Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients

Hello Friends,

How do you encourage referrals and build relationships with your patients when the average dental patient comes in only 2 times per year for their continuing care hygiene appointment? Think about this, you get to spend 2-3 hours out of 8,760 hours per year with those patients. With all of life’s distractions and responsibilities, how can you ensure that they don’t forget about you in between appointments? Stay In Touch. Keep your name in front of them by planting little reminder seeds.

Today, I’m going to share with you 10 Ways to Stay In Touch With Your Patients. Ten easy & effective ways you can stay in touch by planting “reminder seeds”.

how to build relationships and encourage referrals betty hayden consulting dental

  1. Social Media Active Social Media pages are a must. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest are excellent ways to engage  and build lasting relationships with your patients. If you struggle with what to post on your pages, visit here for social media content ideas.                                                                                                     
  2. Freebies –  Give away free items imprinted with your office name, website and phone number to each patient at their appointment. Such as; toothbrushes, magnets, calendars, pens and lip balm. ( If you’re wondering where you can order some quality imprinted items, check out Bizarre Marketing.  I share this particular company with you because their customer service is awesome!)                                                                             
  1. Cards – Send cards to your patients, Just Because, Thank you for your referral and/or Special Occasion cards. People appreciate getting an “old fashioned” hand written greeting card via snail mail.   Make it convenient by keeping a variety of greeting cards on hand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  2. Telephone – Pick up the telephone and call your patients. Here are a few reasons you may have to call: Continuing care appointment reminders, Thank you for your referral, Post-op (just checking in to see how well you’re doing), Refill reminders (due for a refill on whitening gel, toothpaste, electric toothbrush head replacement, etc), and Special Occasions.                                                                     
  3. Letters – Send out letters for incomplete treatment, congratulations on completed treatment, welcome to our practice and thank you for your referral. Tip: providers and team members should personally sign their letters. Include a  brief note or comment if appropriate.  In addition to letters, send continuing care appointment reminder postcards and text messages.                                                                                                                                                          
  4. Newsletter – Send newsletters out to your patients. Include sharable content, dental health tips, recipes, community news, office happenings, dental education and special offers.                                                                                                        
  5. Emails – Dental Hygiene Tips, Office Happenings, Continuing Care Reminders and Special Offers. Be sure to ask and record email addresses of your patients. Email communication is inexpensive, easy and effective. Just don’t spam your patients with too many emails.                                                                                                   
  6. Website – Keep your website fresh, easy to navigate and attractive. Include videos, info & pictures about the doctor(s) and team, community events, special offers, ability to schedule appts online, FAQ, dental services and education, office hours, directions, social media pages, contact information, etc.                                                                                                                                                                  
  7. Patient Appreciation Events – Host a fun event for your patients – In-office Patient Appreciation Days and Open House events. See Open House ideas. Out of office events, such as; Roller Skating, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted giveaways and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  8. Community Involvement – Be involved in local health fairs, charity events, sponsor local sports teams, etc. Just a thought, when you and your team are out participating in community events, consider wearing t-shirts that clearly identify (advertise) your office and give away a lot of imprinted gifts.

There you have it, 10 ways to stay in touch with your dental patients. Doing some or all of these things will help to build lasting relationships with your patients and encourage referrals.

Of course, the very best way to ensure your patients remember to come back and to refer their friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers is to get them talking about their experience after they leave your office. How do you that? Be consistently great! Consistently exceed expectations! Plan to make sure that each and every appointment is great from the initial greeting at arrival, during their appointment, and when you say your thank you and goodbyes as they leave. (See Earn The Privilege To Serve Again)

At your next team meeting, discuss what you are currently doing to stay in touch with your patients and how you can improve in planting more reminder seeds.

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please subscribe today. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too. If you liked these ideas, please let me know by hitting the “like” button. Thank you!!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

 

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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

 

 

 

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

Dental Marketing Ideas for Teacher Appreciation and Nurses Week

Hello Friends,

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”~Henry Adams

May 1st – 7th is Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s always a really busy and fun week for me as I typically help to make it a special week for all of the teachers at my children’s school.

It is also a great opportunity for dental offices to reach out to the teachers in their community.

How can you do that? Here are a few ideas for you:

teacher appreciation and nurses week dental marketing

First, let’s start with any of your patients that are teachers.

Pull a report with any patients that are school teachers and send “We Appreciate You” cards to them. Unexpected and very much welcomed.

Put together some little thank you gifts to give your teacher patients when they come in for their dental appointment during the month of May. See my Pinterest Board for a ton of ideas: Gift Ideas for School Teachers

Second, reach out to the teachers in the community that are not “yet” your patients at your office.

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 favorite teacher. 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.

If you prefer, the above ideas could easily be used to celebrate National Nurses day and week – May 6th -12th. Instead of the teachers and schools, you’ll be reaching out to the nurses at local doctors offices, clinics and hospitals.

There are so many ways to celebrate teacher appreciation and nurses week in your dental office. If you would like some help creating a Teacher or Nurses Appreciation marketing campaign for your office. I have lots of ideas. Campaigns that include:  ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, office fun, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If these ideas don’t interest you, not to worry. Stay tuned as I’m putting together even more dental marketing ideas for the month of May, I’ll share them next week. (These last few weeks have been busy here in Hayden Consulting Land with school music concerts, science fair projects and several home improvement projects…Ugh!)

