Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Hello Dental Friends,

Holes in the dental hygiene schedule, why do we dread this so much? Because, unfilled appointments, canceled or missed appointments all kill profitability.

So what do you do? You probably are desperate for a quick fix to fill the holes in the schedule. Right? Well, I’ll help you out by sharing some ideas to fill the hygiene schedule as a quick fix. However, I must say a quick fix is typically only a temporary fix. If holes in the schedule are becoming the norm around your office you need something more than a quick fix to figure out why this is happening and work to prevent your hygiene schedule from looking like Swiss cheese every week. Please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com or comment here if this is becoming an issue with your schedule. I can help you prevent these holes from happening.

On to the ideas for a quick (temporary) fix:

Note: If at all possible, try to avoid moving patients appointments around to fill in gaps. It can aggravate the patient. It’s always best to keep their appointment as scheduled.

Also, this isn’t the time to point fingers or start blaming someone for having holes in the schedule. Work together, as a team to fill these holes. Ideally, the hygienist should be involved in making these calls to patients, etc. Patients are more likely to respond when it’s their beloved hygienist calling them. Besides, the hygienist(s) are obviously the one(s) with the extra time. So the ideas I share are directed to the hygiene department with the goal of them becoming productive, happy and profitable.  (Again, you will want to at a later date, work together as a team to determine why this is happening and create solutions to repair the breakdown.)

how to fill holes in dental hygiene schedule

  • Call List – Do you have any patients that would like to come in at an earlier date for their hygiene appointment?  Call them and let them know you have a rare unexpected change in the schedule and can see them sooner.
  • Cancellation/Missed Appt List – Do you have any patients on these lists that can be called?
  • Family Members – Check for other family members due for their hygiene appt. Is there someone coming in with hygiene that has family members that are also due in hygiene that may want to take one of those open slots.
  • Doctors Schedule – Check the doctors schedule for any patients that may be due for their hygiene appt and are coming in around the time that needs to be filled in hygiene. Invite them to take care of their hygiene appointment at the same time.
  • Incentives – Offer an Incentive for accepting a last-minute appointment. For example, complimentary fluoride, teeth whitening, small gift or gift card. Use your social media platforms to advertise this awesome today (or tomorrow) only opportunity.
  • Continuing care/past-due List – Get on the phone and with an enthusiastic and positive tone make some calls to your patients that are due or past due in hygiene. (Vary the times you make these calls. You’ll reach more patients this way.)
  • Social Media – Engage with your patients, potential patients and local businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. For ideas see: Social Media Content
  • Spend more time with your patients. If you have open time that couldn’t be filled, take this opportunity to discuss better home care tools, update their information and medical history, do some perio charting, talk about cosmetic services, any recent continuing education courses, place sealants, apply desensitizing agent to any sensitive teeth, take impressions for whitening trays, review incomplete treatment with them, ask them if they’ll kindly leave a review on Google, Facebook or Yelp, mention how dental gift certificates make great gifts, etc.

Just a reminder before making any calls, it would be a good idea to check your patient’s account balance, insurance benefits and review their clinical notes. Also, be sure to document all calls, conversations, and correspondence made to or with the patient.

If the holes in your schedule are a few weeks out you can try these ideas:

  • Special Offers – Focus on a particular service or group of patients to target with special offers or prizes on a day that has a lot of holes. For example, Mouthguards  / Teeth Whitening / Sealants / Desensitizing Agents / Back to School / Kids day / Senior day.
  • Fun Themed days – Superhero, Luau, BBQ, Disney, Sports, etc.

Despite your best efforts to fill the schedule, you may still end up with some holes that just couldn’t be filled. That’s alright, there is plenty to do to remain productive during this time.

During downtime:

  • Get on the phone and make continuing care calls.
  • Pull Incomplete hygiene treatment report and call, send postcards, emails, texts or letters to your patients.
  • Make calls, send emails, postcards, letters, etc.to your patients that are due, past due or almost due in hygiene.
  • Thoroughly clean and stock treatment rooms.
  • Get out and visit with area businesses. Introduce the office, take them a small gift and a “let’s get acquainted” special offer.
  • Discuss some marketing ideas for the office.
  • Continuing Education. Watch a webinar or video, read a manual, etc. Improve your clinical skills, knowledge of new technology and procedures, telephone scripting, office protocols, etc.

