Tips and Ideas for Dental Office Open House Event

Hello Friends,

One of the most asked questions that I receive is ideas for hosting a dental open house event. So if you have an open house planned for your dental office or are considering hosting an open house event, here are some ideas to help make your open house a huge success!

ideas for dental office open house betty hayden consulting

 Event Theme:

  • Luau
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Back-to-School
  • Hearts – We “Heart” our Community or We “Heart” our Patients
  • Decades (ex: 50’s)
  • Spring – Flowers (Thank you for helping our office grow)
  • Celebration of Health
  • Fall  
  • Women’s Night Out  
  • Office Anniversary Celebration
  • Spa/Pampering  
  • Shopping (w/local vendors)
  • Carnival
  • Cocktail Party (Wine & Appetizers)
  • Superhero

 Target Audience: 

  • Professionals/Specialists
  • Community (Local Businesses/Non-Patients)
  • Current Patients

 Cross Marketing Opportunity:

  • Team up with local businesses!
  • Hair Salons, Specialty offices, Restaurants, Etc.
  • Display a thank you board/sign to the local businesses involved in the open house.
  • Have an area that they can display their business information
  • Have them donate a prize to be raffled off or used in a drawing.
  • Ask them to advertise your event at their place of business.

Advertising your Event:

  • Invitations
  • Local Newspaper (Invite them to the event!)
  • TV News (Invite them to the event!)
  • Radio (Invite them to the event!)
  • Social Media Sites (set up a Facebook Event)
  • Website
  • Current Patients (Ask them to bring a friend for a prize!)
  • Newsletter
  • Email
  • Online Local News Sites
  • Local Chambers
  • Local Businesses (Library, City Hall, Day Cares, Salons, Restaurants, Schools, EVERYWHERE)
  • Employees (Make sure the entire team is on board w/the event and talking about it)
  • Flyers
  • Banner on building

 Call To Action/Community Support:

Collect Donations for…

  • Winter Gear (Coats, Gloves, Scarves & Hats, Blankets)
  • Books
  • Canned Foods  
  • School Supplies
  • Aluminum Can Tabs (Ronald McDonald House)

or offer:

  • Complimentary Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Smile Makeover Contest

 Give-Aways:

Welcome letter/flyer (Include in it: Info about the office, services offered, a special call to action offer & a thank you for coming in) 

Items imprinted with your office information, such as:

  • Toothbrush Bags
  • Lip Balm (www.lipbalmexpress.com)
  • Tote Bags
  • Pens
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Water Bottles
  • Flower Seed Packets
  • Magnets
  • Key rings
  • Xylitol Products
  • Umbrellas

My favorite company to use for imprinted giveaway items is: Bizarre Marketing – http://www.promostuff4u.com

Activities:

  • Face Painting
  • Photo Booth
  • Balloon Twisting
  • Craft Table
  • Games
  • DJ/Karaoke/Live Music
  • Dental Health Presentations

 Drawing/Raffle for Prizes:

Having a drawing(s) allows you to collect names and contact information of the guests. Be sure to collect Name, Address, Email & Phone #.

  • Electric Toothbrush
  • Teeth Whitening
  • $/% Off of a Dental Service  
  • Gift Cards
  • Television/Tablet
  • Gift Baskets

Team up with local businesses for contributions/donations of Prizes. Be sure to remind them that their name will be included in your advertising for the open house.

Offer an incentive (such as; gift card) to the first so many people who RSVP to your event.

Office Appearance:

  • Office must be clean and clutter free!! (Inside & Out!)
  • Restrooms – make sure they are checked during the open house for cleanliness and that they are well stocked)
  • Decorate the Office
  • Music Playing (recorded or live)
  • Have stations set up throughout the office to encourage a tour of the entire office.
  • Monitors set up in reception room and treatment suites playing videos of services offered
  • Display “About Our Office & Services” Brochures

Team Members:

  • Well dressed
  • Name Tags
  • Friendly & Outgoing
  • Specific assignments (designated greeter, tour guide, speaker for dental presentations, etc.)

 Food/Drink Ideas:

  • Bottled water with office label
  • Punch/lemonade/Tea/Coffee/Wine/Beer
  • BBQ Foods
  • Appetizers
  • Wine/Cheese
  • Desserts
  • Ice Cream Truck (great for outdoor events)

You may be able to get a local business to donate cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, sandwich trays, fruit and vegetable platters, etc.

