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 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 Gift Certificates Make Great Presents

Hello Friends,

I wanted to share a quick tip with you all. A super easy way to possibly increase collections, production and fill some openings in the schedule. Here it is: Gift Certificates! (I’m sure the title of this post already clued you in 😉 )

teeth whitening special dental marketing

Are you offering gift certificates for purchase in your dental office? If not, you should be. Certainly, you’ll have some patients looking for that perfect gift for their favorite grad, dad, mom, or special someone this spring and summer. Save them the awful trip to the mall. Make it easy for them to get their shopping done. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful, white smile for summer? Maybe even a beautiful, straight smile with Invisalign?

How do you do this? Place nicely framed signs in your reception room and treatment rooms with the suggestion that gift certificates to your office will make a great gift.  Have a tasteful display of a themed (ex: congratulations grad) gift wrapped box, or a teeth whitening product box wrapped in a bow… you get the idea.

Inform your patients and potential patients via your office website, social media sites, newsletters and postcards about this gift idea.

Perhaps, offer special pricing on teeth whitening and/or Invisalign for a limited time as an incentive for your patients and potential patients.

In addition to gift certificates, you might suggest electric toothbrushes as a thoughtful gift. Wrap your electric toothbrush with a bow and gift tag and put it on display.

Additional tip: When these patients call to schedule their appointment to redeem their gift certificate and then come in for their appointment…wow them!  Exceed their expectations and gain a loyal patient.

One more tip: If you’re looking to increase the teeth whitening acceptance in your office, this article may help: 10 Tips for Teeth Whitening Acceptance Success

If you have any other thoughts or ideas feel free to comment below. Or if you liked this idea, 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

10 Tips for Teeth Whitening Acceptance Success

Spring is here! A great time for your patients to consider whitening their teeth. Right? Smiles so bright they’ll need to wear shades. Beautiful bright, white teeth for Spring. Well, as I sit here at my computer preparing to share some tips for teeth whitening case acceptance success with you all, I look out my window on this Spring morning and what do I see? Bright, white flakes of evil snow falling from the sky! 😦 I guess it’s more like “Smiles as White as Snow.” UGH!

Hopefully, this snow won’t last long but your teeth whitening case acceptance will.
Why is it that some offices have a lot of success with teeth whitening sales and other offices not so much?

Here’s why…. No whitening system, or whitening goals will ever be reached or work if the entire team isn’t on board with it and actually consistently offering it.

Dental Services, Teeth Whitening, Dental Marketing

Here are 10 Tips to Help Make Teeth Whitening a Successful Service in your Office.

Step One:
White Teeth for Doctor(s) and Team Members –
Complimentary whitening trays for each & every team member. They need to have a beautiful white smile and an experience to share with your patients.)

Step Two:
Take a Shade! –
Let your patient know that you’re going to start the appointment by taking a shade match of their current tooth color for your records. You can show them where they are on the shade guide.

Step Three:
In office Messaging –
Team members can wear buttons and/or have a nice 5×7 framed sign in each treatment room at patient’s eye level offering teeth whitening…

Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile with
Teeth Whitening!

Whiten yellow teeth & virtually eliminate
tobacco, coffee & tea stains!
Ask us how

Step Four:
Scheduling! –
When scheduling hygiene appointments over the phone include these powerful words:
Would you also like to whiten your teeth at this appointment?

Step Five:
Listen to your patients! –
What are they telling you about upcoming events in their lives? Wedding? Job Hunting? Recently Single? Holiday time? Special Events? Vacation? Class Reunion?
What a great time to ask if they would like to have a bright, white smile for their special event, job interview, etc.

Step Six:
External Marketing –
Include offers for teeth whitening and patient teeth whitening success stories with your… Newsletters, Postcards, Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc) Website and Blog Posts.

Step Seven:
Tracking –
Be sure to set up computer reminders to call or send a post card to your patients that have purchased teeth whitening trays around the time when they will be due for a refill.

Step Eight:
GOALS –
Set a monthly whitening goal! Talk about daily goals at morning meetings.

Step Nine:
Use only the BEST teeth whitening products and techniques!
Quality matters.

Step Ten:
Buy sunglasses! –
Because your office is going to be filled with such bright smiles you’ll need to wear shades!

Bonus Tip: Offer a fun promotion in the community to local businesses. A drawing to win Free Take-home Teeth whitening trays to one or more people. Offer this at local salons, restaurants and schools.

I’m certain that if each step is followed closely and consistently you will see success with your teeth whitening goals.

Yours for greater success,
~Betty
P.S. Be sure to subscribe to receive our free dental marketing tips right to your email inbox.