Do you ever feel like you just “can’t” do it? Perhaps there are times when you feel like my daughter, Savannah did here in this video while trying to learn to hula hoop (while wearing high heels)…
Savannah in her frustration said “I can’t do it” – We all have at one time felt this way or maybe we’re feeling that way now.
But, was that really true, was she doomed to never master the hula hoop? Not at all, she just couldn’t hula hoop “yet”.
Yet is an optimistic word that means “in the future”, for example, the best is yet to come.
Approach each day in your practice with the growth mindset that, the best is yet to come. So maybe your patient feels like they can’t accept your treatment plan yet, or you’re struggling with reaching your production, collection, and scheduling goals, or like many offices right now you’re struggling to find and retain employees, this doesn’t mean that you will never reach your goals or your patient will never accept the treatment, or that you’ll never find excellent employees, it just means, more time and or effort are required.
This was true for Savannah – She can hula hoop!
Your patient hasn’t said yes, yet. You haven’t reached your goals, yet. You don’t have your dream team, yet. However, the best is yet to come.
Add yet to your mindset and your challenges become an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. Remember, with dedication and hard work, success follows. You CAN Do It!
Do you know what else will help you learn, grow and improve? My complimentary monthly dental coaching, practice management, and marketing ideas. Take a second and sign up today. If you prefer, send me (email@example.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
Doctors, I may not be the best person to teach you how to hula hoop but I do know how to successfully help dental teams work together to create and implement wonderful systems to grow and improve their dental practice – if you’ve 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month – I would love and truly appreciate it (seriously, it would make my day!) for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK
Here you will find my Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021. They’re not just free to read, they’re free to implement. How awesome is that?! Ideas that when implemented, WILL help you increase production, attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, have more fun as a team, as well as exceed your established patients’ expectations.
Betty’s Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021
#1 – Mission, Vision, Core Values – Knowing why you show up every morning will help to create a culture of happiness and excellence.
Mission – A clear definition of the purpose and focus of the practice today.
Vision – It is about what you want your practice to be in the future. It is the outcome/result of your mission.
Core Values – Core Values represent the beliefs and principles that define your practice, your team, and the patient experience you aim for in your dental practice.
Involve the entire team in your vision, mission, and goals for the practice. Involving your team will help to keep everyone on the same page, working together for the greater good of the practice. Encourage and empower your team to not only come up with new ideas and solutions to problems but to implement these ideas and solutions.
#2 – Lead by Example– “Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient!“
If you want to see a positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example… be the change. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one. This includes any employee in a management position – if you have employees complaining about your office manager, take it seriously. A toxic office manager will destroy your practice over time, at the very least, cause a staff turnover nightmare. In fact, any employee that is toxic to your vision, to your team, and/or your patients…needs to go. It’s not easy to make the decision to terminate someone’s employment, yet absolutely necessary if you want to improve your practice. It’s been said that “what you allow you encourage.” Once you make the decision to no longer tolerate or allow the poor behavior and attitudes in your practice, you’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief.
#3 – Communication – “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
Job Expectations & Job Responsibilities – What are the performance expectations for your team? Does each employee clearly understand their role in the practice? Have every team member write down a detailed list of all their job responsibilities. This is VERY helpful in determining more effective ways of doing things as well as finding out what is NOT being done.
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.
Thank you – Express your appreciation. Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
Commendation – Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Applaud & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Little surprise treats and gifts every now and then are also much appreciated.
#4 – Know your Numbers – “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” – Maya Angelou
Knowing your practice numbers and doing something with what you know about those numbers is key to growing and improving your practice. Numbers tell a story. Numbers tell you if your practice is healthy or unhealthy.
Get a baseline of where you’re at in order to make a goal for where you want to go. For example,
Overhead – Evaluate your true costs of doing business. What does it cost you per hour to keep the practice running?
Supplies – What is your supply budget vs what you are actually spending?
Payroll – What is your payroll percentage? Are you hygienists producing 3.3 times their salary?
Collections – Are you collecting what you produce and how long is it taking to collect your money?
Adjustments/Write-Offs – Are you closely monitoring your adjustments and write-offs?
Production – What are your hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly restorative and hygiene production goals?
New Patients – How many new patients do you want per month? What are you doing to welcome more new patients each month?
Attrition – How many patients are you losing each month and why?
Treatment Acceptance Vs Diagnosis – How many of your patients are saying yes to your best care? How are you keeping track of your unscheduled treatment plans?
If your numbers reveal unhealthiness be quick to act and get help to restore your practice to health and happiness.
Friends, 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.
#5 – Declutter – “Clutter in your physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.”
Clutter represents indecision. Decide to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs, and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters. Along with unnecessary things sitting on treatment room counters. What about your sterilization area? Does it look clean and sterile? Or cluttered and unclean?
Make a cleaning schedule – including the who, what & when. When will the parking lot, restrooms & reception room be checked & cleaned? This should be done several times throughout the day. Do not wait for the “cleaning person” to take care of those areas. If the flooring needs to be vacuumed… vacuum it. If the glass on the windows/doors have fingerprints…clean them. If the restroom toilet and sink are dirty… clean them. Make a promise as a team that if you see it (and you know you do) clean it.
#6 – Stay on Time– “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”
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. Respect your team by sticking to the scheduled work hours. Be sure that they are not habitually working through their lunch or having to work late. They need breaks to refresh and refuel. Give them that. They have a life outside of work and making them work past their scheduled end time is a real drag. I understand that sometimes unexpected events may occur so they might be asked to work late or into a lunch hour but this should be a rare occasion, not a daily or even occurrence.
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.
#7 – Show you Care – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt
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.)
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.
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.
Memorable Goodbyes– Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name. Give them something good to talk about.
Thank you’s – Send handwritten thank you cards to your new patients and to your new patient referral sources.
#8 – Reappointments & Reactivation – “Do what matters, now.”
Reappointment – The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene visit when they are there at the office. Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time of treatment presentation.
Reactivation – Stay in touch with your unscheduled and/or inactive patients.
#9 – Online Presence – “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”
How are you presenting your dental practice, your services, your care, yourself, and your team online? Are you attracting potential new patients or turning them away? Consider briefly these four important areas…
Website – Your website should reflect the culture and personality of the practice and the team. The content should be fresh and relevant. The photos should be attractive and current. Think about this, when people visit your website are you welcoming them with warm and helpful messaging or inadvertently turning them away with poor messaging and unattractive pages?
Social Media – Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, Online Community News Pages, YouTube, and more help to build your dental practice. Even if you’re not a fan of social media, please remember that most likely many of your patients and potential patients are using these platforms regularly.
Google My Business – Are you consistently posting fresh content to your Google business page? If not, you should. It’s free, easy to do and people visiting your listing like to see fresh content.
Reviews & Recommendations – Ask your patients to please review your office on Google and recommend you on Facebook. Don’t simply rely on third party companies to do this for you. It’s so simple (& free) to invite your patients to do this for you.
#10 – Training – “There is no way the quality of your patient care and experiences will exceed the quality of the people who provide it.”
Don’t hold back in this area! Investin your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc. However, training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training.
Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, collecting dust? It’s most likely because your team didn’t understand or appreciate the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment, or procedure works, benefits the patient, the team, and the office is critical to enthused implementation.
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 email@example.com.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2021!
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. Or send me your email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
Do you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month? I would love and truly appreciate (seriously, it would make my day!) for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, Oh My! So many Social Media Sites – Enough to wonder, why? (and maybe wanna cry). Seriously, don’t we have enough work each day at the office to keep us plenty busy?
It is quite busy that is true; however, Social media platforms such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Blogs, Online Community News Pages, YouTube and more “can” help to build your dental practice.
How Can Social Media Help Your Practice? Here are just a few ways…
Build relationships between your office team and potential new patients
Stay in Touch with your Active and Inactive Patients
Increase your Online Presence
Learn what your patients/potential patients want
Improve Community Involvement
Manage and Increase your Online Reputation
Great Way to Advertise Special Events, Office Specials, and feature Dental Products/Services
Excellent Dental Education Tool
Surely, you can see that in order to be effective and successful with your use of social media, it’s not a case of “if you build it they will come”. Yes, you must build it; however, you must also develop and nurture it. It takes time and effort to build relationships. The key is engagement. Just sporadically posting to your sites will not effectively engage your audience.
You effectively engage (build relationships) by;
Acknowledging comments and likes on your posts.
Interact with other local business pages, this means, visiting & liking their pages, commenting on their posts and sharing their content. Remember, every time you do this, all of the people (potential patients) that see these business pages will also see your office comments and likes. It’s planting little marketing seeds.
Post quality content. WIIFM (What’s In It for Me?) not you, but your target audience, your patients and potential patients. What content will capture their attention?
Be real – share information, pictures, and videos not only about your office but of you and your team. Show your audience that within the office building are real people, people who care about dental health, care about changing smiles & improving lives, care about each other, care about their patients and care about their community.
I understand that not all business owners (Doctors) want to nor do they have the time required to start and grow a social media presence. Take a look at your employees; do you have someone who is a good candidate to help you do this? Someone that you can train to be the “voice” of your practice?
If not, I happen to love working with social media as a dental marketing source. Fresh content and posts just for your office! Done in a way that your patients and potential patients believe it’s coming straight from your office. Sound good to you?
Contact me today email@example.com to set up your complimentary consultation.
Perhaps, your social media pages are set up, yet, you struggle to know what to post on your pages.
Here are some quick ideas for you:
Dental Health Tips
Dental Emergency Instruction
How to Videos/link to YouTube
Office Contest Information
Fill in the Blank statements
Quotes (Motivational, Funny and/or Inspiring)
Community News (Events, weather, sports news, etc)
Team Member News (work anniversaries, family news, etc)
Product & Service Information
News/Photos about Dental Continuing Education Events/Classes
Before and After Smiles
Pictures of team members having fun and being silly
Acknowledge all “likes” and “comments” on your posts
Share local business posts to your social media pages
Comment and like other businesses posts
Ask your audience to please share your page with their friends & family
Openings in Schedule (note: avoid saying “we have a cancellation” instead say something like: “__ has an opening in his/her schedule today at 11:00 for your all-important dental hygiene visit…” Whatever you say, saying a change in schedule is better than saying cancellation.
A few more tips…
Vary the times you post or share on your social media sites.
Don’t spam with too many posts in a day.
Occasionally boost your Facebook posts.
Use Facebook and Instagram Ads
Invite your patients to check-in on your office page.
If your team is active on social media sites, encourage them to engage with the office social media pages (ie: like, comment and share posts)
Ask your patients to please review your office on Google and recommend you on Facebook. (Hint: Don’t simply rely on third-party companies to ask for you – it is so simple to ask your patients while they’re in the office to please review the office or share their experience on Google and/or Facebook.)
Here, I will show you here how simple it really is to ask for reviews and recommendations: Did you enjoy these tips and ideas? I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK
Easy, right? (I can’t wait to receive that verbal sunshine from you! Hearing your thoughts about the complimentary ideas that I share each month makes my day! Thank you!)
Are you following my complimentary dental leadership, marketing, and practice management ideas that are sent right to your inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. You can subscribe right here on this page or send me your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you a link to subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
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”.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
Newsletter – Send newsletters out to your patients. Include sharable content, dental health tips, recipes, community news, office happenings, dental education and special offers.
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.
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.
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.
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!!