Earn The Privilege To Serve Again

Hello Friends,

Loyal patients, isn’t that what we want? Loyal patients that return year after year, accept your treatment recommendations and refer their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. They are loyal to your dental practice because they like and trust you. You’ve earned the privilege to serve them not just for a moment but for life.

Is it really a privilege to serve them? Absolutely! Any office that struggles with getting and keeping new patients, struggles with getting patients to accept their treatment recommendations, struggles with the hygiene department’s continuing care reports and Swiss cheese-like appointment schedules, struggles to keep up with all the record transfer requests from patients and their new dental office, will learn (hopefully quickly) that having loyal patients in your practice is an earned privilege. The aforementioned struggles are greatly reduced or eliminated all together.

how to get more dental new patients?

How do you earn this privilege? By consistently exceeding patient expectations. Here are 12 ways you can do this (in no particular order)…

Pre-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists start building your relationship with a new patient before they step foot in the practice. Call and give a warm welcome, let them know you are looking forward to meeting them at their appointment. It’s unexpected, takes only a few minutes and will really make your new patient feel special.

Post-Op Calls – Call your patients in the evening to see how well they are doing. Call anyone that received anesthetic and new patients.

Acknowledge and Reward Referrals For every patient you must have a referral source, how else will you be able to track what marketing works and what doesn’t? Especially if you want more referrals from your current patients, then reward the behavior that you want to see more of. Acknowledge and Reward your referrals. If you don’t already have a protocol in place, make a plan as soon as possible. When and how will you ask “How did you hear about us?” or “Whom can we thank for referring you?” How and where will you record that information? Be specific when recording referral sources, internet isn’t a good enough source. Where on the internet? For example, Facebook?, Twitter?, Yelp?, Instagram?, Pinterest?, WordPress?,  Website? Google search? Etc. Who is responsible for tracking these sources? How will we acknowledge them? With a thank you letter or card, signed by the doctors and team? Send a thank you gift? Just please do me a favor and avoid sending the same exact thank you to the same patient every time they refer someone… no groundhog day thank you’s. Change it up. While you’re at it, set a new patient goal for each month. Consider offering a bonus or some type of incentive for employee referrals. Get your team out there in the community, excited to talk about the great office they work at and invite the people they meet to schedule an appointment. (Tip: Personalized Business cards for the team members with a special call to action invitation on the back of the card will make passing out office business cards much easier and more fun.)

Sending Cards – Keep Sympathy, Anniversary, Welcome, Congratulations, Thinking of you and Get Well cards on hand to send to your patients. As a team work together to be alert to opportunities to surprise your patients with a card.

Answering the Phone – This one is key to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity! Here are a few tips:

  • Smile before you pick up the phone
  • Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  • Answer the phone with a thank you for calling, identify the office and give your name. (ex: Thank you for calling Dr.Smiles, this is Betty. I can help you)
  • Do NOT let the caller go to voice mail during business hours (including lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  • Get the callers name and use it often. Find out how they heard about your office. “What type of insurance do you have?” shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. In fact, let the caller bring that part up. Your goal is to build a relationship with the caller, to get to know them and their expectations.
  • Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many office’s I have called as a “shopper” and was never offered an appointment.

Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to why. If you know why, change whatever is causing you to stray from the schedule. Running behind schedule sends a message to your patients and your team that you don’t respect their time. Arriving to the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculating the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, controlling the schedules, these things will help you stay on time. Avoid working through lunch hours… everyone needs that time to recharge their batteries.

Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your best patient – Communicate your goals, expectations and vision with your team. Ask for their thoughts and ideas during your team meetings (speaking of meetings, be sure you’re having a daily morning huddle). Reward the behaviors you want to see more of. Be friendly, grateful and respectful even on the days when you don’t want to be. Do not share in or tolerate any negative gossip about team members or patients! Have FUN at work and on occasion, outside of work with employee appreciation events. “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”~Simon Sinek  (Tip: Invest in your entire team with continuing education courses, training for your computer software, telephone skills, social media sites,  dental terminology, protocol, procedures and technology.)                                                                                                             

Stay in Touch – Find ways to stay in touch with your patients via telephone calls, continuing care postcards/letters and on your social media sites.  Keep your name in front of them.

