Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients

Hello Friends,

How do you encourage referrals and build relationships with your patients when the average dental patient comes in only 2 times per year for their continuing care hygiene appointment? Think about this, you get to spend 2-3 hours out of 8,760 hours per year with those patients. With all of life’s distractions and responsibilities, how can you ensure that they don’t forget about you in between appointments? Stay In Touch. Keep your name in front of them by planting little reminder seeds.

Today, I’m going to share with you 10 Ways to Stay In Touch With Your Patients. Ten easy & effective ways you can stay in touch by planting “reminder seeds”.

how to build relationships and encourage referrals betty hayden consulting dental

  1. Social Media Active Social Media pages are a must. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest are excellent ways to engage  and build lasting relationships with your patients. If you struggle with what to post on your pages, visit here for social media content ideas.                                                                                                     
  2. Freebies –  Give away free items imprinted with your office name, website and phone number to each patient at their appointment. Such as; toothbrushes, magnets, calendars, pens and lip balm. ( If you’re wondering where you can order some quality imprinted items, check out Bizarre Marketing.  I share this particular company with you because their customer service is awesome!)                                                                             
  1. Cards – Send cards to your patients, Just Because, Thank you for your referral and/or Special Occasion cards. People appreciate getting an “old fashioned” hand written greeting card via snail mail.   Make it convenient by keeping a variety of greeting cards on hand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  2. Telephone – Pick up the telephone and call your patients. Here are a few reasons you may have to call: Continuing care appointment reminders, Thank you for your referral, Post-op (just checking in to see how well you’re doing), Refill reminders (due for a refill on whitening gel, toothpaste, electric toothbrush head replacement, etc), and Special Occasions.                                                                     
  3. Letters – Send out letters for incomplete treatment, congratulations on completed treatment, welcome to our practice and thank you for your referral. Tip: providers and team members should personally sign their letters. Include a  brief note or comment if appropriate.  In addition to letters, send continuing care appointment reminder postcards and text messages.                                                                                                                                                          
  4. Newsletter – Send newsletters out to your patients. Include sharable content, dental health tips, recipes, community news, office happenings, dental education and special offers.                                                                                                        
  5. Emails – Dental Hygiene Tips, Office Happenings, Continuing Care Reminders and Special Offers. Be sure to ask and record email addresses of your patients. Email communication is inexpensive, easy and effective. Just don’t spam your patients with too many emails.                                                                                                   
  6. Website – Keep your website fresh, easy to navigate and attractive. Include videos, info & pictures about the doctor(s) and team, community events, special offers, ability to schedule appts online, FAQ, dental services and education, office hours, directions, social media pages, contact information, etc.                                                                                                                                                                  
  7. Patient Appreciation Events – Host a fun event for your patients – In-office Patient Appreciation Days and Open House events. See Open House ideas. Out of office events, such as; Roller Skating, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted giveaways and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  8. Community Involvement – Be involved in local health fairs, charity events, sponsor local sports teams, etc. Just a thought, when you and your team are out participating in community events, consider wearing t-shirts that clearly identify (advertise) your office and give away a lot of imprinted gifts.

There you have it, 10 ways to stay in touch with your dental patients. Doing some or all of these things will help to build lasting relationships with your patients and encourage referrals.

Of course, the very best way to ensure your patients remember to come back and to refer their friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers is to get them talking about their experience after they leave your office. How do you that? Be consistently great! Consistently exceed expectations! Plan to make sure that each and every appointment is great from the initial greeting at arrival, during their appointment, and when you say your thank you and goodbyes as they leave. (See Earn The Privilege To Serve Again)

At your next team meeting, discuss what you are currently doing to stay in touch with your patients and how you can improve in planting more reminder seeds.

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, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

 

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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

Dental Marketing Ideas for September

Hello Friends,

September is the last month (opportunity) for you to have the best third quarter ever. Yet, many dental offices say that this is typically a slower month for them. If that is true for your office or if you just want to spice things up for September, here are some dental marketing and practice management ideas for you.

dental marketing ideas for september from betty hayden consulting

Focus: Parents – Now that their kids are back in school, it’s time for dads and moms to pamper themselves with a dental visit.

Look at your schedule for September, find any days that have a few holes in them and declare them “special days for parents”.

