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

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Hello Friends,

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month & Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is the 2nd – 9th of April –   An excellent opportunity for you to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 49,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 132 new people in the US EVERY Day will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it.

While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. See more: http://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/oral-head-neck-cancer-awareness-month/

dental marketing ideas for oral cancer awareness month

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Consider offering complimentary oral cancer screenings during the month of April or on a designated day…

 Your offer is this:

Is There A Killer Hiding Under Your Nose?

 April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

our office is pleased to offer

FREE Oral Cancer Screenings

a National Effort to END ORAL CANCER!

 How can you promote your offer?

  •  Send a Press Release to local newspapers & TV stations.
  • Create a one-page flier for your patients to share with their friends, family members,      co-workers and neighbors.
  • Talk about it on all of your office Social Media sites!
  •  Create a Facebook Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening Event.

More Oral Cancer Awareness ideas for the month:

  • Hygiene Continuing Care Opportunity: Encourage your inactive patients to come in for their important free oral cancer screening.
  • Partner with a local business to do free oral cancer screenings at their location.
  • Open House/Oral Cancer Screening Event at your office. (See Tips and Ideas for Dental Office Open House Event )
  • Donate a portion of service/product sales (ie: teeth whitening, fluoride, Invisalign) to Oral Cancer Research.
  • Host or Participate in Oral Cancer Research 5k Walk/Run.
  • Give-away Free T-shirts or Bracelets to every patient that makes a donation toward Oral Cancer Research or Just Because 🙂
  • Create a video to share on your social media platforms demonstrating how oral cancer screenings are quick & painless.
  • Bring in your local dermatologist for a lunch n learn to demonstrate oral, head & neck cancer screenings.
  • Have a gift card or gift basket raffle that your patients can enter to win during the month of April.

If you have questions about Oral Cancer Awareness month or would like to hire me to help with advertising/marketing (press release, flier & talking points) for this special day/month, please contact me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If you’re looking for additional marketing ideas not related to oral cancer awareness for April, please visit here: Dental Marketing Ideas for April

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 email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

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

Scripting for when your dental patient calls to cancel their cleaning appointment…

Scripting for when your dental patient calls to cancel their cleaning appointment…

Hello Friends,

I OFTEN get asked the question, what should we say when a patient calls to cancel their hygiene appointment?

Today, I’ll share with you some scripting examples for handling calls from patients that want to cancel same-day hygiene appointments.

what do I say when patient calls to cancel their dental hygiene appointment

Please note: this isn’t scripting for perio appointment cancellations. You would use different scripting for those types of appointments.

Scenario #1:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 10:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: NOOOOO!

What do you do? It’s 9:00, how are you supposed to fill that time slot?

Scenario #2:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 4:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: YESSSSS!

What do you do? Celebrate, of course! Now you can get out early.

I’m kidding! We hate cancellations (even the “just a cleaning” ones) at any time of day because they all kill profitability.

So what do you say to the patient when they try to cancel? How do you save the appointment?

You can’t save them all, there are unavoidable, legitimate reasons that some patients are canceling their appointment. For help filling the schedule with those inevitable last-minute cancellations, please see: Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

For all others, try this:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 10:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: (with genuine concern) “Oh no! I hope everything is alright. Jenny was really looking forward to seeing you today for your appointment. Is there any way you can make your reservation?” or

“Oh no, Jenny will be so disappointed, she reserved this time just for you, is there any way you can keep your reservation?” or

“Oh no! Thank you for calling, I know Jenny will be concerned, is there anything we can do so that you can be here today?”

or, if you have a broken appointment policy…

Admin: “Oh no! I’d hate for you to have to pay the broken appointment fee, is there any way you can make your reservation with Jenny?”

Now, if the patient is sorry and truly can’t make the appointment and this is the first time they’ve canceled an appointment, say this:

Admin: “I know that Jenny was looking forward to seeing you, I’m sorry that you weren’t able to provide us with 48 hrs notice due to (whatever their reason was) – we’ll go ahead and waive the broken appointment fee this time. Let’s get you rescheduled…”

For patients calling to cancel due to work, try the following…

Patient: I can’t take time off of work, or I have to work…

Admin: “My job is important to me too. We really hate for you to not be able to make your appointment. Is there any way you could have someone cover for you for that time or would it help if we wrote a note to your supervisor?”

STILL NO:

Admin: “We obviously made an appointment for you that isn’t convenient. Since your appointments are important I want to make sure we never do that again. Is there a time we can schedule that you know you will be convenient?”

