Many dental offices are dealing with holes in their schedules and an increase in last-minute schedule changes and broken appointments. Or maybe you have full schedules, but they’re chaotic and not very productive.
Unfortunately, when there is that open chair time with no production to collect on, your overhead expenses continue without letup.
This isn’t just about money though – our focus should always be on helping our patients smile healthier and happier. When Your Patients Are Healthy – The Practice Is Healthy. To help make our patients healthier we need them to schedule (and KEEP) appointments. More importantly, we want the schedules to not only be full/busy but productive & healthy.
Here are 12 tips and ideas that won’t require a lot of extra time or expense to help improve your schedules for this fall…
#1. Morning Huddle – At your morning huddle, review schedules for patients coming in without a future hygiene appointment scheduled, any family members due in hygiene, and patients with unscheduled treatment plans. What is your plan to ensure that these patients leave with their next appointment scheduled?
#2. Broken Appointments – Who is tracking, and how are they tracking your broken appts? More importantly, what proactive steps are taken to reduce or eliminate broken appts in your office?
Practice Owners – 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 or would like to discover areas of opportunity for your practice … please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#3. Telephones – It is imperative that all team members are well-trained to effectively care for the patients and potential patients calling your office. How many calls end with an appointment scheduled, and how many do not? Are your office phones being answered during the times that patients and potential patients are most likely to call? How many times is the phone ringing before being answered? How often are callers being put on hold?
What about the “shopper” callers, the callers with insurance questions, the callers with questions about whether going to the dentist is safe or not, the callers asking if you’re accepting new patients, how do you know that these calls are being handled and cared for effectively? How do you know that your team members are not inadvertently keeping them from scheduling an appointment and Keeping you from welcoming them into the practice as new patients?
This may not seem like a big deal or related to what I am talking about today, but how the telephone callers are cared for or not cared for has a big impact on your schedules and the growth of your practice.
#4. Treatment Plan Presentations and Completions – Pull your unscheduled treatment plan reports. Even if you prefer to leave it to your patients to decide when they’re ready to schedule, you certainly can keep in touch with them and continue to gently plant some treatment reminder seeds of urgency, want, and need.
#5. Welcoming New Patients – What are your plans to successfully welcome more new patients into the practice? What are you willing to do differently in order to reach/exceed your monthly new patient goals?
#6. Community – What are some things you can do to get your name out there in the community? If you’re not already, now is an awesome time to become the “go-to” dentist in your city/town.
What can you and your team do to give back to the community? Hint: I share ideas with you each month to do just that. Are you following my monthly emails? If not, take a second and sign up/subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
#7. Reviews & Recommendations – This one is super easy! Let your patients do some of the work, and invite them to do the talking for you. Give them something good to talk about and spread to their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. How? Consistently deliver excellent experiences via the telephone and in-person at their appointments. Make it easy for them to leave a review on Facebook and Google.
Please do not underestimate the power of “fresh” online reviews and recommendations to grow your practice.
#8. Insured Patients – Mid-September, early October start your end-of-year insurance “use it or lose it” reminders and campaigns. Patients tend to wait until the last minute to try and squeeze in a dental appointment to use their remaining benefits – encourage them to beat the end-of-the-year rush.
#9. In-Office Savings Plan – If your office offers an in-office savings plan, create some campaigns to let more uninsured people and local small businesses know about your awesome and affordable in-office savings plan.
#10. Continuing Education and Team Building – The fall season may be the perfect time to schedule some in-office continuing education and training. As well as some fun team-building activities.
#11. Exceed Expectations – Spend more quality time with the patients who do come in for their appointments.
#12. Celebrate your Success! – This will require a team effort to enjoy productive and healthy schedules for the rest of this year and beyond so please be sure to find ways to celebrate your success. Reward the behavior that you want to see more of!
BONUS TIP! – Take advantage of your social media pages and Google My Business Account to share office happenings, dental health tips, community news, and to feature different dental services/treatments that you offer.
If you appreciate and enjoy the complimentary ideas and content that I share each month – I would LOVE for you to PLEASE take a quick minute to leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links: GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK Thank you so much!!
I am wishing you all the healthiest and happiest schedules for this Fall!
~Betty – Dental Coach
Before you go, would you kindly please do something for me? I would LOVE for you to PLEASE leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links: GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK Thank you so much!!