Dental Office Leadership, Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for December 2020

Dental Office Leadership, Management, and Marketing Tips and Ideas for December 2020

Hello My Friends,

What does December typically look like for your dental practice? Schedules jammed with patients trying to use their remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire? Patients breaking their appointments same-day because they’re too stressed out, or financially strapped to think about going to the dentist?  Now, we can add patients breaking their appointment because they’re afraid to leave their homes and have been told that is unsafe to visit the dentist.  Or maybe your office needing to close due to a shut-down or COVID exposure.

Regardless of what December usually looks like in your office – we can expect December 2020 to look different (unusual) than years past because if there is one thing we’ve learned this year it is that things in life can change quickly and often.  

Many have become adaptability experts while looking forward to this year coming to an end. However, even with all the uncertainty and need to be adaptable, we can still plan to make the last month of the final quarter for this crazy year a HAPPY one.  We need it!

Here are a few dental leadership, marketing, and management tips and ideas to help you do just that.

Practice Management Tips & Ideas

Incomplete Treatment:

Do you have any patients with incomplete treatment or ones that are due/past due in hygiene with remaining insurance benefits that will expire at the end of this year? Do what you can to help them see the need and value in scheduling an appointment this month. Some offices invite their patients to take advantage of “today only” special offers that they share via their social media sites, emails, and telephone calls.

Do you know how many of your patients have unscheduled treatment plans and money remaining on their insurance for this year?

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. 

Be alert to any patients that are coming in with the doctor or hygienist and have incomplete treatment or are due in hygiene. If the schedule allows, encourage them to take care of both at the same time. This means carefully reviewing all charts in advance of the appointment.

December is a great time for Special offers on Teeth Whitening, Electric Toothbrushes, and Invisalign.

Remind your patients that electric toothbrushes, teeth whitening, and dental treatment make excellent gifts!

Consider having a drawing for a gift basket or gift cards to local businesses that your patients can enter to win when they come in for their dental appointment before December 23rd.

Cosmetic Dentistry Opportunity:

Many of your patients will be attending/participating in end of year parties/events during the month of December. Now is a great time to help them see how they can easily get their smile ready for the camera (even if it is the Zoom camera) with teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment/procedures.

Leadership Tips & Ideas 

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

December is National Write a Business Plan Month – What does your business plan look like for 2021? Meet as a team to discuss marketing ideas, production, & collection goals, new patient goals, continuing education needs/wants, and office maintenance/repairs/remodel needs. Put your plans down on paper! Be sure to include a plan of action: The Who, What, Where, When & How’s!

Note: If you struggle with implementing your leadership, practice management & marketing goals – a dental coaching relationship may be the solution! Contact: Betty @bhaydenconsulting.gmail.com.

Marketing Tips & Ideas

Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7 – Purchase a variety of cookie cutters to individually package and seal with an office label that says: “Our Patients Are a CUT Above the Rest!” See more patient gift ideas here: Patient Appreciation Gift Ideas

betty hayden consulting dental office tips and ideas winter

National Hand Washing Awareness Week: 6-12 – Purchase small bottles of hand-sanitizer with your office information on the label.  Give away to your patients during this week or throughout the month.

Community Involvement: Donations – Open your office as a Drop-Off Location for donations of non-perishable food items or winter gear for families/individuals in need.

Oftentimes, local print & TV news will pick up these types of stories. (Especially around the holidays.)

Educational Opportunity: National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day: 12th –Create a few short videos for your social media platforms about the possible causes of bad breath as well as some tips and remedies to keep their breath smelling fresh.  

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of December

National Pear Month 

 Gluten-free Baking Week: 13-19 

National Sock Day: 4  

Toilet Paper Appreciation Day: 8 

National Chocolate-covered Anything Day: 16

Winter (Winter Solstice): 21 

Bacon Day: 30 

Look On The Bright Side Day: 31 

It may be that despite your best efforts the schedule will still fall apart. Don’t stress over it, instead use that available time to do some training, team building, office cleaning/organizing, or to catch your breath, and smile!

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a minute to leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog. 

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

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

Is Obtaining New Dental Patients More Important Than Retaining Established Patients?

Is Obtaining New Dental Patients More Important Than Retaining Established Patients?

Hello Friends,

So which is more important to your practice growth – obtaining new patients or retaining established patients?

The short answer, both are very important to successfully grow your dental practice.

Yes, new patients are very important, in fact, we should have a monthly new patient goal that we are working toward each month. Offices love new patients. I hear doctors and teams all the time saying “we need more new patients!” They believe that is the answer to all of their scheduling, production, and collection woes. But is that good enough to grow your practice, just ensuring that you’re getting fresh new patients each month?

Well, if you want to spend lots of money and ultimately work harder instead of smarter, then yes. But, I think it’s safe to say, that isn’t your intention or end goal.

And yet, that is exactly what I am seeing many doctors doing in their practice. They are investing time and money to bring in new patients but are not giving the same attention to retaining those new patients. Like they are just spinning their wheels and will eventually just burn out.

Oftentimes, I will see healthy new patient numbers each month, and yet, the office isn’t growing at all and their production is weak. Why is that? When I examine the data, I learn that far too many of their new patients are one-timers. They left the office without scheduling a future appointment. Why is this a bummer situation? Calling, emailing, texting, and snail mailing our patients to get them to reappoint can be a drag. It’s tough to reach patients once they leave. It’s possible of course, but it takes money, time, and energy that could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, we don’t even see those attempts being made to reach out to those unscheduled new patients. No one really knows what happens to the patient after their first visit. Or they make minimal attempts to reach out to the patients before giving up after a couple of months.