I hope these ideas provide you with a quick fix to fill those holes in your schedule. Let me know how they work for you.

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!

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 and Practice Management Ideas for July 2016

Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for July 2016

Hello Friends,

Take time now to make plans to start your third quarter off strong. Discuss with your team the plans to reach your production, collection, new patient and marketing goals. Encourage them to share any thoughts or ideas on how you can work to make the third quarter your best yet. Here’s a fun idea…July is National Grilling Month – Why not have a BBQ themed lunch with the team to discuss your marketing plans? Remember to include plans on how to fill and keep the schedule full for August and September as they are typically slower months for some offices.

Doctors, if you don’t already know, I strongly urge you to be aware of your office numbers. Know what’s going on with your patient and insurance aging reports, your daily patient collections, your new patient #’s, referral sources, hygiene continuing care reports, incomplete treatment reports and what internal & external marketing is working and what needs to be eliminated. Don’t leave these things to chance or assume they’re healthy numbers or maybe even beyond repair.

Would you like a few ideas to boost production, collection and new patient numbers? I’ll share with you a couple of ideas to do just that as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations.

dental-marketing-ideas-for-july

July is National Ice Cream Month! Your product/service feature is Desensitizing agents to treat tooth sensitivity. Your give-away treat is free ice cream.

Yes, I’ve shared this one in the past but I’m sharing it again because it is so easy and effective not to mention, delicious.

Why is it so effective? Research finds that 1 in 8 Americans suffer from sensitive teeth. It’s safe to say that many of your patients may be suffering from tooth sensitivity or they know someone who does.

How is it easy? It’s a marketing plan that requires little time, no extra cost and will boost production and exceed your patients (and potential patients) expectations!

How will offering free ice cream not incur any extra cost to you? You simply visit your local ice cream shop and ask them to donate some free ice cream cone certificates. In return, you’ll be advertising for them on your social media site and in the office. Your patients, when they come in for a visit can enter a drawing to win a free ice cream courtesy of “local ice cream shop”. Depending how many free ice cream cone certificates you get donated you can draw one or two names each week for a free ice cream cone.

Now you may not have many of your patients speaking up to say they’re suffering from tooth sensitivity when they eat cold treats or drink cold beverages.

This is what you do, during the month of July have your team members wear buttons that say: Eating Ice Cream Shouldn’t Hurt

Your patients are sure to ask questions about the buttons. What an easy way to open up a discussion about tooth sensitivity.

If you would like further ideas on how to implement the Ice Cream/Tooth Sensitivity campaign such as how to handle patients that are concerned about insurance coverage and fees for desensitizing agents and ways to advertise this campaign or perhaps would prefer a different marketing campaign for the month, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Here are 3 more ways to help your patients & team smile in July!

July 6,World Kiss Day ~ Blog & Social Media Opportunity (bad breath & kissing, periodontal disease & kissing…eeeww!)

July 7, Chocolate Day ~ I’m sure your team would welcome a surprise chocolately treat.

July 17th – 23rd Everybody Deserves A Massage Week: 

Team up with a local massage therapist for a little cross marketing – have him/her donate a free massage that your patients can enter a drawing to win.

Hope you enjoy these ideas and have a wonderful start to your third quarter!

If you have any other thoughts or ideas please feel free to comment below. Should you need any help with your July 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 FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn andPinterest

 

 

Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for June

 

Hello Dental Friends,

NOTE: For updated dental marketing ideas for the month of June, visit HERE

How is your second quarter looking? I hope you’re happy with your production, collections, new patient numbers and the appointment schedule.

Today, I’m going to share some marketing and practice management ideas with you to help you close out your second quarter better than ever.

dental marketing ideas for summer hayden consulting

Theme: Cruise on in for Better Dental Health

Product Feature: Sealants (Adult & Child)

A Tooth Without A Sealant is like a Car Without A Seat belt”

Half off Sealants during the month of June or special pricing on full mouth.

Pull Incomplete treatment plan report – Call anyone with sealants treatment planned and send a card that creates urgency for treatment and highlights the special offer.

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “Cruise On In For Better Health” (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

Here are some more ideas for you…

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month & National Headache Awareness Week: 2-8 Educational Opportunity – If your patient doesn’t suffer from headaches they surely know someone who does so this can be a great referral opportunity as well.