Reach out to all of your parents with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Invite them to come in on this “special day” for their dental visit.

Offer Incentives: $ off Ortho, Free Adult fluoride w/hygiene visit, Teeth Whitening Specials, % off treatment, etc. This could be a one day only event or you could feature a different service each day for a week. (Food & beverage is also a nice incentive 😉 )

Gift ideas: Pampering gift bag – lotion, toothbrush, lip balm, chocolate, etc. Include informational handout about the links between oral health & overall health in women & men.

You could easily team up with local businesses for some cross marketing. Salons, Massage therapists, Restaurants, etc. may be more than willing to donate gift cards that you can use in a drawing or include in a gift basket that your patients can enter to win.

Here are  4 more ways to Help your Team and Patients Smile in September!

Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day: 1 Do something special for your team today and/or something unexpected for your patients. If you’re going to do something nice for your patients, get your entire team involved by asking for their ideas.

National Clean Hands Week: 18-24 – Give-Away for your patients during this week: Small imprinted bottles of hand sanitizer.

World Alzheimer’s Month  – Use this as an opportunity to educate your patients and the community about the importance of dental health care for Alzheimer’s patients in helping to keep them comfortable and healthy.

National Courtesy MonthThis is a great opportunity to remind your patients that: “As a courtesy to our patients we remind you of your dental reservation 1-2 days prior. We kindly request that you try to keep your dental appointments as scheduled. If you do require a scheduling change please notify us with at least a 24 hours notice of your appointment date. Thank you!”

So there you have it, some fun marketing ideas for the month of September. If you liked these ideas and plan to use some of them, PLEASE let me know. I love to hear your comments and ideas.

If you would like me to work with your office to create a custom marketing campaign for the month of September,  please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Looking ahead to October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Apple Month, Candy Buy Back and more! Oh, and don’t forget, October starts your final quarter so start now figuring out your production, collection and new patient goals for October, November & December. Remember to include your entire team in your plans!

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email inbox, please take a second to subscribe today. 

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest stop by and say hello.

As always, I wish you all a fantastic & productive month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

Dental Marketing Ideas for your local School District

Hello Friends, 

With back-to-school season in full swing, there is no need to wait until February’s Dental Health month to market to the local schools in your neighborhood, start early in the school year building relationships with school staff & the families that attend these schools.

These small marketing seeds that you plant, help to build relationships over time and you never know when and where those seeds will grow into new patients for your practice. (See Dental Marketing Seeds)

Here are just a few easy, inexpensive & effective ways for your dental office to reach out to your local schools.

dental marketing ideas for local schools betty hayden consulting

 

Donations – Use your office as a community donation site for school supplies or new & gently used books to be donated to local children and/or schools in need. Advertise in office, on your social media sites, to local businesses and the news media via press release that your office is collecting donations for school supplies or books.

This is a GREAT way to bring in potential new patients… when folks come into the office to drop off their donations, be sure to warmly welcome them, give a brief tour of the office, hand out small thank you gifts that are imprinted with your office information or have a raffle they can enter to win a prize. Prize ideas: themed gift basket, electric toothbrush, gift card, teeth whitening, etc. Invite local businesses to contribute something toward the prize.

Gifts for School Staff – Choose one, two, or more schools (depending on the size of the teaching staff) and deliver some treats to show your appreciation for the work they do in caring for the children in the community. Some ideas are: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Toothbrush goodie bags, Lip balm, Little gifts, flowers, etc. Be sure that your office information is clearly imprinted on any toothbrushes or small gifts. See my Pinterest boards for gift ideas

AND/OR

Host a Favorite Teacher Contest. Invite local students to nominate their favorite teacher. Winning teacher gets FREE teeth whitening and a certificate stating they won for the favorite teacher contest. The classroom with the winning teacher gets a gift card for school supplies or pizza/ice cream lunch.

You could easily ask for donations from local businesses to add to the winning teachers prize or for the classroom.

This can be promoted via your office website, newsletters, postcards, emails, office social media sites, local newspapers and signs in your office.

Have fun with it and be sure to share lots of pictures on your social media pages.