Wishing you all a very happy and productive Spring! 

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! Or, if you have a dental marketing idea that you need some help with, feel free to comment here or email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Earn The Privilege To Serve Again

Hello Friends,

Loyal patients, isn’t that what we want? Loyal patients that return year after year, accept your treatment recommendations and refer their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. They are loyal to your dental practice because they like and trust you. You’ve earned the privilege to serve them not just for a moment but for life.

Is it really a privilege to serve them? Absolutely! Any office that struggles with getting and keeping new patients, struggles with getting patients to accept their treatment recommendations, struggles with the hygiene department’s continuing care reports and Swiss cheese-like appointment schedules, struggles to keep up with all the record transfer requests from patients and their new dental office, will learn (hopefully quickly) that having loyal patients in your practice is an earned privilege. The aforementioned struggles are greatly reduced or eliminated all together.

how to get more dental new patients?

How do you earn this privilege? By consistently exceeding patient expectations. Here are 12 ways you can do this (in no particular order)…

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.

Post-Op Calls – Call your patients in the evening to see how well they are doing. Call anyone that received anesthetic and new patients.

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. If you don’t already have a protocol in place, make a plan as soon as possible. When and how will you ask “How did you hear about us?” or “Whom can we thank for referring you?” How and where will you record that information? Be specific when recording referral sources, internet isn’t a good enough source. Where on the internet? For example, Facebook?, Twitter?, Yelp?, Instagram?, Pinterest?, WordPress?,  Website? Google search? Etc. Who is responsible for tracking these sources? How will we acknowledge them? With a thank you letter or card, signed by the doctors and team? Send a thank you gift? Just please do me a favor and avoid sending the same exact thank you to the same patient every time they refer someone… no groundhog day thank you’s. Change it up. While you’re at it, set a new patient goal for each month. Consider offering a bonus or some type of incentive for employee referrals. Get your team out there in the community, excited to talk about the great office they work at and invite the people they meet to schedule an appointment. (Tip: Personalized Business cards for the team members with a special call to action invitation on the back of the card will make passing out office business cards much easier and more fun.)

Sending Cards – Keep Sympathy, Anniversary, Welcome, Congratulations, Thinking of you and Get Well cards on hand to send to your patients. As a team work together to be alert to opportunities to surprise your patients with a card.

Answering the Phone – 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 should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity! 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 during business hours (including lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  • Get the callers name and use it often. Find out how they heard about your office. “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.

Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to why. If you know why, change whatever 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 to the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculating the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, controlling the schedules, these things will help you stay on time. Avoid working through lunch hours… everyone needs that time to recharge their batteries.

Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your best patient – Communicate your goals, expectations and vision with your team. Ask for their thoughts and ideas during your team meetings (speaking of meetings, be sure you’re having a daily morning huddle). Reward the behaviors you want to see more of. Be friendly, grateful and respectful even on the days when you don’t want to be. Do not share in or tolerate any negative gossip about team members or patients! Have FUN at work and on occasion, outside of work with employee appreciation events. “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”~Simon Sinek  (Tip: Invest in your entire team with continuing education courses, training for your computer software, telephone skills, social media sites,  dental terminology, protocol, procedures and technology.)                                                                                                             

Stay in Touch – Find ways to stay in touch with your patients via telephone calls, continuing care postcards/letters and on your social media sites.  Keep your name in front of them.

Deliver exceptional dental care – Give your patients the best care…always!  With your team, celebrate with your patients their new & healthy smiles – (If a patient comes in for in office teeth whitening, let other team members know so they can compliment the patient on their smile. Let your patients see how much you and your team value the care you provide).

Maintain a safe and clean office – Outside & Inside your office you want to send a positive message about your care by keeping your office very clean, well maintained and welcoming. See Improve your Office – First Impressions for tips and suggestions.

Be my Guest – Treat your patients as a guest in your home. Make them feel welcome. Come in to the office as a patient. Experience what they see, hear, smell and how they’re cared for from the start of the appointment to the finish. (Consider, Patient Appreciation Gifts)

Honesty –   #1 Be honest with your patients regarding your fees and treatment. The quickest way to lose a patient is by them perceiving they’re being taken advantage of. Clearly explain the cost to do the treatment and the cost of doing nothing. Estimate as closely as possible the patient’s financial portion for treatment. Some will tell you that you should never quote fees over the phone…I strongly disagree. Why? You’ll lose many of your shopper callers by refusing to answer their request for a quote on a fee. They’re calling because they need/want a particular service. They’re ready! Make it easy for them to choose your office by honestly answering their question. Because you can not make an actual diagnosis over the phone, it’s impossible to know exactly what their cost will be, give a range of fees and offer for them to come in for a complimentary consultation. 

#2 -When you mess up, admit it. No excuses or passing blame. Say you’re sorry and make it right. Consider keeping gift cards on hand to give to your patients when something doesn’t go as planned. (ex: lab case error, scheduling error, etc) Oh, if you find yourself apologizing a lot… see what you can do proactively to minimize future mistakes.

There are no short cuts, if your goal is to grow your practice with patients that are not merely satisfied but are delighted with your service and remain loyal to your practice, then you must remain loyal to your goals, your mission and your promise.

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.

I love hearing your comments and ideas, please continue sharing them with me. Remember, I’m happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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