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. ūüėČ )

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 ‚Äď 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  РWonderful 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: 1st ‚Äď The dictionary defines ‚Äúshould‚ÄĚ as a word used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. Help your patients to give up some ‚Äúshoulds‚ÄĚ in their lives that often lead to guilt and stress. Such as: ‚ÄúI should schedule my dentist appointment‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúI should floss every day‚ÄĚ; 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 ‚Äúshould‚ÄĚ do but what they ‚Äúwant‚ÄĚ to do to stay healthy.

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

World Kindness Week: 13-19 РHave 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 РOffer 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

 

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How to Successfully Ask for and Collect Payment for Dental Treatment

Hello Friends,

Fear of cost moves many people to put off visiting the dentist or to cancel their appointments for scheduled treatment. Fear of presenting fees causes many team members to dread or avoid presenting treatment plans/financial expectations and asking for payment. These fears do not help the patient or the office.

Would you like to see more patients not only accept treatment but pay for it before or at time of service?  Would you like to see an increase in production and office collections?  Would you like to decrease the amount of time and money being spent on making collection calls and sending patient statements/letters?

how to ask for and collect dental payments from Betty Hayden Consulting

Today, I’ll share with you a few tips to help make that happen.

  1. See the true value of dentistry – With each day and each and every patient you and your team have the privilege and opportunity to potentially change someone’s life or at the very least, help them smile healthier. A healthy smile is part of a healthy body, healthy smiles and bodies create healthy communities. ¬†The entire team must believe this. The entire team must also wholly believe that you’re providing the best quality care. Having full confidence in the doctors and hygienists ability to provide quality care and to create beautiful and healthy smiles is a must.
  2. Be confident with fees –¬†The entire team should role play presenting small and large treatment plans and financial arrangements until every one is comfortable saying the dollar amounts out loud and with pride.
  3. Financial policy РHave a written financial policy that is kindly reviewed with the patient at their first appt. Have them sign and take a copy with them. For your existing patients, review with them any changes to your financial policies, have them sign and give them a copy to take home.
  4. Avoid assumptions and judgement – Don’t make decisions for the patient as to whether or not they can afford¬†the treatment based on your assumptions or reality. Remember this,¬†Sympathy vs Empathy: Sympathy is feeling for the patient… deciding for them that they can’t afford the dental care, Empathy is feeling with the patient… yes, this is more than they were wanting to pay, however, you’re going to give them hope… you’re going to offer third party financing, break up the treatment plan if possible or allow them to make payments as a credit until they have enough money to get started with treatment. Always offer the best treatment and flexible payment options and allow¬†the patient to decide what they want to accept or not.
  5. No surprises! –¬†Present treatment plan and financial portion¬†before treatment is started. Make sure your numbers are as accurate as possible, especially when estimating the insurance portion. If you accept their insurance, have up to date eligibility, breakdown of benefits and the insurance fee schedule on file for the patient.
  6. Payment due before or on day of service –¬†No billing the patient for co-pays or payment for services. (Hint: Collecting prior to appt. will reduce cancellations and no-shows. Another Hint: Collect co-pay before the patient goes back for treatment, especially if they’re having a lengthy or difficult appt. No one wants to stand at the front desk fumbling for money or to write a check with gauze hanging out of their mouth after an extraction, or numb and exhausted after a long appt. Make it more comfortable for them by collecting their pmt and making any necessary follow up appts before they go back. )
  7. Make it easy for them to pay –¬†In addition to accepting cash, check and charge cards, offer third party financing. Avoid in-office payment plans!
  8. Incentives – Offer incentives for patients to pay when they make the reservation.
  9. Dealing with forgetful patients – When a patient says they forgot to bring money…they can either call the payment in over the phone when they get home or give them an envelope with payment due date for them to mail in a check. Call the patient if payment isn’t received by due date.
  10. When Insurance is involved –¬†¬†Always give the full treatment fee, the estimated insurance amount and the patient’s estimated co-pay that is due today. Let the patient know you’ll send in the claim and inform them if anything changes with the estimated insurance portion. Watch your insurance aging report closely. Promptly follow up on any unpaid claims, insurance rejections and requests for add’l information.