Just a few more ideas…

Social Media Sites – Post school-related content to your social media sites, such as:

  • Back to School Tips
  • Healthy Lunch/Snack ideas
  • What to do in a Dental Emergency?
  • Ortho care while at school
  • Dental Health (importance of, regular check-ups, sealants, mouthguards, fluoride & braces)

Office Blog – Share short articles/videos on your office blog/website using the above topics.

Pinterest – On your office Pinterest page, create a school related board(s). See my Pinterest boards for ideas.

Book Fairs Many schools will be hosting book fairs this school year.  And if your local school(s) are anything like mine, these book fairs draw a very large crowd.

Create fun, interesting Bookmarks for your local schools that include your office contact information. Deliver these bookmarks as a gift to the local schools to use during their book fairs. Easy! Right?

Here’s another one, tooth bags. Make up some little bags with a “lost tooth” congratulations message from your office and space to write the child’s name. Deliver these bags to local elementary schools for them to keep on hand for when a student loses a tooth during the school day. Both of my kids have come home with a tooth wrapped in a napkin or in a plain ziplock bag. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to advertise your office?

 For additional ideas to use with local schools see February’s Children’s Dental Health Month and October/November’s Candy Buy Back. Also, my Marketing Ideas for August has some nice ideas for you to use with students & teachers.

I have witnessed first hand just how effective marketing to local schools can be. The opportunity to bring in many new patient families to your practice is huge. If you are interested in hiring me to help your office create a custom marketing campaign, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com for a complimentary consultation.

Please feel free to share with me your ideas for marketing to local schools or if you have any dental marketing questions that I can help you answer, please comment below.

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email in box, please subscribe today. 

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest stop by and say hello. Thank you 😀

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty


 

Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Hello Dental Friends,

Holes in the dental hygiene schedule, why do we dread this so much? Because, unfilled appointments, canceled or missed appointments all kill profitability.

So what do you do? You probably are desperate for a quick fix to fill the holes in the schedule. Right? Well, I’ll help you out by sharing some ideas to fill the hygiene schedule as a quick fix. However, I must say a quick fix is typically only a temporary fix. If holes in the schedule are becoming the norm around your office you need something more than a quick fix to figure out why this is happening and work to prevent your hygiene schedule from looking like Swiss cheese every week. Please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com or comment here if this is becoming an issue with your schedule. I can help you prevent these holes from happening.

On to the ideas for a quick (temporary) fix:

Note: If at all possible, try to avoid moving patients appointments around to fill in gaps. It can aggravate the patient. It’s always best to keep their appointment as scheduled.

Also, this isn’t the time to point fingers or start blaming someone for having holes in the schedule. Work together, as a team to fill these holes. Ideally, the hygienist should be involved in making these calls to patients, etc. Patients are more likely to respond when it’s their beloved hygienist calling them. Besides, the hygienist(s) are obviously the one(s) with the extra time. So the ideas I share are directed to the hygiene department with the goal of them becoming productive, happy and profitable.  (Again, you will want to at a later date, work together as a team to determine why this is happening and create solutions to repair the breakdown.)

how to fill holes in dental hygiene schedule

  • Call List – Do you have any patients that would like to come in at an earlier date for their hygiene appointment?  Call them and let them know you have a rare unexpected change in the schedule and can see them sooner.
  • Cancellation/Missed Appt List – Do you have any patients on these lists that can be called?
  • Family Members – Check for other family members due for their hygiene appt. Is there someone coming in with hygiene that has family members that are also due in hygiene that may want to take one of those open slots.
  • Doctors Schedule – Check the doctors schedule for any patients that may be due for their hygiene appt and are coming in around the time that needs to be filled in hygiene. Invite them to take care of their hygiene appointment at the same time.
  • Incentives – Offer an Incentive for accepting a last-minute appointment. For example, complimentary fluoride, teeth whitening, small gift or gift card. Use your social media platforms to advertise this awesome today (or tomorrow) only opportunity.
  • Continuing care/past-due List – Get on the phone and with an enthusiastic and positive tone make some calls to your patients that are due or past due in hygiene. (Vary the times you make these calls. You’ll reach more patients this way.)
  • Social Media – Engage with your patients, potential patients and local businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. For ideas see: Social Media Content
  • Spend more time with your patients. If you have open time that couldn’t be filled, take this opportunity to discuss better home care tools, update their information and medical history, do some perio charting, talk about cosmetic services, any recent continuing education courses, place sealants, apply desensitizing agent to any sensitive teeth, take impressions for whitening trays, review incomplete treatment with them, ask them if they’ll kindly leave a review on Google, Facebook or Yelp, mention how dental gift certificates make great gifts, etc.

