referral, such as a personal thank you email or call.



In general, it won’t be the doctor who will be speaking with patients about the referral program. It may be the receptionist or another staff member. Patients often build a rapport with staff members, and they are the ones who will best be able to discuss the program with the patient. You should get your employees involved by following a standard script to ask for referrals. That way, everyone will know what to say and when to say it. Here are some examples:

Thank you, Mrs. Jones, for that great compliment about our office always running on time. We always try to do our best to respect patients’ time. We would love it if you know of anyone else who would also appreciate that. We are always looking for more new patients like you, so we would love it if you were to refer others you know or post a review about our office online to help spread the word.”
Susie, Dr. Jones does great work and really cares about her patients. Let me give you one of her cards. We know that many people have friends or family who may be looking for a new dentist and it would mean a lot to us if you’d share Dr. Jones’ cards. We’re always happy to see more new patients like you.
Thank you for the compliment. We enjoy having you as a patient. And if your friends are as nice as you, please send them our way.