Day of the Event:

  • Smiling faces
  • Name tags
  • Give tours (Depending on size of the event you could set tours up scavenger hunt style)
  • Be ready to schedule appointments
  • Greet everyone
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Record a video of the event

 After the Event:

  • Send Thank you’s to all of your guests and any businesses that participated in the event.
  • Send a follow-up article & pictures to the local paper.
  • Call prize winners to come into the office and collect their gift – be sure to take their picture(s).
  • Post pictures of the event on social media sites.  

Remember, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

To-do lists are your friend! Include a timeline & who is responsible for what & when.

Your goal should be to make your guests feel welcome, special and appreciated. No one wants to show up to an event where they are not welcomed or sure they’re even in the right place. 

Have a GREAT Open House Event friends!

If you have more ideas I would love to hear about them! To share your thoughts/ideas please comment below. If you enjoyed reading this article please give us a “like” below. 

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your inbox, please take a second and subscribe today. This way you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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Dental Marketing Ideas for September

Hello Friends,

September is the last month (opportunity) for you to have the best third quarter ever. Yet, many dental offices say that this is typically a slower month for them. If that is true for your office or if you just want to spice things up for September, here are some dental marketing and practice management ideas for you.

dental marketing ideas for september from betty hayden consulting

Focus: Parents – Now that their kids are back in school, it’s time for dads and moms to pamper themselves with a dental visit.

Look at your schedule for September, find any days that have a few holes in them and declare them “special days for parents”.

Reach out to all of your parents with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Invite them to come in on this “special day” for their dental visit.

Offer Incentives: $ off Ortho, Free Adult fluoride w/hygiene visit, Teeth Whitening Specials, % off treatment, etc. This could be a one day only event or you could feature a different service each day for a week. (Food & beverage is also a nice incentive 😉 )

Gift ideas: Pampering gift bag – lotion, toothbrush, lip balm, chocolate, etc. Include informational handout about the links between oral health & overall health in women & men.

You could easily team up with local businesses for some cross marketing. Salons, Massage therapists, Restaurants, etc. may be more than willing to donate gift cards that you can use in a drawing or include in a gift basket that your patients can enter to win.

Here are  4 more ways to Help your Team and Patients Smile in September!

Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day: 1 Do something special for your team today and/or something unexpected for your patients. If you’re going to do something nice for your patients, get your entire team involved by asking for their ideas.

National Clean Hands Week: 18-24 – Give-Away for your patients during this week: Small imprinted bottles of hand sanitizer.

World Alzheimer’s Month  – Use this as an opportunity to educate your patients and the community about the importance of dental health care for Alzheimer’s patients in helping to keep them comfortable and healthy.

National Courtesy MonthThis is a great opportunity to remind your patients that: “As a courtesy to our patients we remind you of your dental reservation 1-2 days prior. We kindly request that you try to keep your dental appointments as scheduled. If you do require a scheduling change please notify us with at least a 24 hours notice of your appointment date. Thank you!”

So there you have it, some fun marketing ideas for the month of September. If you liked these ideas and plan to use some of them, PLEASE let me know. I love to hear your comments and ideas.

If you would like me to work with your office to create a custom marketing campaign for the month of September,  please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Looking ahead to October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Apple Month, Candy Buy Back and more! Oh, and don’t forget, October starts your final quarter so start now figuring out your production, collection and new patient goals for October, November & December. Remember to include your entire team in your plans!

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email inbox, please take a second to subscribe today. 

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest stop by and say hello.

As always, I wish you all a fantastic & productive month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

Dental Marketing Ideas for your local School District

Hello Friends, 

With back-to-school season in full swing, there is no need to wait until February’s Dental Health month to market to the local schools in your neighborhood, start early in the school year building relationships with school staff & the families that attend these schools.

These small marketing seeds that you plant, help to build relationships over time and you never know when and where those seeds will grow into new patients for your practice. (See Dental Marketing Seeds)

Here are just a few easy, inexpensive & effective ways for your dental office to reach out to your local schools.

dental marketing ideas for local schools betty hayden consulting

 

Donations – Use your office as a community donation site for school supplies or new & gently used books to be donated to local children and/or schools in need. Advertise in office, on your social media sites, to local businesses and the news media via press release that your office is collecting donations for school supplies or books.

This is a GREAT way to bring in potential new patients… when folks come into the office to drop off their donations, be sure to warmly welcome them, give a brief tour of the office, hand out small thank you gifts that are imprinted with your office information or have a raffle they can enter to win a prize. Prize ideas: themed gift basket, electric toothbrush, gift card, teeth whitening, etc. Invite local businesses to contribute something toward the prize.