Just a reminder before making any calls, it would be a good idea to check your patient’s account balance, insurance benefits and review their clinical notes. Also, be sure to document all calls, conversations, and correspondence made to or with the patient.

If the holes in your schedule are a few weeks out you can try these ideas:

  • Special Offers – Focus on a particular service or group of patients to target with special offers or prizes on a day that has a lot of holes. For example, Mouthguards  / Teeth Whitening / Sealants / Desensitizing Agents / Back to School / Kids day / Senior day.
  • Fun Themed days – Superhero, Luau, BBQ, Disney, Sports, etc.

Despite your best efforts to fill the schedule, you may still end up with some holes that just couldn’t be filled. That’s alright, there is plenty to do to remain productive during this time.

During downtime:

  • Get on the phone and make continuing care calls.
  • Pull Incomplete hygiene treatment report and call, send postcards, emails, texts or letters to your patients.
  • Make calls, send emails, postcards, letters, etc.to your patients that are due, past due or almost due in hygiene.
  • Thoroughly clean and stock treatment rooms.
  • Get out and visit with area businesses. Introduce the office, take them a small gift and a “let’s get acquainted” special offer.
  • Discuss some marketing ideas for the office.
  • Continuing Education. Watch a webinar or video, read a manual, etc. Improve your clinical skills, knowledge of new technology and procedures, telephone scripting, office protocols, etc.

I hope these ideas provide you with a quick fix to fill those holes in your schedule. Let me know how they work for you.

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email inbox, PLEASE take a second and subscribe today. 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

 

 

Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for June

 

Hello Dental Friends,

NOTE: For updated dental marketing ideas for the month of June, visit HERE

How is your second quarter looking? I hope you’re happy with your production, collections, new patient numbers and the appointment schedule.

Today, I’m going to share some marketing and practice management ideas with you to help you close out your second quarter better than ever.

dental marketing ideas for summer hayden consulting

Theme: Cruise on in for Better Dental Health

Product Feature: Sealants (Adult & Child)

A Tooth Without A Sealant is like a Car Without A Seat belt”

Half off Sealants during the month of June or special pricing on full mouth.

Pull Incomplete treatment plan report – Call anyone with sealants treatment planned and send a card that creates urgency for treatment and highlights the special offer.

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “Cruise On In For Better Health” (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

Here are some more ideas for you…

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month & National Headache Awareness Week: 2-8 Educational Opportunity – If your patient doesn’t suffer from headaches they surely know someone who does so this can be a great referral opportunity as well.

Opportunity to Exceed Patient Expectations ~  Got a Patient going on a Vacation? If you are planning a summer vacation, be sure to pick up a complimentary toothbrush & travel-sized toothpaste!

Gift Certificates See  Dental Gift Certificates Make Great Presents for ideas on how to use gift certificates to grow your practice.

Practice Management Ideas and Reminders ~

 Hygiene Continuing Care/Recare Reminders:

Postcard & Social Media Site Scripting Idea: Summertime is a great time of year and it can also be a busy time of year. We encourage you to remember to take the time to squeeze in your regular dental visit before the summer months fly by. Regular dental visits are so important to your overall health.

 

Recess At Work Day: 16 (Third Thursday)

Get outside for a few minutes with your team for some fresh air. If you can’t all get outside, open the windows, turn up the radio and dance indoors. How about a sweet treat to enjoy during “recess”? (ie: ice cream, frozen drink, etc.) **Remember to take pictures and video of the team having fun together so you can share on your social media sites. 🙂

Hope you enjoy these ideas and are able to use some of them to help make the month of June a fantastic one for you, your team and your patients. Please let me know how you plan to use the ideas and what the outcome is. I love to hear about your success stories!!

If you have any other thoughts or ideas feel free to comment below. Or if you liked these ideas, please click the like button. Thank you! Should you have any questions about this post, please email Betty: bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. (Simply click  the link on this page that says subscribe via email) This way, you won’t miss a single idea! PLEASE, feel free to share my blog with your colleagues. 

Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty