Dentist Office Marketing, Leadership, and Management Tips and Ideas for October 2020

Dentist Office Marketing, Leadership, and Management Tips and Ideas for October 2020

Hello Friends,

Well, here we are at the start of your final quarter for the year. It is my goal to give you ideas and strategies that will help you end the year strong. Ideas that when implemented will keep things fresh and fun in your office. More importantly, they will exceed your current patients and potential patients’ expectations which will allow you to focus on doing what you do best, helping your patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles.

Dental Leadership, Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for October 2020 

Leadership Tips & Ideas:

Employee Appreciation – National Massage Therapy Week: 25th – 31st – Treat your employees with gift cards for a massage. Or if possible, bring in a massage therapist to the office.

Customer Service Week: 5th – 9th – Discuss with your team strategies and goals to ensure that your customer service and patient care are in harmony with your core values and vision for your practice.

Boss’s Day: October 16th – Plan now to make this a special day for your boss(es).

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Practice Management Tips & Ideas: 

Insurance Use it or Lose it Reminders – Did you get your end of year insurance dental benefit use it or lose it reminder letters/emails/texts/calls out?  

Dental Office Insurance Renewal Reminders Betty Hayden Consulting

Friends, how do your hygiene schedules look for October & November? Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me. 

Marketing Tips & Ideas: 

Exceed Expectations for your current patients and the potential new patients that you engage with in your community. 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month –  

All month-long share posts and short videos on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist.

National Dental Hygiene Month Betty Hayden Consulting

National Orthodontic Health Month – See some ideas here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/09/15/tips-and-ideas-for-octobers-national-orthodontic-health-month/

Apple Month – See more ideas here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/09/15/tips-and-ideas-for-octobers-national-orthodontic-health-month/

Patient Appreciation Gift Idea: October is National Popcorn Poppin‘ Month – Give your patients a bag of microwave popcorn or little bags filled w/flavored popcorn with a tag attached that says: “You make us POP with Appreciation” or “Your Referrals are POPPIN’ – Thank you!

Patient & Community Dental Health Education Idea: 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – See more ideas here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/09/24/dentist-office-ideas-for-octobers-breast-cancer-awareness-month/

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the Month of October ~ 

Spinach Lovers Month

Betty Hayden Dental Social Media Contact Spinach Day

World Smile Day: 2nd

National Taco Day: 4th

National Kick Butt Day: 12th

National Chocolate Day: 28th

There you have it some fun and effective tips and ideas to help you have the best October ever!

Do you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

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Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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How to Prevent Same Day Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations

How to Prevent Same Day Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations

Hello Friends,

A complaint I hear quite often is “we have so many hygiene cancellations every day!” Does that happen to you? You have a beautiful, full hygiene schedule at the start of the day and by the afternoon the schedule looks more like swiss-cheese! UGH!

Most often I discover that we have allowed patients to think it’s ok to cancel at the last minute. If you have created this cancellation monster, it will take some time to re-train your team and your patients. How do we train our patients that it’s ok to cancel last-minute?

  • Not creating true value for the appointment through patient education.
  • Constantly rescheduling patients appointments because of some change to the provider’s schedule.
  • Not respecting the patients time by running behind and not giving the very best experience from start to finish.
  • Telling the patient, no problem or that it’s OK when they call to cancel.
  • Poor and inconsistent appointment reminder systems and protocols.
  • Not acknowledging no-shows with a telephone call 5 minutes after their scheduled appointment time and with a follow-up letter/text/email.

Sadly, I have heard many offices tell the patients, no problem when they call to cancel. They don’t even attempt to reschedule. They just say OK and hang up. I’m not joking. This really happens.

Today, I’ll share with you some scripting examples for handling calls from patients that want to cancel same-day hygiene appointments.

what do I say when patient calls to cancel their dental hygiene appointment

 

Please note: this isn’t scripting for perio appointment cancellations. You would use different scripting for those types of appointments.

Scenario #1:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 10:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: NOOOOO!

What do you do? It’s 9:00, how are you supposed to fill that time slot?

Scenario #2:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 4:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: YESSSSS!

What do you do? Celebrate, of course! Now you can get out early.

I’m kidding! We hate cancellations (even the “just a cleaning” ones) at any time of day because they all kill profitability.

So what do you say to the patient when they try to cancel? How do you save the appointment?

You can’t save them all, there are unavoidable, legitimate reasons that some patients are canceling their appointment. For help filling the schedule with those inevitable last-minute cancellations, please see: Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

For all others, try this:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 10:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: (with genuine concern) “Oh no! I hope everything is alright. Jenny was really looking forward to seeing you today for your appointment. Is there any way you can keep your reservation?” or

“Oh no! Thank you for calling, I know Jenny will be concerned, is there anything we can do so that you can be here today?”

or, if you have a broken appointment policy…

Admin: “Oh no! I’d hate for you to have to pay the broken appointment fee, is there any way you can make your reservation with Jenny?”

Now, if the patient is sorry and truly can’t make the appointment and this is the first time they’ve canceled an appointment, say this:

Admin: “I know that Jenny was looking forward to seeing you, I’m sorry that you weren’t able to provide us with 48 hrs advance notice due to (whatever their reason was) – we’ll go ahead and waive the broken appointment fee this time. Let’s get you rescheduled…”

Or if you don’t have a broken appt. policy, say this:

Admin: “We obviously made an appointment for you that isn’t convenient. Since your appointments are important I want to make sure we never do that again. Is there a time we can schedule that you know will work better with your schedule?”

Document your conversation and that you waived the fee for this time and that the patient is aware next time they’ll be charged.

If the patient refuses to reschedule their appointment…

Admin: “That’s fine, but if I don’t hear back from you, I will call you on ______, how does that sound?” (Follow through on that promise.)

For patients that habitually cancel, I urge you to charge them your broken appointment fee and do not reschedule their appointment.

Admin:  “Mr/Ms (use their name), I can see that you have a really busy schedule and that makes it difficult for you to commit to an appointment time. I thought I was a busy person!
What I recommend is that we place you on our “same day” call list. If we have an unexpected change in our schedule we’ll give you a call. How does that sound?”

Document your conversation! Follow-up accordingly.

Whatever you do and no matter how desperate you are to fill the schedule DO NOT REAPPOINT habitual offenders! You should never be able to look at the schedule and point out who will most likely cancel or no-show. But, I’m sure that’s never happened in your office, right? 😉

Work together as a team to come up with scripting that works for your office. Think of all the different scenarios and reasons patients call to cancel (cost, illness, work, no babysitter, schedule conflicts, etc.) and role-play the best responses. Your goal should be, if appropriate, respectfully help the patient find a way to keep the appointment as scheduled without threatening or embarrassing them.

Ultimately, preventing cancellations starts with creating value for the appointment before it’s even scheduled… it’s never “just a cleaning” that they are trying to cancel.

Create solid hygiene continuing care protocols for your team and consistently follow them.

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Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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