How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients

How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients

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.  Sounds lovely, right?

How do you cultivate loyal dental patients?  It certainly isn’t enough to just bring new patients into the practice. You earn this privilege to serve them not just for a moment but for life.

loyal dental patients patient retention betty hayden consulting

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 altogether.

How do you earn this privilege?  Consistently exceed your patients’ expectations.

Here are 12 ways you can do this (in no particular order)…

(1) 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.

(2) Post-Op Calls – Call your patients in the evening to see how well they are doing.

(3) 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. 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!

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

(5) 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!  SEE How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

(6) Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) 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 at 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.

(7) 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. Remember this, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”– Simon Sinek

Hire (and keep) only the best employees. “Remember there is no way that the quality of customer service can exceed the quality of the people who provide it.” Liz Tahir

Invest in your team with continuing education courses (ex: TBSE), and training for your computer software, telephone skills, social media sites, dental terminology, protocols, procedures, and technology.

(8) Stay in Touch – Find/Create 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. SEE: Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients

This includes incomplete treatment & continuing care reminders. Be sure to diligently follow-up on any patients that are due, past-due or have treatment planned but not scheduled. Don’t allow patients to fall through the cracks due to poor systems for follow-up.

(9) Deliver exceptional dental care – Give your patients the best care…always!Really, LISTEN to your patients. Don’t just see and treat “teeth”. Get to know your patients as individuals. Take an interest in them. What are their oral healthcare values & priorities?  What’s in it for them, not you or the office.

Be sure to keep current with dental technology, procedures, and products.

(10) 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 Spring Clean Your Dental Office Using Your 5 Senses

(11) Be My Guest – Treat your patients as a guest in your home. From your first patient of the day to your last patient for the day, make them feel welcome.

(12) 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 cannot 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, you must remain loyal to your goals, your mission, and your promise.

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.

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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) 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

Dental Marketing Ideas for your Local Library

Hello Dental Friends,

Would you like an easy, effective and inexpensive way to reach out to the people in your community? At the very least it will plant some marketing/advertising seeds.

betty hayden consulting dental marketing ideas free dental ideas

Many libraries offer summer reading programs/clubs for the children and adults in the community.

What a great opportunity to get your dental office name in front of these people!

Here are just a few inexpensive yet effective ideas that you can use.

Bookmarks – Create fun, interesting Bookmarks for your local library that include your office contact information. Deliver these bookmarks as a gift to the library to give away during their summer reading programs and events.  (Really, they can use them all year-long.)

Toothbrush bags – Throughout the summer the library hosts several events that bring in people of all ages. Why not make up some toothbrush bags for them to hand out at some of these events. Be sure to use imprinted toothbrushes.

Lip Balm – Personalized lip balm is a great give away! It’s inexpensive too. Lip Balm Express is one of my favorite companies.

Pencils – Imprinted pencils that the children can use to fill in their reading logs.

Prizes – During the reading program at our library, they offer little prizes to the children after they complete so many minutes of reading. Why not donate Little Prizes that they can give away to the children.

Visit the Library – Offer to come in for a dental health presentation/demonstration/experiment/Q&A. Your theme will depend on who your target is.

Community Involvement – Collect new and gently used books to donate to your local library.

Library Social Media Sites – Be sure to comment on, like and share posts from your library’s social media sites on behalf of your office social media pages.

Act now to get your name in front of all the people in your community that will be visiting your local library. Did you catch my other dental marketing ideas for the month of June? If not, check them out here. Dental Marketing Tips and Ideas for June

Some office’s express concern that they just don’t have time to implement any new marketing/advertising ideas. If that’s true with your office, please contact me. I can help! bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If you liked these ideas, please click the like button. Thank you! Should you have any questions about this post or another topic, please email Betty: bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) 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

Dental Practice Management Ideas for April

Dental Practice Management Ideas for April

Hello Friends,

When I share marketing ideas with you each month my goal is to help you exceed your current and potential patients expectations. Just as important, if not most important is to consistently exceed your employees’ expectations. Why? Because an employee that feels appreciated will always deliver more than is expected. Betsy Myers, an expert on leadership development says it best: When people feel valued, appreciated, heard, supported, acknowledged and included, they are motivated to bring their best selves forward. “

I wanted to share some practice management ideas to help you make your second quarter more productive, happier and less stressful for you and your team.

If you’re looking for marketing ideas for the month of April see Dental Marketing Ideas for April & April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Now on to the practice management ideas for April:

Betty Hayden Consulting Dental Ideas Practice Management

Just for Fun!

National Humor Month / Laugh at Work Week: 1-7 – Find ways to laugh each day at work all week-long.

National Fun at Work Day: 6  – Have a silly theme for this day. (For example, Crazy hair, silly socks, decades day, etc.)