What does your new patient experience look like from the initial call, and first visit, to how you stay in touch with them after they leave?

Do you know what your new patient retention numbers look like?

So if the most expensive patients to acquire are your new patients, the easiest and best patients to fill your schedules are those who have come to you before.  BUT, you may be thinking… that takes time and money to reappoint established patients too. That’s true but you have a huge advantage when reaching out to established patients of record; It’s the power of pre-existing relationships.  (Oh, by the way, on average, it can cost up to six times more to gain a new patient than it does to retain an existing patient.)

What does retaining, reactivating, and reappointing established patients mean for you and the patient?

  • We are creatures of habit.  It’s easier to do something we are already doing than to do something different.
  • Established relationship. (They already know, like, and trust you. You just need to focus on strengthening that relationship)
  • No marketing costs – you’ve already paid the initial investment in getting the patient.

What are you doing to keep track of your established patients? What are you doing to ensure your established patients don’t slip through the cracks? Here are some ideas and tips for reactivating and reappointing your patients: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/12/31/dental-patient-reactivation-and-reappointment-tips-and-ideas/

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. 

What are you doing to keep your new and established patients loyal to your practice?

Loyal patients, isn’t that what we want? Patients that return year after year, accept your treatment recommendations and refer their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. They are loyal to your dental practice because they like and trust you. You’ve earned the privilege to serve them not just for a moment but for life.

Is it really a privilege to serve them? Absolutely! Any office that struggles with getting and keeping new patients, struggles with getting patients to accept their treatment recommendations, struggles with the hygiene department’s continuing care reports and Swiss cheese-like appointment schedules, struggles to keep up with all the record transfer requests from patients for their new dental office, will learn (hopefully quickly) that having loyal patients in your practice is an earned privilege. The best part with loyal patients is the aforementioned struggles are greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.

Of course, this takes some work – implementing and following closely, effective office systems/protocols are critical to you successfully retaining your patients and reaching/exceeding your practice goals.

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.

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

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

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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

End of Year Dental Insurance Benefits Reminders, Tips, and Ideas (Use it or lose it)

End of Year Dental Insurance Benefits Reminders, Tips, and Ideas (Use it or lose it)

Hello Friends,

Have you had an opportunity to start reminding your patients to take advantage of any remaining dental insurance benefits before they expire at the end of year?

If not, this is a great time to get started on your “Use it or Lose it!” letters, calls, texts, and emails to your patients. This is for all of your patients that have dental benefits that renew on January 1st and/or patients with FSA or HSA dollars that expire at the end of the year.

Especially helpful for your patients that are /pastdue/due/or due this year for their hygiene visit and/or with treatment that is yet to be started or needs to be completed and their remaining dental insurance maximums are getting ready to expire.

Time to remind them to Use it or Lose it! – Get your letters, emails and text messages out to your patients reminding them to use any insurance benefits they have remaining for the year to complete any needed treatment or for their continuing care hygiene appointment before they lose them.

Remember, the closer it gets to the end of the year the more difficult it becomes to get them to schedule and you may not even have room in your schedule to accommodate them.

Your goal is to get them from the filing cabinet/computer to the schedule!

Personalize  – When mailing out remaining maximum letters, be sure to customize for each patient according to their treatment plan. This will help to re-create the urgency and value for treatment.  For some patients, it will take some type of additional incentive to get them to act. Perhaps, include a gift certificate for $ off of their treatment if it’s completed and paid for by December 31st. Not redeemable for cash. Or the opportunity to enter a raffle for a really great prize!

Need ideas for what to include in the reminder letter? Feel free to email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you a sample letter that you can customize for your office. 

Take this opportunity to add a P.S. message to the end of your letter, telling your patients all about your specials on teeth whitening. Many people at this time of year are looking to whiten their teeth for their end of year celebration family photos, or to buy gifts for family and friends.

For example… 

P.S. Now is a great time to whiten & brighten your smile for your end of year celebration photos. We have some fantastic whitening specials! Teeth whitening gift cards also make a wonderful gift.

P.P.S. Did you know we are on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter? “Like” us on Facebook at … and “follow” us on Instagram, and Twitter at …  / This way you can stay up to date with all our office events & news plus have a chance at exclusive offers & contests.

Mailing Tip –  Use a bright-colored envelope and neatly hand-write the name and address. Use a “live” stamp. This will take a little more time to do but your patients are more likely to open an envelope that looks like it’s from a friend and not their dentist.

Phone Calls – About a week after you mail out your letters, go ahead and start calling them to see if they received the letter and to schedule them an appointment. Please don’t rely on electronic reminders or snail mail as your only method of communication – reach out to your patients with friendly telephone calls too.

Document – Be sure to document that a letter was mailed, phone calls were made and what type of response you received from each patient.

Important Reminder – Before sending out these letters and making calls to your patients be sure to review your upcoming appointment schedule… Where is your open chair time? Will pre-blocking some open time be helpful? Also, before scheduling last-minute appointments that require lab work at the end of the year be sure to communicate with your lab guy/gal that they can, in fact, get these cases back to you in time.

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

Social Media – Use your social media platforms to remind your patients to use their dental benefits before the end of the year.

Dental Office Insurance Renewal Reminders Betty Hayden Consulting

Wishing you all a full schedule for the end of the year!

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on Google or Facebook here are the links  GOOGLE and/orFACEBOOK

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 and I will send you an invite to follow. 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