Document your conversation and that you waived the fee for this time and that the patient is aware next time they’ll be charged.

If the patient refuses to reschedule their appointment…

Admin: “That’s fine, but if I don’t hear back from you, I will call you on ______, how does that sound?” (Follow through on that promise.)

For patients that habitually cancel, I urge you to charge them your broken appointment fee and do not reschedule their appointment.

Admin:  “Mr/Ms (use their name), I can see that you have a really busy schedule and that makes it difficult for you to commit to an appointment time. I thought I was a busy person!
What I recommend is that we place you on our “same day” call list. If we have an unexpected change in our schedule we’ll give you a call. How does that sound?”

Document your conversation! Follow-up accordingly.

Work together as a team to come up with scripting that works for your office. Think of all the different scenarios and reasons patients call to cancel (cost, illness, no babysitter, schedule conflicts, etc.) and role-play the best responses. Your goal should be, if appropriate, respectfully help the patient find a way to keep the appointment as scheduled without threatening or embarrassing them.

If you have created this cancellation monster, it will take some time to re-train your team and your patients. How do we train our patients that it’s ok to cancel last-minute?

  • Not creating true value for the appointment through patient education.
  • Constantly rescheduling patients appointments because of some change to the provider’s schedule.
  • Not respecting the patients time by running behind and not giving the very best experience from start to finish.
  • Telling the patient, no problem or that it’s OK when they call to cancel.
  • Poor and inconsistent appointment reminder systems and protocols.
  • Not acknowledging no-shows with a telephone call 5 minutes after their scheduled appointment time and with a follow-up letter/text/email.

Sadly, I have heard many offices tell the patients, no problem when they call to cancel. They don’t even attempt to reschedule. They just say OK and hang up. I’m not joking. This really happens.

Ultimately, preventing cancellations starts with creating value for the appointment before it’s even scheduled… it’s never “just a cleaning” that they are trying to cancel.

Create a strong hygiene continuing care protocol for your team and consistently follow it.

If your office needs help in creating a protocol for how to track hygiene continuing care reports/numbers, appointment scripting, patient correspondence, etc. please contact me today for a complimentary consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your inbox? 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

 

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

 

Dental Practice Management Ideas for October

Hello Friends,

I had so many ideas to help you make October a great month that I decided to break it up into two categories, Marketing  &  Practice Management. If you want to read all of the marketing ideas simply visit here Dental “Marketing” Ideas for October

Now these things can be done at any time during the year, but sometimes, it helps to have an excuse or a little push to get going.

dental-practice-management-ideas-for-october

Use it or Lose it! – Get your letters (& phone calls) out to your patients reminding them to use any insurance benefits they have remaining for 2016 to complete any needed treatment or for their continuing care hygiene appointment before they lose them.

Scripting Idea: Customize according to the treatment needs of each of patient. Re-create the urgency and value.

See here for sample letter

 October 4th is Improve Your Office Day (It is also Taco day and Vodka day, coincidence? I think not 😉 ) – Please consider reading my Improve Your Office Series found here: Improve Your Office – First Impressions , Improve Your Office – Make a Change , Improve Your Office – The Little Things Matter & Improve Your Office – How to Have a Happier Team 

October 3-7  is Customer Service Week – This is a great team meeting theme. What ideas can you come up with as a team to exceed your patient’s expectations by consistently delivering excellent customer service?

What do you do when you run late? (If you’re habitually running behind, please change that habit! It’s disrespectful to your patients and your team) What do you do when the lab screws up a case?

What about comfort? How are you making the visit as comfortable as possible for your patients?

What about your telephone skills? Are you answering the phone during times that patients are most likely to call? (ie: lunch hours and after hours) How about after the treatment – are you making post-op calls? How are you staying in touch with your patients in between their 6 month hygiene appointments?

Here’s an idea for the fall. Make a list of local fall activities as a hand-out or post them on your website and social media sites.

October 17th is Boss’s Day – Plan now to make this day special for your boss(es). Great opportunity to show your appreciation for and to brag about the awesome boss in your life.

October 20th is Get to Know Your Customers Day ~  Perhaps you could have a Business Card, Free Lunch Drawing. Have fun with this day or turn it into a week or month-long event. This will allow you to get to know your patients better as well as learn what local businesses you want to focus some of your marketing efforts on. 🙂

Combine these practice management ideas with my marketing ideas and you will have a great October (and final quarter) as a team! Not to mention, your patients will love you for it!

As always, I would love to hear your ideas! Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help!

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. 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 andPinterest

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