30 Little Things That Make Big Things Happen In Your Dental Practice

30 Little Things That Make Big Things Happen In Your Dental Practice

 “It’s the little details that are vital.

Little things make big things happen.” ~John Wooden

 Hello Friends,

It’s the little details, the little things that can make the biggest impact on your practice growth and the happiness of your team.  Best of all, the little things (ideas) that I am sharing today are FREE or very low-cost and most only require seconds of your time.

Here is a list of 30 little things you can do starting today to greatly improve your office and in turn your personal life too!

  1. Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members’ every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
  2. Smile More – Smiles are contagious. Smile before you pick up the phone, smile to passersby, smile to your teammates, and smile in the mirror. Smiling will boost your mood, put people at ease, and makes you more likable.
  3. Say My Name – Everyone likes to hear his or her name. Greet your patient’s by name. Use their name during treatment. Thank them by name for coming in or calling.
  4. Thank you – Express your appreciation.  Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
  5. Choose to be Positive – Your attitude is a choice and that choice is 100% within your control. Avoid spreading negativity by sharing bad patient experiences, personal problems, or problems with other team members. Choose to be happy and positive.
  6. Be Kind – Be kind to your patients, strangers, sales reps, and callers.
  7. I’m Sorry – Accept responsibility when you are wrong. Be honest; simply say “I’m sorry I/We messed up”. (Tip: Keep small ($5) gift cards for coffee to give to your patients when you’ve messed up, i.e. running late, lab case mistake, appt. mix up, etc.)
  8. Friendly Greeting – Warmly greet every person that visits the office. Even if you’re on the phone or taking care of a patient, you can acknowledge the other person with a smile.
  9. Say Please – Make it a habit to say please every time you ask for something.
  10. Offer a Proper Handshake- A nice, firm handshake shows confidence and makes a good impression. (Tip: When a new patient comes into the office, come from around the desk and welcome them with a handshake.)
  11. Check it Twice – Before you send that email, letter, or text, check it for spelling errors.
  12. Social Media Sites – If your office is using social media sites be sure to like and follow the pages of local businesses within your community. Click the LIKE button or comment on their posts. This is an easy way to build relationships.
  13. No Cell Phones – Turn down the volume and put your cell phone away while you’re on the clock. Ask your family and friends to call the office line in the event of an emergency. Be fully present during work hours.
  14. Write it Down- Start and end your day with to-do lists. Write a note or set an electronic reminder to check on that claim, call your patient, check voice mail, etc. Writing things down prevents you from forgetting things that are important. (Tip: Avoid placing sticky notes around your workstation. Clutter is chaos to the patient.  Place reminders in a notebook that you frequently refer to or set electronic reminders.)
  15. Commendation – Commend a fellow team member when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale.  (Tip: Commend & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of.)
  16. Business Cards – Carry your business cards with you and use them! Get your team personalized business cards to hand out to patients and people they do business with. (Tip: Use the back of the business card with a call to action invitation.)
  17. Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it 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, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.
  18. Patient of the Day! – Select a patient from the day’s schedule to be your “patient of the day”.  Give them a certificate, a small gift and take their picture to share on your social media sites. This is a fun and inexpensive way to exceed your patients’ expectations.  SEE Dental Patient of the Day Ideas
  19. Post-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists, call your patients at the end of the day to see how well they are doing. (Tip: Call all patients that received an extraction, perio treatment, difficult procedure, were fearful or new to the office.)
  20. 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.
  21. Send a Card – In this electronic age, rarely do people get “real” mail. Send hand-written thank you, get well, thinking of you, anniversary, sympathy, and congratulations cards to your patients.  They will truly appreciate it! (Tip: Keep a supply of cards on hand in the office.)
  22. Everybody Clean Up – Pick up the piece of paper from the floor, dust off the plants, keep your workspace and the restroom clean. SEE Clean Your Dental Office
  23. Replace the roll of Toilet Paper – Even if there are still a few squares left to spare, replace with a fresh roll. While you’re at, go ahead and fold the toilet paper into a pretty fan.
  24. Huddle Up – The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow these tried and true suggestions & tips for morning meeting success.
  25. Negative Gossip – Refuse to listen to gossip and stop speaking & spreading gossip. Simple. As. That.
  26. Dress the Part – If you want it to be a great day, start by looking great. Wear clothes that reflect the excellent care you give your patients. This means wearing professional, clean and wrinkle-free clothes.  Also, your hair and body should be clean and odor-free. (Yes, I went there.)
  27.  Verbiage Matters – Use these words often: Absolutely, I’ll be happy to, My pleasure, You are very welcome, Certainly, and Right away.
  28. 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.
  29. Answer the office Phone – This one is KEY to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Answer the office phone during the times when patients and new patients are most likely to call. This includes lunch hours. SEE How to Effectively Answer The Dental Office Phone
  30. Memorable Goodbyes – Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name.