Gifts for School Staff – Choose one, two, or more schools (depending on the size of the teaching staff) and deliver some treats to show your appreciation for the work they do in caring for the children in the community. Some ideas are: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Toothbrush goodie bags, Lip balm, Little gifts, flowers, etc. Be sure that your office information is clearly imprinted on any toothbrushes or small gifts. See my Pinterest boards for gift ideas

AND/OR

Host a Favorite Teacher Contest. Invite local students to nominate their favorite teacher. Winning teacher gets FREE teeth whitening and a certificate stating they won for the favorite teacher contest. The classroom with the winning teacher gets a gift card for school supplies or pizza/ice cream lunch.

You could easily ask for donations from local businesses to add to the winning teachers prize or for the classroom.

This can be promoted via your office website, newsletters, postcards, emails, office social media sites, local newspapers and signs in your office.

Have fun with it and be sure to share lots of pictures on your social media pages.

Just a few more ideas…

Social Media Sites – Post school-related content to your social media sites, such as:

  • Back to School Tips
  • Healthy Lunch/Snack ideas
  • What to do in a Dental Emergency?
  • Ortho care while at school
  • Dental Health (importance of, regular check-ups, sealants, mouthguards, fluoride & braces)

Office Blog – Share short articles/videos on your office blog/website using the above topics.

Pinterest – On your office Pinterest page, create a school related board(s). See my Pinterest boards for ideas.

Book Fairs Many schools will be hosting book fairs this school year.  And if your local school(s) are anything like mine, these book fairs draw a very large crowd.

Create fun, interesting Bookmarks for your local schools that include your office contact information. Deliver these bookmarks as a gift to the local schools to use during their book fairs. Easy! Right?

Here’s another one, tooth bags. Make up some little bags with a “lost tooth” congratulations message from your office and space to write the child’s name. Deliver these bags to local elementary schools for them to keep on hand for when a student loses a tooth during the school day. Both of my kids have come home with a tooth wrapped in a napkin or in a plain ziplock bag. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to advertise your office?

 For additional ideas to use with local schools see February’s Children’s Dental Health Month and October/November’s Candy Buy Back. Also, my Marketing Ideas for August has some nice ideas for you to use with students & teachers.

I have witnessed first hand just how effective marketing to local schools can be. The opportunity to bring in many new patient families to your practice is huge. If you are interested in hiring me to help your office create a custom marketing campaign, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com for a complimentary consultation.

Please feel free to share with me your ideas for marketing to local schools or if you have any dental marketing questions that I can help you answer, please comment below.

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email in box, please subscribe today. 

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest stop by and say hello. Thank you 😀

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty


 

How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Hello Dental Friends,

Is an article really necessary on how to answer the telephone? Absolutely!  This one is key to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

tips on answering dental office phone betty hayden consulting

Here are a few tips:

  • Smile before you pick up the phone.
  • Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  • Answer the phone with a thank you for calling, identify the office and give your name. (ex: Thank you for calling Dr.Smiles, this is Betty. I can help you)
  • Do NOT let the caller go to voice mail (or a busy signal!) during business hours (including lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  • 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.
  • For the few times when you do need to put a caller on hold – please, consider having a great message on hold service. Here’s why: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service?
  • Get the caller’s name and use it often. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source!). “What type of insurance do you have?” shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. In fact, let the caller bring that part up. Your goal is to build a relationship with the caller, to get to know them and their expectations.
  • Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many office’s I have called as a “shopper” and was never offered an appointment.
  • There are words/phrases that should never be used on a call. Make a list of the words/phrases you want to eliminate from the office vocabulary.

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.

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’s to customize their words to the individual caller’s. However, professionalism is always a must!

A few more things to consider during your meeting and training with your team:

What times are your phones being answered? Examine whether or not the times you’re actually available to answer the office phone is when your patients and potential patients are actually available to call the office.

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! Typically, the shopper caller has a need and is ready to “buy”, that’s why they are “shopping”.  Don’t blow it by refusing to quote fees over the phone. By all means, offer them to come in for a complimentary consultation.

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 – Empower your team to fulfill their request. At the very least, offer them an appointment.

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.

 If 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.

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE dental marketing and practice management ideas. If you liked this article, please let me know by giving it a “like”. Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

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

 

 

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