The Benefits Of Using A Dental On-Hold​ Messaging Telephone Service

The Benefits Of Using A Dental On-Hold​ Messaging Telephone Service

Hello Friends,

Have you ever called a local business and were immediately put on hold only to hear every few seconds this crazy annoying beeping sound or there is dead silence? You can’t tell if you’ve been disconnected or are still on hold. Or what about the business that has a radio playing as their on-hold message, except it’s all static or playing some lame music?

Now, I believe the best customer service is to never put the caller on hold. However, we all know that from time to time it happens. (For how to effectively answer the dental office telephone SEE  How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone)

dental message on hold telephone service

A while back I set one of my clients up with a message on hold service, created beautiful, short custom marketing messages for them and on the first day of using it, a caller said: “Oh, I didn’t know you do teeth whitening.” See how that works?

Having a quality message on hold system set up is a good thing. Use this service as an opportunity to educate and inform your callers while they are on hold.

Every dental office has information, news, events, or dental health facts and services that should be highlighted while a caller is put on hold.

In addition to playing music, what are some things you can talk about?

  • Special Office Events
  • Dental Services & Products
  • Dental Health Tips
  • Office Hours
  • Social Media Site Information (Invite callers to “like” / “follow” the office.)
  • Financial Expectations
  • Website Address

A message on hold system allows you to advertise to your patients and keep them informed on the latest and greatest office happenings. It will also distract them from the fact that they’ve been put on hold.

Please make sure that you keep your content fresh! One of my doctors offices has had the same on hold message for years!! I think I have it memorized. Blah!

 There are many on hold messaging services out there.

My suggestions for what to look for in a message on hold service/system are: 

  • Quality Sound & Voice Talent.
  • Inexpensive – You don’t need to spend a lot of money!
  • Helpful – Exceptional Customer Service.
  • Allows you to change your message and music throughout the year.
  • Doesn’t lock you into a long contract.
  • Will help you create effective messages.
  • Makes the setup and process easy on you and your team!
  • Allows you to listen to sample messages before buying.

 And if you want my specific recommendation, it is Captive Audience. After much research, this is the company that I have found to meet my requirements and exceed my expectations. (See below for more information about Captive Audience)

Have you ever called your office and were put on hold? I know your patients and potential patients have, what are they hearing or not hearing? Make the time they’re on hold count!

Those are my thoughts on using a message on hold service.

Since we’re talking about putting callers on hold, might I add, never, ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People prefer not being put on hold.  If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your email? If not, PLEASE take a second and follow today or send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my blog with your dental friends. ~ Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

P.P.S. Captive Audience – Ask for Kathy at  951.784.2875  – email kathy@captive- audience.com ) tell her Betty Hayden sent you. From personal experience, I know that Kathy will take good care of you.

Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for January

Hello Friends,

Now is the time to think seriously about any troubles, concerns and problems that occurred during the year that you do not want to repeat in the new year. What problems would you like to see solved? Take steps to make any needed changes or improvements. For more ideas to get you started visit here: Improve your Office – Make a change!

Also, think about all of the things that worked well and how you can repeat them or even improve upon them in the new year. Celebrate your successes!!

Do not delay, put down on paper all of your thoughts and plans to make 2017 a better year for you and your practice. Do include your team in this plan, ask them what their ideas are to make 2017 a more productive and happier year for all.

Now, here are some Marketing & Practice Management Ideas to help make January your Best Month Ever!

dental marketing ideas for winter betty hayden

Practice Management Ideas ~

Let’s start with your existing patients active and inactive…

Hygiene Continuing Care & Incomplete Treatment:

Insurance Maximums: Many of your patient’s dental insurance maximums renew on January 1. Phone, email or text your patients with a friendly reminder of their renewed benefits and make a reservation for them to come in for their hygiene visit or incomplete treatment with the doctor.

Inactive Patients: It doesn’t help anyone to have a file cabinet or computer full of inactive patients – Get them on the schedule. January is a great time to send We Miss You Reactivation Letters to your patients. For a sample letter visit this post: Reactivation Letter

Hygiene Patients: Are you pre-appointing hygiene visits? If not, January is a good time to make this a goal for the office. While you have the hygiene patient in the office, schedule their next 3, 4 or 6-month visit. Avoid saying “would you like to schedule your next appointment?” Many will say no. Instead, say this: “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next visit.” Assume they want to schedule their next visit. By the way, your entire team needs to be on board with pre-appointing your patients. It can be done!🙂

National Clean Off Your Desk Day: 9 (2nd Monday)  Clutter represents indecision. Make a decision to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters.