 “I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually, they make the difference between winning and losing.”

~Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Do the right thing, as a team work together to implement these little things in your office every day. Print this list and review it at your next team meeting.  Enjoy practice growth with a happier team and happy patients.

Looking for even more ideas? Check out my articles Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients and How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients

If you would like help implementing these or other ideas into your practice and daily life, contact me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to learn more about my coaching services.

Are you receiving my dental marketing and practice management tips and ideas via email each week? If not, start following 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

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Dental Marketing Ideas for December

Hello Friends,

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sharing ideas with you for the start of the year and here we are, at the end of the year and I’m sharing dental marketing ideas for December.

winter dental marketing ideas betty hayden consulting

How does your final quarter look? Make plans now to have the best December ever in your dental practice. These ideas should help…

Incomplete Treatment:

Do you have any patients with incomplete treatment or ones that are due/past due in hygiene with remaining insurance benefits that will expire 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 “today only” special offers that they share via their social media sites, email blasts, and telephone calls.

Be alert to any patients that are coming in with the doctor or hygienist and have incomplete treatment or are due in hygiene. If the schedule allows, encourage them to take care of both at the same time. This means carefully reviewing all charts in advance of the appointment.

December is a great time for Special offers on Teeth Whitening, Electric Toothbrushes, and Invisalign.

Consider having a drawing for a gift basket or gift card to a local business that your patients can enter to win when they come in for their dental appointment before December 23rd.

 Cosmetic Dentistry Opportunity:

Many of your patients will be attending holiday parties/events during the month of December. 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.

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 Cookie Day: 4th / National Cocoa Day: 12th- Package up a cookie with your office label and a packet of hot cocoa 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. See more patient gift ideas here: Patient Appreciation Gift Ideas

 It’s About Time Week – 25th – 31st – What is it time for? Employee Reviews?, A Team meeting?, To give your employees the continuing education and training that they need?, To finally, let that toxic employee go?, To Strengthen your Hygiene Continuing Care Protocol?, New Office Equipment?, New Office Uniforms?…. you get the idea 😉 If you aren’t sure, ask your team, I’m confident they’ll have a list of ideas for you.

 National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day: 12th – Great Dental Education Opportunity to discuss with your patients in the office as well as in a blog post and on your social media sites. As well as a service/treatment opportunity in the office.

 And one more bonus idea…

Travel Toothbrush Bags – Many of your patients travel during the holidays – Surprise them with a small gift for their travels. Put together toothbrush bags that include a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and a “what to do in a dental emergency” handout. You could also include other travel sized items such as lotion, Advil, lip balm, etc.

If you find yourself with some open time in the schedule that you haven’t been able to fill, use the time to:

  • Clean the office really well
  • Have some team building mtgs and/or team mtgs to discuss marketing, production and collection goals for the new year, create and schedule posts for your social media sites.
  • Complete Employee Reviews & Goals

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

If you’re not following my free dental marketing ideas via your email each month, please do so today. If you send me your email address, I’m happy to send you an invitation to follow my blog. That way, you won’t miss out on any ideas.