Deliver exceptional dental care – Give your patients the best care…always!  With your team, celebrate with your patients their new & healthy smiles – (If a patient comes in for in office teeth whitening, let other team members know so they can compliment the patient on their smile. Let your patients see how much you and your team value the care you provide).

Maintain a safe and clean office – Outside & Inside your office you want to send a positive message about your care by keeping your office very clean, well maintained and welcoming. See Improve your Office – First Impressions for tips and suggestions.

Be my Guest – Treat your patients as a guest in your home. Make them feel welcome. Come in to the office as a patient. Experience what they see, hear, smell and how they’re cared for from the start of the appointment to the finish. (Consider, Patient Appreciation Gifts)

Honesty –   #1 Be honest with your patients regarding your fees and treatment. The quickest way to lose a patient is by them perceiving they’re being taken advantage of. Clearly explain the cost to do the treatment and the cost of doing nothing. Estimate as closely as possible the patient’s financial portion for treatment. Some will tell you that you should never quote fees over the phone…I strongly disagree. Why? You’ll lose many of your shopper callers by refusing to answer their request for a quote on a fee. They’re calling because they need/want a particular service. They’re ready! Make it easy for them to choose your office by honestly answering their question. Because you can not make an actual diagnosis over the phone, it’s impossible to know exactly what their cost will be, give a range of fees and offer for them to come in for a complimentary consultation. 

#2 -When you mess up, admit it. No excuses or passing blame. Say you’re sorry and make it right. Consider keeping gift cards on hand to give to your patients when something doesn’t go as planned. (ex: lab case error, scheduling error, etc) Oh, if you find yourself apologizing a lot… see what you can do proactively to minimize future mistakes.

There are no short cuts, if your goal is to grow your practice with patients that are not merely satisfied but are delighted with your service and remain loyal to your practice, then you must remain loyal to your goals, your mission and your promise.

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please subscribe today. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too.

I love hearing your comments and ideas, please continue sharing them with me. Remember, I’m happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

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Dental Marketing Ideas for your Pediatric Office

Hello Friends,

Are you looking to grow your pediatric dental office? Well, get your pen and paper ready because I’m going to share with you several dental marketing ideas for your pediatric office. Better yet, you might want to print out this article and discuss these idea’s with your team. Together, come up with a marketing plan that will help to make this your Best Year Yet!

Before we get started, keep in mind that the way to mom and dads heart is to treat their children well. The way to keep mom and dad loyal to your office is to treat their children exceptionally well. Why? Happy Kids = Happy Parents.  As a mother of two children, I know this to be TRUE! 

Here you go, Dental Marketing Ideas for the Pediatric Office…

how to bring in new pediatric dental patients?

Open House Kid’s Day (In Office) – 

  • Choose a theme: Carnival, BBQ, Luau, Movie/TV/Book Characters, 50’s, etc.
  • Activities: Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Hula Hoop Contest, Karaoke, Crafts, Carnival-like games, Photo booth/props, etc. (Depending on if the event is inside or outside the office)
  • Prize: Have a drawing to win a gift basket, gift card, bicycle, or team up with a local business for a donated prize.
  • Food: Hot dogs, Chips, Ice Cream/Popsicle, Water, Popcorn, etc.
  • Advertise: Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards,  and emails/texts to your current patients.
  • Option: Book appointments in hygiene only, this way, you’ll have production for the day and doctor will be free to visit with guests and still do the exams.
  • Memories: Take lots of pictures during the event to share on your social media sites and in your newsletters.

See also Idea’s for hosting an open house

Host Patient Appreciation Events (Outside of office)

  • Skating Rink, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted give-away’s and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.

Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –

What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize give away’s and snacks.

Theme Idea’s: Luau, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, (visit party stores or orientaltrading.com for a ton of theme ideas)

Children’s Dental Health Month

In-Office

  • Field Trips – Invite local schools and daycare’s for a free field trip to the dentist. (Serve a Healthy snack such as grapes, apple slices, string cheese and small bottled water, Present Education stations/demonstrations-visit the ADA website and Pinterest for great idea’s for presentations,  Toothbrush bags for the students and teachers/parents, show a short Video while the kids eat their snack)

Outside the office –

  • What: On-site Short Dental Education Presentations/Demonstrations and Toothbrush gift bags for the kids and teachers/parents.
  • Where: School’s, Daycare’s, Library, Mom groups, etc.