Fun at Work Day: 27 (Last Friday)  You’ll find many ideas here on how to have fun at work.

Next, we have few internal and external marketing ideas, some are educational and some are just for fun. All are presented to exceed your patients expectations, help to create value for better dental health and get people talking about you to their friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.

Dental Marketing Ideas

External Marketing to Local Businesses:

Send a coffee truck to local businesses/schools – What a great surprise and welcome treat for many local businesses. Be sure to take pictures that can be shared on your social media sites. 

January is Be Kind to Food Servers Month –  Visit some local restaurants and present servers with a “We Appreciate You” gift. Gift Ideas: Toothbrush bag, lip balm , pens, etc. All items should be imprinted. Consider a drawing they can enter to win free teeth whitening.

Internal Marketing Ideas

January is National Hot Tea Month

Educational & Service Opportunity:

Drinking teas such as green tea can be very good for one’s dental health.

Does Tooth Sensitivity hold some of your patient’s back from enjoying their favorite hot beverage? Show them how you can help relieve/eliminate tooth sensitivity. This will give a nice boost to your production too!

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “National Hot Tea Month” (or different themed) campaign that includes ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement:

Sugar Awareness Week – 16-20

National Motivation and Inspiration Day: 2

Dress Up Your Pet Day: 14

Popcorn Day: 19

National Pie Day: 23

Dental Drill Appreciation Day: 26

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: 30

So there you have it, a few dental marketing ideas for January. Please be sure to comment below with any other ideas or reminders you have for the month of January. I LOVE hearing from you!

If you have not yet subscribed to receive my Free Dental Marketing Ideas each month, please do so today.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

Dental Marketing Ideas for November

Dental Marketing Ideas for November

Hello Friends,

I thought I would start this post with a lovely quote about the month of November, apparently, that was a big request as it looks like November is not a favorite for most. The majority of the quotes were about how awful the month of November is.

If that’s how you feel about November, I would like to help you make it such a great month in your office that you’ll be full of positive experiences and remarks! (That will give me some encouraging quotes about November for next year. 😉 )

betty hayden consulting free dental marketing ideas november

Just for you – Dental Marketing Ideas to help you make November

the cheery & productive month it so wants to be…

Let’s start with just a couple of reminders:

Candy Buy Back – Many of you will be starting off the month of November hosting and celebrating your office Candy Buy Back events. Be sure to alert the local TV news, online & print newspapers and social media sites about these events.

Incomplete Treatment & Insurance Maximum Renewals – Do you have any patients with incomplete treatment or ones that are due/past due in hygiene with remaining insurance benefits that are going to run out at the end of this year? Do what you can to help them see the need and value in scheduling an appointment this month before the end of the year rush really shifts into high gear! See Remaining Dental Insurance Maximum Letter – Use It or Lose It Reminders

Dental Education Opportunity:

November is American & National Diabetes Month

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes.
People with diabetes are 2 times more likely to develop serious gum disease.
Use this month to educate your patients about the connections between diabetes and gum disease while they are in the chair and or via email, office newsletters, and your social media sites.

Great American Smokeout: 17  – Wonderful Educational Opportunity to help your patients Kick the Tobacco Habit! As well as encourage youths to remain tobacco-free.

Cosmetic Dentistry Opportunity:

Many of your patients will soon be attending holiday parties/events and typically with these special occasions come a lot of picture-taking. Now is a great time to help them see how they can easily get their smile ready for the camera with teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment/procedures.

Continuing Care Opportunity:

Give Up Your Shoulds Day: 1stThe dictionary defines “should” as a word used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. Help your patients to give up some “shoulds” in their lives that often lead to guilt and stress. Such as: “I should schedule my dentist appointment” or “I should floss every day”; encourage them to turn these shoulds into something positive by seeing the value and personal benefit to flossing every day and/or being able to say they scheduled their dental appointment. It’s not something they “should” do but what they “want” to do to stay healthy.

Here are 3 More Ways to Help Your Patients 
Smile in November!

World Kindness Week: 13-19 – Have Gift Of Health Certificates for your patients to share with their friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family. What about handing out special surprise gifts for your patients or deliver gifts to local businesses this week. Perhaps there is a patient coming in this week for treatment that is experiencing serious financial hardship and would benefit from some extra kindness by you donating some of their dental treatment.

Black Friday – Offer Special Pricing on Teeth Whitening & Electric Toothbrushes, Ortho Consult or a New Patient Visit.

Flossing day: 29th – Post fun floss facts & tips on your social media sites. Make a video and share on Facebook, YouTube & Pinterest demonstrating proper flossing techniques.

