Dental Marketing Ideas for your Pediatric Office

Hello Friends,

Are you looking to grow your pediatric dental office? Well, get your pen and paper ready because I’m going to share with you several dental marketing ideas for your pediatric office. Better yet, you might want to print out this article and discuss these idea’s with your team. Together, come up with a marketing plan that will help to make this your Best Year Yet!

Before we get started, keep in mind that the way to mom and dads heart is to treat their children well. The way to keep mom and dad loyal to your office is to treat their children exceptionally well. Why? Happy Kids = Happy Parents.  As a mother of two children, I know this to be TRUE! 

Here you go, Dental Marketing Ideas for the Pediatric Office…

how to bring in new pediatric dental patients?

Open House Kid’s Day (In Office) – 

  • Choose a theme: Carnival, BBQ, Luau, Movie/TV/Book Characters, 50’s, etc.
  • Activities: Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Hula Hoop Contest, Karaoke, Crafts, Carnival-like games, Photo booth/props, etc. (Depending on if the event is inside or outside the office)
  • Prize: Have a drawing to win a gift basket, gift card, bicycle, or team up with a local business for a donated prize.
  • Food: Hot dogs, Chips, Ice Cream/Popsicle, Water, Popcorn, etc.
  • Advertise: Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards,  and emails/texts to your current patients.
  • Option: Book appointments in hygiene only, this way, you’ll have production for the day and doctor will be free to visit with guests and still do the exams.
  • Memories: Take lots of pictures during the event to share on your social media sites and in your newsletters.

See also Idea’s for hosting an open house

Host Patient Appreciation Events (Outside of office)

  • Skating Rink, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted give-away’s and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.

Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –

What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize give away’s and snacks.

Theme Idea’s: Luau, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, (visit party stores or orientaltrading.com for a ton of theme ideas)

Children’s Dental Health Month

In-Office

  • Field Trips – Invite local schools and daycare’s for a free field trip to the dentist. (Serve a Healthy snack such as grapes, apple slices, string cheese and small bottled water, Present Education stations/demonstrations-visit the ADA website and Pinterest for great idea’s for presentations,  Toothbrush bags for the students and teachers/parents, show a short Video while the kids eat their snack)

Outside the office –

  • What: On-site Short Dental Education Presentations/Demonstrations and Toothbrush gift bags for the kids and teachers/parents.
  • Where: School’s, Daycare’s, Library, Mom groups, etc.

New Patient Experience

Give tour of the office, send a welcome card after first visit to the child (Kids LOVE to get mail), give a new patient gift bag, sign child up to join your office kids club/team.

Participate in local Family Health & Wellness Fairs –

See  Health and Wellness Fairs for some great idea’s.

Visit Local Businesses

  • Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios,Salons, Etc.
  • What: Introductions, Referral pads/cards, Small Gifts (Imprinted toothbrushes, flosscards, lip balm, etc.) Food (Bagels, Donuts, Fruit, Pies, etc), Contest/Drawing for Prizes, Lunch-n- Learn, etc.  TIP: When visiting general dentist and pediatrician offices, always treat their reception team wonderfully… if your goal is to meet the doctors and get patient referrals, you want/need them to like you. 😉

Back-To-School/School Break Visits –

Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special days in the office. Special pricing or promotion on Sealants, Ortho, Fluoride, etc. Consider doing a drawing for a Backpack filled with school supplies. Contest:  nominate your favorite teacher (use social media sites to promote), prize idea’s for winning teacher: Breakfast/Lunch at the school, free teeth whitening, or team up with local businesses for prize donations.

Book Drive 

Collect new or gently used books to donate to your local library or schools. Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards and to your current patients.

  • Incentive: Gift Basket (put together a fun themed gift basket) Every person that donates books can enter a drawing to win a gift basket. You do not need to be a patient of record to donate books.
  • Once you have collected all the books:
  • Take pictures of the books
  • Put together toothbrush gift bags w/office information and special offer to deliver to the employees of the library and or school.
  • Deliver books and gift bags to the library and or schools.

Reception Room

In addition to being clean and with up-to-date decor consider having in your reception room: Video games (Stationary and/or handheld devices), Books (lending library), TV (children’s movies and short dental education videos) Wall of fame, digital photo frame or photo album filled with pictures of your patients. Photo “booth” area with backdrop and photo props. Tablet/Cell Phone charging station for parents.

Kid’s Club/Team

I’m not a fan of “no cavity” clubs because I like to see all children have the opportunity to be part of the office kids club/team and sometimes, a child’s unfortunate cavity is the fault of the parent. Have a club/team that is just for fun and that rewards healthy habits. Take a picture of each child to hang on your wall of fame or in a digital photo frame or picture album, as well as for your website, newsletter and/or social media sites. Present child with a certificate/wristband/t-shirt when they sign up for your kids club. Have monthly contests/drawings that the children can enter to win prizes.

Give-Away’s

Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, etc. Kids love to leave the office with a special little gift. 🙂

Social Media –

Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all of your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses and connect with potential patients. See Social Media Site Posting Content Idea’s

Answer Your Phone – 

Sure, you know that the office phone should be answered within the first couple of rings by an unhurried, friendly scheduling coordinator whose goal is to schedule an appointment and wow the caller with excellent customer service but if you want to see greater results from your marketing efforts, then you must be certain that your office phone is answered during times when patients are calling. Minimum: Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, including lunch hours.  Invest in your entire team by providing training on how to effectively answer the phone. 

Forward your calls to an answering service if needed. Having a live person for the caller to talk to is so much better than your caller getting an answering machine or voice mail and then deciding to call the next dental office on their list in hopes of talking to a “live” person. 

Also, despite our best intentions to not put a caller on hold we know that it still happens from time to time. Consider having an on hold message for these times, this way, you’ll have the opportunity to share office information, special offers, social media sites, etc. with the caller rather than them listen to nothing, an annoying beeping sound or lame music. See also: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service

Missed calls and calls poorly handled are missed opportunities and those missed opportunities mean missed dollars…big dollars!

For more telephone success tips, take a minute to read this helpful article: If I Call Your Dental Office Offer Me An Appointment

Host a Halloween Candy Buy Back –

For tips and ideas on successfully hosting a candy buy back see: October Dental Marketing Idea’s / Halloween Candy Buy Back

Are you ready for the #1 Way to Market your Pediatric Office?  

Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations and Consistently Be Great! Give your patients something positive to talk about to their neighbors, workmates, friends and family members. Make it easy for them to refer patients to you. (If you need some idea’s to help Improve your Office, be sure to check out my Improve your Office series: First ImpressionsMake A Change and The Little Things Matter.

While we’re at it, here are a few more bonus ideas 🙂 …

Blog/WebsiteBecome the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos and pictures on your website and social media sites about different dental treatments/products, sports safety, what to do in a dental emergency, etc. TIP: Pin your blog posts, articles, videos and pictures to your office Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a GREAT way to drive traffic to your website. If you don’t already have Pinterest for your office, add that to your to-do-list. Have a variety of family related boards such as dental health tips, recipes, crafts, party ideas, healthy snacks, book idea’s and more. Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards for idea’s.

Sponsor local sport teams –Free or reduced rate for mouthguards for local sports teams. 

DistractionsTV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.

Contests/Drawing Coloring contests, Monthly Gift Card/Gift Basket drawing, Wristband, etc.

Post-Op Calls – Each evening place a “just wanted to see how well you’re doing call” to any patient that had an extraction or maybe was nervous or had a rough time during their visit.

First “Happy” Visit ExperienceTake picture of child in the chair (maybe holding a first visit sign or certificate) and give to parent in a cute picture frame.

I know this is a lot of information but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your practice, then it’s worth it to take the time to market your practice effectively using some or all of the idea’s that I have shared with you today. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to do this on your own, I’m here to help.

Before I go, here are a few Important Reminders: If you’re going to take the time to visit schools and local businesses be sure that you leave them with information about your office, special offers and imprinted gifts with your office name, phone number and website.

Also, keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, any donation requests, etc. Put specific referral source codes in to your software system, this way, when you ask “How did you hear about us?” you have the correct referral code to enter in and you’ll be able to acknowledge that source with a thank you as well as know what marketing is working to bring in new patients.

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 and Pinterest

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If I call your dental office, offer me an appointment!

Hello Friends,

Last month, the school that my children attend hosted a Family Fall Festival. I was asked to help them collect donations for the event, donations of toothbrushes to be exact. Okay, so here I am calling dental offices asking if they would like to donate toothbrushes to this event and we would, in turn, allow them to advertise their office at the family event that was expected to draw a very large crowd.

You’ve received those kinds of calls right? People calling with donation requests. How do you handle them? If you’re the doctor reading this you probably aren’t answering the phones, ask your admin team how they handle these calls.

Can you guess what happened when I started calling local dental offices??

  1. Many offices I called didn’t answer the phone. (Thursday afternoon & Friday morning)
  2. The offices that did answer, answered after a few rings and just answered by saying office name.
  3. Some were annoyed with the call
  4. All that answered said they had to check if it was OK to give any out and that they would call back or asked me to call back. The two that said they would call me back never did.
  5. Two offices agreed to donate some toothbrushes.

So that’s good, right? I got two to agree to make a donation of toothbrushes. What happened when I picked up the toothbrushes?

One office gave about 20 toothbrushes (very cheap toothbrushes) in bags with a business card. The other gave a very generous donation, a case of quality imprinted toothbrushes.

While grateful for the contributions I did receive, there were a few things that I found disturbing:

  1. Poor telephone greetings
  2. Offices not answering the phones during the day… you know, when most new patients are likely to call.
  3. The fact that they were not empowered to make decisions on requests for donations on the initial call.
  4. The fact the offices that didn’t get back to me missed out a great marketing opportunity!
  5. The one office donated non-imprinted poor quality toothbrushes. Why bother? (Mind you this particular office has billboards around town, movie theater advertising & cable television commercials. Oh, and their business cards, were black & white and printed on only one side.)
  6. The office that donated quality toothbrushes missed out on a great opportunity to attach some kind of offer/incentive with the toothbrushes.

What was the biggest problem that I found?? None of the offices offered me an appointment! Or at the least took the opportunity to brag about their office! They all knew that I was a mother of students at a school that was only a few blocks from their offices.

how to get new dental patients

Is that a petty complaint? I don’t think so. It was a big missed opportunity to potentially bring in new patient(s).

How easy would it be to say: “Thank you so much Mrs. Hayden, for thinking about us for donations. That sounds like a fun event. I’d like you to know that we love meeting new families in the community, in fact, we’re offering a really great new patient special right now… “

Even if I am not looking for a new dentist, I more than likely know people who are or that will at some point, ask if I can recommend a dentist. So go ahead, exceed my expectations – offer me an appointment! You can bet, I will not forget the wonderful customer service and personal interest that you showed to me.

Maybe you can’t always fulfill a request for donations, what about offering this instead: “Thank you for thinking of us, we’d love to be able to donate toothbrushes but unfortunately at this time we can not. However, we really would like the opportunity to meet more families in our community, we can donate certificates to all the families attending your school event, the certificates would be for $25 toward dental treatment at our office.”

Or something like that. Just don’t say “no” and hang up.

Now is the perfect time to really look closely at how your office phones are being handled. Listen to the calls. Your team may not even realize that they are missing out on opportunities to bring in new patients. Having excellent telephone skills is critical to your success!

How to answer the dental office phone? Hayden Consulting

Set aside some time to meet together as a team – everyone in the office should be trained on how to not only answer the phones but they should know how to handle the calls. At the very least, professionally & courteously direct the caller to someone who can help. Role play will help all to feel more comfortable handling different types of calls.

A few things to consider:

What times are your phones being answered?

What happens after hours? Ringing? Voice Mail? Answering Service? Here’s your chance to exceed expectations by answering the office phone after hours! (Forward calls to a cell phone)

The Greeting (First impressions matter!!)

Shopper Callers (Great opportunity! Don’t blow it.)

Insurance Questions (Have a great response to: “Do you take —-ins?)

Wrong Numbers (offer an appointment anyway)

Sales Calls (Be kind they’re just doing their job. Maybe they need an appointment. Plus, you don’t know who they know. It’s simple – always be kind.

Moms calling for donations or any organization that asks for donations (Offer us an appointment!)

Worried about your team members sounding like robots on the phone? Don’t be. This is what you do, create as a team, Telephone Principles (your goals & expectations for each call.)

Firm In Principle – Flexible in Procedure

The procedure may vary but the principles remain the same. This will allow the team member to customize their words to the individual caller. However, professionalism is always a must! I believe that there are words/phrases that should never be used on a call.

 One more, never ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People hate to be put on hold. If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.

 Certainly, handling the phones is a big responsibility but it’s an even bigger privilege. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to set your office apart from the others by always exceeding the caller’s expectations.

 So if I call your office, please, please offer me an appointment! 🙂

 Should you have questions about how to successfully handle telephone calls or need help training your team, don’t wait, ask for help. I’m ready to help you. If not me, there are many other excellent dental professionals out there that are ready to help.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to receive free dental marketing & practice management 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

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