New Patient Experience

Give tour of the office, send a welcome card after first visit to the child (Kids LOVE to get mail), give a new patient gift bag, sign child up to join your office kids club/team.

Participate in local Family Health & Wellness Fairs –

See  Health and Wellness Fairs for some great idea’s.

Visit Local Businesses

  • Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios,Salons, Etc.
  • What: Introductions, Referral pads/cards, Small Gifts (Imprinted toothbrushes, flosscards, lip balm, etc.) Food (Bagels, Donuts, Fruit, Pies, etc), Contest/Drawing for Prizes, Lunch-n- Learn, etc.  TIP: When visiting general dentist and pediatrician offices, always treat their reception team wonderfully… if your goal is to meet the doctors and get patient referrals, you want/need them to like you. 😉

Back-To-School/School Break Visits –

Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special days in the office. Special pricing or promotion on Sealants, Ortho, Fluoride, etc. Consider doing a drawing for a Backpack filled with school supplies. Contest:  nominate your favorite teacher (use social media sites to promote), prize idea’s for winning teacher: Breakfast/Lunch at the school, free teeth whitening, or team up with local businesses for prize donations.

Book Drive 

Collect new or gently used books to donate to your local library or schools. Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards and to your current patients.

  • Incentive: Gift Basket (put together a fun themed gift basket) Every person that donates books can enter a drawing to win a gift basket. You do not need to be a patient of record to donate books.
  • Once you have collected all the books:
  • Take pictures of the books
  • Put together toothbrush gift bags w/office information and special offer to deliver to the employees of the library and or school.
  • Deliver books and gift bags to the library and or schools.

Reception Room

In addition to being clean and with up-to-date decor consider having in your reception room: Video games (Stationary and/or handheld devices), Books (lending library), TV (children’s movies and short dental education videos) Wall of fame, digital photo frame or photo album filled with pictures of your patients. Photo “booth” area with backdrop and photo props. Tablet/Cell Phone charging station for parents.

Kid’s Club/Team

I’m not a fan of “no cavity” clubs because I like to see all children have the opportunity to be part of the office kids club/team and sometimes, a child’s unfortunate cavity is the fault of the parent. Have a club/team that is just for fun and that rewards healthy habits. Take a picture of each child to hang on your wall of fame or in a digital photo frame or picture album, as well as for your website, newsletter and/or social media sites. Present child with a certificate/wristband/t-shirt when they sign up for your kids club. Have monthly contests/drawings that the children can enter to win prizes.

Give-Away’s

Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, etc. Kids love to leave the office with a special little gift. 🙂

Social Media –

Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all of your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses and connect with potential patients. See Social Media Site Posting Content Idea’s

Answer Your Phone – 

Sure, you know that the office phone should be answered within the first couple of rings by an unhurried, friendly scheduling coordinator whose goal is to schedule an appointment and wow the caller with excellent customer service but if you want to see greater results from your marketing efforts, then you must be certain that your office phone is answered during times when patients are calling. Minimum: Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, including lunch hours.  Invest in your entire team by providing training on how to effectively answer the phone. 

Forward your calls to an answering service if needed. Having a live person for the caller to talk to is so much better than your caller getting an answering machine or voice mail and then deciding to call the next dental office on their list in hopes of talking to a “live” person. 

Also, despite our best intentions to not put a caller on hold we know that it still happens from time to time. Consider having an on hold message for these times, this way, you’ll have the opportunity to share office information, special offers, social media sites, etc. with the caller rather than them listen to nothing, an annoying beeping sound or lame music. See also: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service

Missed calls and calls poorly handled are missed opportunities and those missed opportunities mean missed dollars…big dollars!

For more telephone success tips, take a minute to read this helpful article: If I Call Your Dental Office Offer Me An Appointment

Host a Halloween Candy Buy Back –

For tips and ideas on successfully hosting a candy buy back see: October Dental Marketing Idea’s / Halloween Candy Buy Back

Are you ready for the #1 Way to Market your Pediatric Office?  

Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations and Consistently Be Great! Give your patients something positive to talk about to their neighbors, workmates, friends and family members. Make it easy for them to refer patients to you. (If you need some idea’s to help Improve your Office, be sure to check out my Improve your Office series: First ImpressionsMake A Change and The Little Things Matter.

While we’re at it, here are a few more bonus ideas 🙂 …

Blog/WebsiteBecome the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos and pictures on your website and social media sites about different dental treatments/products, sports safety, what to do in a dental emergency, etc. TIP: Pin your blog posts, articles, videos and pictures to your office Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a GREAT way to drive traffic to your website. If you don’t already have Pinterest for your office, add that to your to-do-list. Have a variety of family related boards such as dental health tips, recipes, crafts, party ideas, healthy snacks, book idea’s and more. Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards for idea’s.

Sponsor local sport teams –Free or reduced rate for mouthguards for local sports teams. 

DistractionsTV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.

Contests/Drawing Coloring contests, Monthly Gift Card/Gift Basket drawing, Wristband, etc.

Post-Op Calls – Each evening place a “just wanted to see how well you’re doing call” to any patient that had an extraction or maybe was nervous or had a rough time during their visit.

First “Happy” Visit ExperienceTake picture of child in the chair (maybe holding a first visit sign or certificate) and give to parent in a cute picture frame.

I know this is a lot of information but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your practice, then it’s worth it to take the time to market your practice effectively using some or all of the idea’s that I have shared with you today. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to do this on your own, I’m here to help.

Before I go, here are a few Important Reminders: If you’re going to take the time to visit schools and local businesses be sure that you leave them with information about your office, special offers and imprinted gifts with your office name, phone number and website.

Also, keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, any donation requests, etc. Put specific referral source codes in to your software system, this way, when you ask “How did you hear about us?” you have the correct referral code to enter in and you’ll be able to acknowledge that source with a thank you as well as know what marketing is working to bring in new patients.

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please subscribe today. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too. If you liked these ideas, please let me know by hitting the “like” button. Thank you!!!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Betty’s Bookshelf – Books for a Happier Doctor and Team

Betty’s Bookshelf – Books for a Happier Doctor and Team

Hello Friends,

“That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.”               –Amos Bronson Alcott

Of the 60+ books I read in 2015, I wanted to share with you the 5 that I read during November & December. Why? Because these books especially, were closed with profit. If you’re looking to read for personal growth, to help grow your practice, to share with your team or just for fun… I recommend the following: (In no particular order)

Move Your Bus – Ron Clark

move your bus

Ready to motivate and inspire your dental team?  Move Your Bus is a fun, educational & quick read. The description on Amazon says: “These easy to implement techniques will inspire employees and team leaders alike to work harder and smarter and drive the organization to succeed.” I agree!

Rising Strong – Brene’ Brown

rising strong

I chose to include this one because in it are some really smart ways to successfully communicate your feelings. Ways that I believe can greatly help dental team members effectively solve misunderstandings and/or to share thoughts and concerns with one another.

The Ultimate Guide To Doubling & Tripling Your Dental Practice Production

the ultimate guide

If growing your practice is on your “to-do-list” for 2016, read and apply the suggestions shared in this book.

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.” ~James Bryce

There were many gems to carry away from this book. I LOVED it!

Before Happiness – Shawn Achor

before happiness

In ‘Before Happiness’, Shawn Achor, the Harvard researcher, and best-selling author, gives practical strategies for becoming happier backed up by science. (IMHO the science is fascinating!)

Shawn says: “Before we can be happy and successful, we need to create a positive reality that allow us to see the possibility for both.”

Wouldn’t you agree that we all could benefit from seeing the world through a more positive lens?

Hug Your Customers – Jack Mitchell

hug your customers

This is a nice book to read if you’re wanting to attract new patients and retain loyal patients by providing exceptional customer service.

“Books are the training weights of the mind.” -Epictetus

There you have it, my 5 favorite non-fiction books from my bookshelf in 2015.