As always, I would love to hear your ideas for making November a great month! Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help! Contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Please share my blog with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

 

Dental Marketing to Seniors

Hello Friends,

Marketing to seniors typically isn’t a priority for most dentists. However, since advancing age doesn’t mean seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, why not take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to this generation? Help them to see they’re not destined to lose their teeth.

dental marketing to senior citizens

A few ways to reach out to Senior Citizens:

Senior Appreciation Day (In-office)

Senior Health & Wellness Expo

Direct Mail Marketing to Senior Living Communities

Website & Social Media Sites

Today, I’m going to focus on ideas for you to use at a community senior health & wellness fair/expo. However, many of the ideas for talking points, presentation and giveaways may be used in the other forms of marketing mentioned above.

Health Fair settings can be challenging for a couple of different reasons.

One, there are a lot of vendors and booths/displays so you’re going to want to make sure that your display table stands out. That it draws the attention of the guests.

Two, most people are there for something free. No problem for you,  because they won’t leave your display empty-handed.

Many wonder what they should talk about and what sort of items should they give away?

How about these ideas…

Service Talking Points ~

– Denture/Partial Maintenance & Repair
– Bad Breath
– Dry Mouth
– Teeth Whitening
– Orthodontics
– Implants
– Oral Cancer (On-site screenings)
– The mouth-body connection
– Smile Makeover

Presentation / Demonstration ~

– Power Point/Video presentation on a laptop/tablet/LARGE monitor with before and after photos and/or information about your services.
– How To Demonstrations: Proper Brushing & Flossing Techniques

Display ~

– Table Cloth
– Banner (Office Name and Website address)
– Brochures
– Business Cards
– Use nice baskets, containers and frames to display your items.

Keep your table neat but attractive – too much information and “stuff” will be overwhelming in that setting.

Include a Big Call to Action with a deadline: You could hand out a sheet of paper that has a special offer on it: Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening, New Patient Special or Teeth Whitening Offer. On that sheet include some of the other services you offer. Also, include your social media sites and of course all your office contact info.

Make certain that you’ll have the ability to schedule complimentary consultations and New Patient Hygiene visits right there on the spot. (Access to your schedule…at the very least a copy of the schedule for the next 2 weeks.)

Very Important:  Your display table must include friendly, smiling, approachable and outgoing team members (also wearing, professional & clean attire).

Other things you can do to attract people to your table…

– Prize Wheel

–  Gift Basket Drawing/Raffle
Lots of FREE stuff! Which brings us to…

Giveaways ~

– Bottled Water
– Healthy Snacks
– Xylitol Products- Gum/Mints

– Sample dental health products with sticker or tag attached showing that a “refill” may be purchased at your office.
– Imprinted Toothbrushes
– Toothpaste
– Floss / Imprinted Floss Cards
– Imprinted Pens
– Magnets
– My favorite idea for a quick & inexpensive freebie is Lip Balm- (my go to; 
http://www.lipbalmexpress)
– Reusable Bags with your Office Information on them is a handy giveaway, one that allows them to carry their free gifts in and advertise your office for you.

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money on bags, please consider using small imprinted plastic bags so no one is fumbling with their gifts.

(If you’re wondering where you can order some of the imprinted items listed above and many others not listed, check out Bizarre Marketing.  I share this particular company with you because their customer service is awesome.)

Raffle / Drawing ~

– Electric Toothbrush
– Whitening Pen
– Gift Cards
– Gift Baskets ( Themes: Dental, Gardening, Seasonal items, Spa – don’t hesitate to team up with local businesses for basket items)
– Free Teeth Whitening and or $ off Dental Treatment ( NOTE: they can either check the box for which one or all that they are hoping to win. Use a full sheet of paper with prize options and large space for them to fill out their name, email, address & phone (to be used later to send nice to meet you cards).

Should you decide to use a Prize Wheel instead of Raffle/Drawing be sure to find another way to capture their information so you can follow-up with a “pleasure to meet you” thank you card after the event.

Encourage attendees to “like” your office Facebook page and “follow” your office on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Perhaps you can offer some type of incentive/reward for visiting your social media sites.

Take a few minutes before and after the event to briefly introduce yourself to the other vendors and businesses at the expo. Give them a bag with some of your office freebies. This is a great opportunity to build relationships within your community.

So many ways for you to have a fun and successful senior health and wellness fair. Do you have any other ideas that have worked well for you? Please, share them with me.

If you do not already subscribe to receive our free dental marketing and practice management ideas right to your 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.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

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