Make Lunch Count Day: 13 – Buy lunch in or out for your team.

See for more ideas. Tips to Improve your Dental Office Part 4 ~ Happy Team

Reasons to Celebrate your Team:

National Dental Hygienist Week (Canada): 8-14

Administrative Professionals Week: 23-29

See Employee Appreciation Ideas Here: Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas Pinterest Board

Employee Conflict Resolution & Communication Improvement Opportunity: 

Workplace Conflict Awareness Month This topic should be discussed at a team meeting. Why? Conflict Happens! Make a plan and an agreement as to how all office conflict will be addressed and resolved.

Steps to deal with office conflict:

  1. Calm down and talk with the other person. (Don’t go to anyone else to discuss the conflict)
  2. Attack the problem, not the person. Focus on behaviors and events.
  3. Listen carefully – listen to understand and not to be understood.
  4. Brainstorm solutions with a focus on the future, what it will take to move forward.
  5. Celebrate your Success.

For additional ideas visit Forbes.com for 5- Keys to Dealing with Workplace Conflict. 

To manage conflict, excellent communication is essential.

Communication  – 

  • Job descriptions and expectations must be clearly defined. This is a great time to ask every team member to write a list of their description and responsibilities. Have them indicate next to each task how often it is done (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, varies, etc.). This will help you determine if and when and by whom these tasks are being accomplished. You might find some important tasks are not being done at all or not often enough and so on.  

  • Team Meetings/Morning Huddles are essential for a happy and smooth work day. Visit HERE for some tips on how you can have a successful morning huddle.

  • Address quickly any needed discipline or correction, don’t wait for a staff meeting to address these problems. Instead, meet one on one with the offender.

  • Avoid office negativity, it’s toxic and will infect your team – Rather, focus on and share positive experiences.
  • Your team must know the why, what, and how. They may know the what and the how but not the why, often times, this is why employees are there just to collect a paycheck. Talk about what you believe and attract those who believe what you believe. People buy the why not the what.

Positive Gossip Only! Entire team agrees to stop gossip. Refuse to listen to it. Rather, encourage the person to go directly to the other person they have an issue or complaint about. Unless of course, they can let it go and move on

Hygiene Continuing Care/ Recare Opportunity:

Cleaning For A Reason Week: 18-24 – Send out email & text reminders to your patients that are due/past-due for their hygiene visit. Time for their Spring Cleaning! The “reason”? For their health’s sake – or, consider donating a portion of the production to a local charity.

Community Involvement Opportunity:

Community Spirit Days (1-30) – What a great opportunity for your office to get involved in the community. Check your city’s event calendar for events and activities.

Are there any charity/sporting/community events that you and your team can participate in or sponsor?

Be sure to share a variety of local community events on your social media sites. This will encourage your patients to look to your office page to learn what’s going on in the community.

Host a:

  • Spring Perennial Plant Exchange
  • Book Drive
  • Canned Food Drive
  • Aluminum can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House

Be sure to send out press releases and share on your social media sites what you’re doing to help your community.

So there you have it, some practice management ideas for the month of April. Enjoy!

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

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Dental Patient Of The Day Ideas

Dental Patient Of The Day Ideas

Hello Friends,

Loyal patients return year after year, accept your treatment recommendations and refer their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Sounds great, right?

The best way to fill your dental office with loyal patients is to consistently exceed their expectations. There are many ways to exceed expectations. Today, I’m sharing a simple idea on how to do this.

Selecting a patient to be your “Patient of the Day” (or, guest of the day), is something totally unexpected but so appreciated. It’s a super way to get your patients talking about your office after they leave from their appointment.

dental-patients-of-the-day-ideas

How do you select your patient of the day? That’s easy, you don’t really need a reason other than “just because” but if you want one, here are some ideas:

  • Always on Time
  • Youngest Patient
  • Recent Referral
  • New Patient
  • No Cavities
  • Brand New Smile
  • Recent Accomplishment
  • Quit Smoking
  • Great Personality (Brightens your day)
  • Always Brings Treats

What do you give to your Patient of the Day?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Certificate
  • Gift Card
  • Coffee Mug/Water Bottle (Imprinted)
  • Candle
  • Plant/Flowers
  • Stuffed Animal/Toy

For more patient gift ideas, see: Patient Appreciation Gifts

Keep it simple and convenient. Prepare the gifts and certificates in advance.

Capture the moment! Create some “Patient of the Day” signs (consider including your office name on the sign) that the patient can hold for a picture that you will share on your social media pages. A team member or members may also be in the photo. Ask the patient to tag themselves in the photo.

Choose your patient that day during your morning huddle, or review the schedule a week in advance and select them for an entire week. Whatever works best for your office. Just be consistent, be enthusiastic and have fun with it. This is such a simple way to make their day!

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your inbox 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.

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 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

 

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