Betty’s Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021

Betty’s Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021

Hello Friends,

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 ValuesKnowing 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.
  •  Morning Huddles – See: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/04/30/dental-office-morning-huddle-tips-and-ideas/
  • Monthly Team Meetings – See: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/12/27/tips-and-ideas-for-successful-monthly-dental-team-meetings/
  • Quarterly Employee Check-ins (AKA Performance Evaluations)
  • 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.

SEE https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/12/03/are-you-past-due-for-your-office-cleaning/

#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! Invest in 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 bhaydenconsulting@gmail.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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) 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

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

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

 

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