There you have it, 10 tips to successfully collect payment before or at time of service.

Once you make a plan to consistently collect payments before or at time of service, and hold your team accountable to follow through with that plan, you’ll wish you started it sooner.

Here are a few more tips to help make this a true success for you.

  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly, monitor your patient and insurance accounts receivables, collection and credit reports. ¬†(Carefully review write-off’s, discounts, credits, charges and payments.)
  • Each day, look at the day prior, what were your total production charges & collections? Pay close attention to the total patient responsibility vs patient payments, these numbers should be close to the same. If not, why not?
  • ALWAYS send out clean insurance claims! If your administrative team needs any training in this ever changing insurance world with how to estimate co-pays, send out claims (daily), ¬†post insurance payments and adjustments…get them the proper training asap!
  • Don’t assume… know by who, when, what and how your money is being handled. It’s important for the entire team to understand why¬†this information is necessary.
  • Set goals, share with your team what your production and collection goals are and how it benefits them to all work together as a team to reach or exceed these goals. Consider offering a small bonus or incentive when these goals are reached.

Print out these tips and suggestions and review them at your next team meeting.

Please know, I’m happy to help you and your team develop a plan to reach your production and collection goals. I offer complimentary consultations via email at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email in box each month? If not, take a second and sign up. This way, you won’t miss a single idea! If you think your dental colleagues would appreciate receiving these ideas each month, feel free to share my blog address with them. Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Dental Marketing Ideas for December

Hello Dental Friends,

Today I will be sharing with you:

Marketing ideas for dentists from Hayden Consulting

Can you believe it? Soon we will be closing out 2013 and welcoming in 2014! As you contemplate your goals for 2014, keep these quotes in mind:

¬†“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.” – ¬†Belva Davis

 Wonder what opportunities you pass, unwittingly, because your hands are so busy clasping  what you think you have always known. РMary Anne Radmacher

How does your schedule look for December? 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. Some offices invite their patients to take advantage of ‚Äútoday only‚ÄĚ special offers. Have fun with it.

.Dental Education & Referral Opportunity:

December is a great month to give your current patients Gift Of Health Certificates to share with their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Print them out on seasonal paper and matching colored envelopes.

Customize your dental health/service message and special offer/invitation.

 Gift Of Health Certificate

 

To: ______________________________________

From: ___________________________________

 Your oral health affects your overall health!

¬†This is your invitation to receive $25 toward dental treatment and a complimentary oral cancer screening from —(office name)——.

¬†Please RSVP at –(office phone number)—–

We’ll give you a reason to smile!

Add here: Office address & website/social media sites

 Remember, Gift Certificates for Teeth Whitening should always be available for your patients to purchase as gifts for their loved ones.

Here are 3 More Ways to Help Your Patients & Team

Smile in December!

National Write a Business Plan Month Plan now to make 2014 your Best Year Yet! Meet together as a team to discuss marketing ideas, production & collection goals, new patient goals, continuing education needs/wants, office maintenance/repair/remodel needs. Put your plans down on paper! Be sure to include a plan of action: The Who, What, Where, When & How’s!

 National Cookie Day: 4th РPackage up a cookie with your office label and a packet of hot chocolate to hand out to your patients on this day or do it for the entire week or month. Your patients will love this sweet treat. A Great way to exceed their expectations.

¬†It’s About Time Week – 25th – 31st: What is it time for? Employee Reviews?, A Team meeting?, To finally let that team member go that has been bringing everyone down?, Stronger Hygiene Continuing Care Protocol?, New Office Equipment?, New Office Uniforms?…. you get the idea ūüėČ

 I would love to hear all about your plans to make December a great month. Please comment below to share your ideas.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to receive free dental marketing ideas via your email each month, please do so today. Feel free to share these posts with all of your dental friends!

 Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty