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

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

 “It’s the little details that are vital.

Little things make big things happen.” ~John Wooden

 Hello Friends,

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

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

  1. Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members’ every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
  2. Smile More – Smiles are contagious. Smile before you pick up the phone, smile to passersby, smile to your teammates, and smile in the mirror. Smiling will boost your mood, put people at ease, and makes you more likable.
  3. Say My Name – Everyone likes to hear his or her name. Greet your patient’s by name. Use their name during treatment. Thank them by name for coming in or calling.
  4. Thank you – Express your appreciation.  Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
  5. Choose to be Positive – Your attitude is a choice and that choice is 100% within your control. Avoid spreading negativity by sharing bad patient experiences, personal problems, or problems with other team members. Choose to be happy and positive.
  6. Be Kind – Be kind to your patients, strangers, sales reps, and callers.
  7. I’m Sorry – Accept responsibility when you are wrong. Be honest; simply say “I’m sorry I/We messed up”. (Tip: Keep small ($5) gift cards for coffee to give to your patients when you’ve messed up, i.e. running late, lab case mistake, appt. mix up, etc.)
  8. Friendly Greeting – Warmly greet every person that visits the office. Even if you’re on the phone or taking care of a patient, you can acknowledge the other person with a smile.
  9. Say Please – Make it a habit to say please every time you ask for something.
  10. Offer a Proper Handshake- A nice, firm handshake shows confidence and makes a good impression. (Tip: When a new patient comes into the office, come from around the desk and welcome them with a handshake.)
  11. Check it Twice – Before you send that email, letter, or text, check it for spelling errors.
  12. Social Media Sites – If your office is using social media sites be sure to like and follow the pages of local businesses within your community. Click the LIKE button or comment on their posts. This is an easy way to build relationships.
  13. No Cell Phones – Turn down the volume and put your cell phone away while you’re on the clock. Ask your family and friends to call the office line in the event of an emergency. Be fully present during work hours.
  14. Write it Down- Start and end your day with to-do lists. Write a note or set an electronic reminder to check on that claim, call your patient, check voice mail, etc. Writing things down prevents you from forgetting things that are important. (Tip: Avoid placing sticky notes around your workstation. Clutter is chaos to the patient.  Place reminders in a notebook that you frequently refer to or set electronic reminders.)
  15. Commendation – Commend a fellow team member when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale.  (Tip: Commend & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of.)
  16. Business Cards – Carry your business cards with you and use them! Get your team personalized business cards to hand out to patients and people they do business with. (Tip: Use the back of the business card with a call to action invitation.)
  17. Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule. Running behind schedule sends a message to your patients and your team that you don’t respect their time. Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.
  18. Patient of the Day! – Select a patient from the day’s schedule to be your “patient of the day”.  Give them a certificate, a small gift and take their picture to share on your social media sites. This is a fun and inexpensive way to exceed your patients’ expectations.  SEE Dental Patient of the Day Ideas
  19. Post-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists, call your patients at the end of the day to see how well they are doing. (Tip: Call all patients that received an extraction, perio treatment, difficult procedure, were fearful or new to the office.)
  20. Pre-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists start building your relationship with a new patient before they step foot in the practice. Call and give a warm welcome, let them know you are looking forward to meeting them at their appointment. It’s unexpected, takes only a few minutes and will really make your new patient feel special.
  21. Send a Card – In this electronic age, rarely do people get “real” mail. Send hand-written thank you, get well, thinking of you, anniversary, sympathy, and congratulations cards to your patients.  They will truly appreciate it! (Tip: Keep a supply of cards on hand in the office.)
  22. Everybody Clean Up – Pick up the piece of paper from the floor, dust off the plants, keep your workspace and the restroom clean. SEE Clean Your Dental Office
  23. Replace the roll of Toilet Paper – Even if there are still a few squares left to spare, replace with a fresh roll. While you’re at, go ahead and fold the toilet paper into a pretty fan.
  24. Huddle Up – The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow these tried and true suggestions & tips for morning meeting success.
  25. Negative Gossip – Refuse to listen to gossip and stop speaking & spreading gossip. Simple. As. That.
  26. Dress the Part – If you want it to be a great day, start by looking great. Wear clothes that reflect the excellent care you give your patients. This means wearing professional, clean and wrinkle-free clothes.  Also, your hair and body should be clean and odor-free. (Yes, I went there.)
  27.  Verbiage Matters – Use these words often: Absolutely, I’ll be happy to, My pleasure, You are very welcome, Certainly, and Right away.
  28. Acknowledge and Reward Referrals – For every patient you must have a referral source, how else will you be able to track what marketing works and what doesn’t? Especially if you want more referrals from your current patients, then reward the behavior that you want to see more of. Acknowledge and Reward your referrals.
  29. Answer the office Phone – This one is KEY to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Answer the office phone during the times when patients and new patients are most likely to call. This includes lunch hours. SEE How to Effectively Answer The Dental Office Phone
  30. Memorable Goodbyes – Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name.

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

~Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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

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

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

Are you receiving my dental marketing and practice management tips and ideas via email each week? If not, start following today this way you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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

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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 Practice Management Ideas for October

Hello Friends,

I had so many ideas to help you make October a great month that I decided to break it up into 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 to get going.

dental-practice-management-ideas-for-october

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 2016 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.

See here for sample letter

 October 4th is Improve Your Office Day (It is also Taco day and Vodka day, coincidence? I think not 😉 ) – Please consider reading my Improve Your Office Series found here: Improve Your Office – First Impressions , Improve Your Office – Make a Change , Improve Your Office – The Little Things Matter & Improve Your Office – How to Have a Happier Team 

October 3-7  is Customer Service Week – This is a great team meeting theme. What ideas can you come up with as a team to exceed your patient’s expectations by consistently delivering excellent customer service?

What do you do when you run late? (If you’re habitually running behind, please change that habit! It’s disrespectful to your patients and your team) What do you do 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 hygiene 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 and social media sites.

October 17th 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 20th is Get to Know Your Customers Day ~  Perhaps you could have a Business Card, Free Lunch Drawing. Have fun with this day or turn it into a week or month-long event. This will allow you to get to know your patients better as well as learn what local businesses you want to focus some of your marketing efforts on. 🙂

Combine these practice management ideas with my 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!

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 share my blog with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

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