If you have already read some or all of these books, feel free to share your thoughts on them with me and/or kindly give this post a “like”.  Do you have any good book suggestions for me to add to my 2016 reading list? Please share them in the comments section.

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas each month? If not, please FOLLOW today. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

 

 

Choose Happiness

“Being miserable is a habit. Being happy is a habit. The choice is yours.”

— Tom Hopkins

The quickest way to a happy day is to start it with a grateful heart. happy habit

Stay Warm Friends!

~Betty

Shake it Up Baby! How to Love Mondays

I love Mondays. I really do enjoy the fresh start to a new week. However, if you are miserable Sunday night because you just totally dread Monday morning, maybe feeling like my daughter in this short video clip:

If you feel like you just can’t do it! This might help:

Shake it up Baby!

betty hayden dental consultant

That’s how you can start loving Mondays.  Yes, I said it – Love Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday!  You already love Friday, right?  Well, get ready to love the others by Shaking up Monday.

How do you Shake it Up?  First, you need to prepare for Monday on Sunday.  Try this:

  • What will you wear?-  Lay out your work clothes. (Make sure they are clean & wrinkle-free.)
  • What will you eat?-  Prepare your lunch & healthy snacks.
  • What to do? – Make your to-do-list. (Purging your brain of everything you need to accomplish will help you sleep better.)
  • Where is it? –  Put your keys, purse/wallet, coat/shoes, etc. near the door.
  • Go to bed early – .  (Staying up too late will only make you crabby in the morning. Avoid using/watching electronics in bed.)

Okay, so there are some of your Sunday responsibilities.  Here’s what you do Monday Morning:

  • Wake Up – Tell yourself this: “I’m going to make this a GREAT day!”
  • Eat a healthy Breakfast!  Do not skip this important meal.
  • Dress the part, if you want it to be a great day, start by looking great. (Brush & style your hair,  if you’re a woman put on some make-up, wear a special piece of jewelry, etc.)
  • Leave early enough to allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at work without feeling rushed.

So now, you’re getting ready to walk in to work –  put a smile on your face and remind yourself that “you” are going to make it a great day.  And here are some “Shake it Up” tips:

  • Act like it’s the happiest day of your life.
  • Greet your fellow co-workers. (If you are the only one there, look in the mirror and say hello beautiful….  kidding not kidding 😉 )
  • Start the work day with a morning huddle –  this will keep everyone on the same page, and gives you the opportunity to set “the tone” for the day.  Encourage everyone to share their ideas for marketing, better customer service and increased productivity. (See Morning Huddle/Meeting Tips Here)
  • Learn something new –  Look to learn better & fresh ways of doing things by reading books, magazines, listening to podcasts, watching a webinar, attending seminars and learning from those around you.  Remember this, you can learn a lot by getting feed back from your customers/patients (good & bad).  
  • Get some fresh air –  if possible, eat your lunch outside the office or take a short walk during your break.  A breath of fresh air and change in scenery will  help clear your mind and reinvigorate you.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat foods that refresh, not ones that make you feel tired & sluggish.
  • Work from a to-do-list.  If there’s something that must be done, go ahead and get it finished. Get busy, get it done, and feel the freedom of no longer having it hanging over your head. 

I really like this quote from Brian Tracy:  “Your ability to discipline yourself  to do what you should, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not,is the key to becoming a great person and living a great life.”    

Great advice!

These are just some of the many suggestions and helpful tips out there to help you “Love Monday” – and if with all of these suggestions you still “hate Monday” well then, try this:

Turn the volume up on your computer, Play this video by the Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVlr4g5-r18  and “Shake it Up baby!”

If you do not already subscribe to receive our free dental marketing and practice management ideas right to your email inbox each month, please do so today. Feel free to tell your dental friends about Hayden Consulting. ~Thank you!

We welcome your comments, questions and likes.

Make it a GREAT Day!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. If you have children, I understand that your evening and morning routines can be quite challenging… I shared some tips over at my Bacon & Kids blog that might be helpful to you! It was written to help with the Back to School routine but the idea’s are helpful for any time during the school year. Here it is: Organization Tips

“Every moment is your opportunity to build a life that’s rich and full, so take a deep breath, aim for the stars, and make it happen.” — Ralph Marston