Opportunity to Exceed Patient Expectations ~  Got a Patient going on a Vacation? If you are planning a summer vacation, be sure to pick up a complimentary toothbrush & travel-sized toothpaste!

Gift Certificates See  Dental Gift Certificates Make Great Presents for ideas on how to use gift certificates to grow your practice.

Practice Management Ideas and Reminders ~

 Hygiene Continuing Care/Recare Reminders:

Postcard & Social Media Site Scripting Idea: Summertime is a great time of year and it can also be a busy time of year. We encourage you to remember to take the time to squeeze in your regular dental visit before the summer months fly by. Regular dental visits are so important to your overall health.

 

Recess At Work Day: 16 (Third Thursday)

Get outside for a few minutes with your team for some fresh air. If you can’t all get outside, open the windows, turn up the radio and dance indoors. How about a sweet treat to enjoy during “recess”? (ie: ice cream, frozen drink, etc.) **Remember to take pictures and video of the team having fun together so you can share on your social media sites. 🙂

Hope you enjoy these ideas and are able to use some of them to help make the month of June a fantastic one for you, your team and your patients. Please let me know how you plan to use the ideas and what the outcome is. I love to hear about your success stories!!

If you have any other thoughts or ideas feel free to comment below. Or if you liked these ideas, please click the like button. Thank you! Should you have any questions about this post, 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. (Simply click  the link on this page that says subscribe via email) This way, you won’t miss a single idea! PLEASE, feel free to share my blog with your colleagues. 

Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

 

 

 

You’re the Apple of my Eye – Dental Marketing Ideas

hayden consulting dental marketing

Holy moly, me oh my, you’re the apple of my eye!

Apple season is upon us. How can that help you keep your dental office the apple of your patients and referring doctors/specialists eyes? I’ll give you some ideas in just a second. I will also share with you some apple idea’s to help catch the eyes of your potential patients. An apple a day won’t keep your dental office away!

October is National Apple Month –

Exceeding Patient Expectations – 

Give-Away – Set out a nice bowl/basket of apples to give to your patients and delivery people.

 

Events in the Community – Create a hand-out for your patients listing the best local cider mills and apple orchards. Include any fall-themed events taking place in your community. 

Marketing to local businesses –

Who will you visit in the community?

  • Schools
  • Salons
  • City Hall / Police Station / Fire Department
  • Library

And anywhere else you think might be a good place to bring in new patient’s from. At the very least, you’ll be building healthy & fun relationships with the folks in your community.

What will you bring?

  • Basket of Apples
  • Toothbrush or Lip Balm attached to an apple-shaped gift tag.

Be sure that when you deliver these items, your office information is visible. Maybe include some sort of call to action.

Visit my Pinterest Apple board for more ideas.

Marketing via your Social Media Sites: Here are just a few ways to utilize your social media sites during apple season.

Facebook –  

Post  health benefits of apples, apple recipes & craft Ideas to your office Facebook page. Solicit comments, likes and shares.

Pinterest – On your office Pinterest page create a board all about apples.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther

So many different ways to help exceed the expectations of your current patients and to hopefully, bring in lots of new patients just by planting little seeds every chance you get or create.

I would love to hear all about your plans to make October  a great month. Please comment below to share your ideas or to give this post a like. Thank you!

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

 Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Dental Marketing Ideas for February (2014)

“Away in a meadow all covered with snow
The little old groundhog looks for his shadow
The clouds in the sky determine our fate
If winter will leave us all early or late.”
–   
Don Halley

Hello Dental Friends,

How are you faring this winter? In my neck of the woods, we’re freezing this week. Because of this winter chill, my kids ended up with an extended winter break from school…an extra 3 days off!

Today they started back to school and I am happy to be able to sit down and type up some dental marketing ideas for the month of February.

NOTE: See updated ideas for February hereFebruary Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas

hayden consulting dental marketing ideas

Here you go….

(NOTE: If you’re looking for ideas to promote February’s Children’s Dental Health Month please look to this post Dental Marketing Ideas for February- Focus: Children’s Dental Health Month it is filled with ideas for you.)

Our focus this month is Heart Health.

Talking Points:

Dental Health And Heart Disease Are Related

Dental health and heart disease are intricately linked and the cost for avoiding advanced periodontal disease or even something as mild as gingivitis may very well prove to be the cause of serious medical problems in the future.

Be good to your heart beginning with good oral health.