Feel free to share this post with all of your dental friends!

 Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Tips and Suggestions for the Best Morning Huddle Ever!

Hello Friends,

Do you ever feel like your attempt to conduct a daily morning huddle is just a big hassle? That the meetings are a waste of time? Or maybe you’re already conducting morning meetings and want to make them more effective, Please keep reading!

Today, I want to share with you some tips and suggestions that will help you have effective morning huddles and answer some questions that many of you have asked about morning huddles.

tips for the best morning huddle ever

 

Why should I have a morning huddle/meeting?

The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow my tried and true suggestions & tips. Every dental office wants to produce more, collect more, stress less, have happy doctors and team members and consistently exceed patient expectations. Right? Well, effective morning huddles help to make those things a reality.

Remember this: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

When should the morning huddle start? and How long should it last?

Fifteen – twenty minutes before the first scheduled patient.   It should last no more than 10-15 minutes. Taking 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning to ensure the day starts off happy and productive is well worth it.

Who should attend the morning meeting?

Everyone. If scheduling prevents everyone from attending…at the very least the doctor(s), hygienist(s ), assistants and someone representing the administrative team. It is imperative for a team member to be assigned at every meeting to update the employee(s) not present of what was discussed/announced. No one should be left in the dark. This eliminates any “I didn’t know” or “no one told me!”

Who leads the huddle?

Rotate team members to conduct the meeting and make certain that everyone stays on point and that the meeting ends and starts on time (appoint a time-keeper)! Doctors (lead by example) be present at the start of the mtg and end each meeting on a positive note. Team members from each department can & should contribute what pertains to their particular department.

What do you talk about?

Focus on: Today and Tomorrow and a little bit of yesterday 😉

START and END the meeting with something POSITIVE.

  • Ata-boy/gal minute – What did we do “right” yesterday? How did we go the extra mile for a patient? Did you notice any team member that did something nice for a patient or another team member? Did anything happen yesterday that could be improved upon or avoided in the future? If yes, How?
  • Holes – Can a hygiene patient in need of restorative slide over into the doctors chair? Is there anyone coming in with the doctor that is due in hygiene? If not, how will we remain productive during this downtime? 
  • Emergency time – Where can we put the “true emergencies”?
  • Potential trouble spots – Review schedule for any potential trouble/hiccups/hangups. Such as: doctor needed in multiple places at the same time, habitually late patient, copays that must be collected, difficult patient, etc. Do everything in your power to start, stay & end on time, exceed patient expectations and work together as a team for a smooth & happy day.
  • New Patients / Referral Sources – Who are our new patients today and how did they hear about our office? Everyone be ready to warmly greet all patients but introduce yourselves to all new patients. Thank them for coming in.
  • Pre-op calls – Any new patients coming in tomorrow or the next day that the provider can call and welcome?
  • Same day services – Identify any patients that would benefit from same day services (fluoride, xrays, desensitizing agents, whitening, mouthguards, better home care tools)
  • Post-op calls – Did we call yesterday’s patients to check in on them? Preferably the doctor and hygienist should make their own calls. (Who do you call? All new patients and any patients that had anesthetic, extraction or perio. Also, any patients that may have been fearful.
  • Social Media – Who will help with that today? Ask patients to like the office (or check-in) on Facebook, follow on Twitter & Instagram. So many reasons throughout the day to post to your social media sites, such as: a patient brings in a treat, to welcome a new patient to the office, a child joined your kid’s club/team, celebrate a beautiful cosmetic restoration/teeth whitening, etc.
  • Testimonials/Reviews – Who is a candidate for providing a testimonial/review? Be alert throughout the day to ask for testimonials/reviews. Especially when a patient compliments the office on something… ask for a written or online testimonial. Take their picture (with permission) to post on your social media sites/website. NOTE: If a patient that is coming in for today has previously filled out an online survey be sure to review it. If they had a problem make certain it’s not repeated, if it was praise be sure to thank the team and the patient!
  • Goals – Look at Production, Scheduling & Collection goals for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Reminder to collect all co-pays at time of appointment!!
  • Treatment plans – Remember, offer the very best treatment options to your patients, let’s not “watch” or “wait until next visit” chances are it will only worsen. Let the patient decide for themselves! Were there any patients that came in yesterday that we treatment planned and they did not schedule an appointment? WHY?
  • Conclusion – End the meeting on a positive note. Tell a funny joke, read a positive quote and/or thank your team. Watch a quick motivational, educational or funny video clip. This meeting sets the tone for the day… Make it a happy one! Let’s go change someone’s life or at the very least help them smile bigger and healthier!

Here are a few additional tips for a successful morning huddle:

  • Come prepared! Have ready copies of the schedule (today and tomorrow). Charts/treatment should be reviewed the day prior to the huddle. Be sure to have available your collection, scheduling and production goals for today and tomorrow and yesterday’s results.
  • Stand for the meeting. This helps to keep the huddle on time and hold everyone’s attention.
  • Maintain a positive attitude regarding the importance of DAILY morning meetings.
  • Use a check-list! This will help you stay on time and cover all points.
  • FOOD! Every once in a while surprise the team with bagels, donuts, coffee, muffins, etc. 

I strongly encourage you to implement daily morning huddles, simply because I know that they’re effective and I want all of you to have happier, more productive and stress-free work days!

If you already conduct morning huddles, way to go! Feel free to share with me any of your tips for successful morning huddles.

Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help.

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email inbox, PLEASE take a second and subscribe today. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my blog with your dental friends. ~ Thank you!

Huddle Up and Have a Great Day!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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

Dental Marketing Ideas for May

Hello Dental Friends,

“Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Spring is such a great time of year. I love seeing the trees bloom and the perennials sprouting in my flower beds. It’s also a time for me to get a lot of spring house cleaning/organizing accomplished and fun summer activities planned before our children are on their summer vacation from school.

Spring can be a great time for your dental office too! It’s a wonderful time to really look at the office through the eyes of your patients and potential patients and make any needed improvements.  This article, Tips to Improve your Dental Office -First Impressions  has many ideas to help get you started.

As promised, here are some dental marketing ideas for the month of May. Last week, I shared some dental marketing ideas to be used during the month of May’s Teacher Appreciation and Nurses week. If you missed it, you can read about them here.

betty hayden consulting may dental marketing ideas

Gifts from the Garden Month

Host a Spring Perennial Plant Exchange at your office. What a fantastic way to meet your neighbors! (It would be awesome to turn this into a “Beautify & Clean-Up” Local Businesses in the Community Event.)

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “Garden Month” (or different themed) campaign that includes ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

National Pet Month –  People love to talk and brag about their pets. Use this week to ask your friends/patients on your social media sites to post pictures of their pets. Post pictures of your team members pets. Turn it into a contest: the pet with the most likes wins a special treat.

High Blood Pressure Education Month – Why do we take your blood pressure at your dental appointment? High blood pressure is called the silent killer because, although it contributes to such potential killers as stroke and heart attack, those who suffer from it often have no signs or symptoms.

Many people see their dentist more regularly than a physician and could get an early warning about high blood pressure when getting their teeth cleaned or having other dental treatment done. We take your blood pressure because we care about you.

Family Practice & Pediatric Office Marketing Ideas:

National Family Wellness Month –

Target: Families

Product Feature: Cleanings, Sealants, Mouthguards & Fluoride

May Practice Management Reminders:

Insurance/Hygiene Recare/Incomplete Treatment Reminder: Many insurance companies renew their maximum on June 1st. Pull a report of any patients due in hygiene or with incomplete treatment that have benefits remaining before their June renewal. Make Use it or Lose It calls & mail reminders.

Gift Certificates – Gift certificates for Teeth Whitening make great Gifts!

If you have any other thoughts or ideas please feel free to comment below. Should you need any help with your May marketing campaign, please email Betty: bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

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

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

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 – Have 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