 

Special Days:

Women’s Heart Week: 1-7 – Focus this week on Women’s Heart Health. Have a special gift for your female patients. Hand out heart healthy tips for your patients to share w/their friends and family.

 

 

Referral Incentives:

Every patient that refers a new patient to your office this month can pick out a special gift. Wrap gifts in heart themed packaging and display in the office.

Have fun with this heart theme!  If you would like me to create a Heart Health marketing campaign for your office, one that includes ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and patient education scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Here are 3 More Ways To Help Your Team and Patients Smile in February!

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness Week 9-15-

Offer a complimentary service to your patients or $ off of their bill.

Pet Dental Health Month – Share pet dental health tips on your social media sites, ask people to share pictures of their pets on social media, hand out dog treats packaged with your office information. Even if a patient doesn’t have a dog surely they know someone who does…great way to get your office name out there!

 

National Margarita Day: 22 

This one is sure to bring a smile to your team. treat them to an after work Margarita Night!

I would love to hear about your month and what your office chose to do to help make it special for your patients and the team.

Please feel free to share this blog with your dental friends!

Have a Happy Heart Healthy Month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle …

a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.

And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”
–    Barbara Winkler

Dental Marketing Ideas for November

Hello Dental Friends,

Today I will be sharing with you:

Dental Marketing Ideas from Hayden Consulting Betty Hayden

Dental Marketing Ideas for November

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.

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 kicks in to high gear!

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.
The America Diabetes Association says: “Emerging research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.”

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.

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.

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

World Kindness Week: 11-17 – 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.

National Game & Puzzle Week: 24-30 – You could have a fun drawing for a Gift Basket filled with family games & puzzles.

 

Flossing day: 29th – Post fun floss facts on social media. Make a video to share on YouTube demonstrating proper flossing techniques.

I would  love to hear all about your plans to make November a great month. Please comment below with your ideas. If you haven’t yet subscribed to receive these free dental marketing ideas via your email each month, please do so today. Feel free to share these posts with all of your dental friends!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Dental “Practice Management” Ideas for October

UPDATE: PLEASE SEE LATEST PRACTICE MANAGEMENT IDEAS FOR OCTOBER HERE

Practice Management Ideas for October

dental practice management hayden consulting

Succeed as a Team 😉

I had so many ideas to help you make October a great month that I decided to break it up in 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. 😉

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 2013 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.)

2014 is just around the corner! We want to remind you to take advantage of any unused dental insurance benefits. Make sure to use all available benefits to complete any outstanding treatment or for your all important preventive dental hygiene appointment. Almost all plans do not let you rollover unused dollars to the next benefit year. So, Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em!

If you have funds set aside in a flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare saving account (HSA), now is the time to schedule treatment so your co-payment amounts can be applied to this year’s deductions.

Call us today to schedule your appointment. We find that the holiday season is always our “busy time” and we are certain it is a very busy time for you too. Beat the end of year rush and get in early, our phone number is ……… We’re ready to help you smile healthier & happier in 2014!

 October 4th is Improve Your Office Day – This is a great time to look at your office with your patient goggles on. What does this mean? As a team, come in the office through the front door. What do your patients see? Poor Signage? Dirty Windows? Weeds in the parking lot? Ugly landscaping?

Now sit together in the reception room. What do you see? Look high and low. Dirty carpeting/flooring? Old magazines? Stained Chairs? Peeling wallpaper? Next you’re going to want to go check out the restroom. Is it clean? Why does it matter so much that the restroom looks good? Because this is the only place your patients will visit unattended. What do they see? Filthy bathroom?, poor quality towels? I promise you that they will look at the restroom and determine the quality and safety of your care from that experience.

Do the same with the rest of your office. Sit in the treatment room chairs. What do you see?

Here’s the thing, don’t do this and settle for less than the best. Work together as a team to see where improvements can be made and more importantly, act on them! Make a plan to Improve Your Office. Look around the office through the eyes of your patients, what do they see, hear, smell and feel?

October 7-11 is Customer Service Week – This is a great team meeting theme. What ideas can you come up with as a team to exceed your patients expectations by consistently delivering excellent customer service.

What do you do when you run late? 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 recare 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.

October 16th 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 17th is Get to Know Your Customers Day ~  Perhaps you could have a Business Card Free Lunch Drawing. Have fun with this day.

Combine these ideas and the 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!

Please share my blog with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty