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. Are they even thinking about you in between appointments? 😉
Or perhaps you have some patients with unscheduled treatment plans that may not have said yes to schedule when the treatment was diagnosed and presented to them. Just because they didn’t say yes at that time doesn’t mean that they aren’t ready to say yes now. You reaching out to them might be the little reminder they need to get their mouth healthy again.
With all of life’s distractions and responsibilities, how can you ensure that they don’t forget about you?
Stay In Touch. Keep your name in front of them by planting little reminder “forget-me-not” seeds.
Today, I’m going to share with you 10 Easy & Effective Ways to Stay In Touch With Your Scheduled and Unscheduled, Active and Inactive Patients
- Social Media – Active Social Media pages are a must. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest are excellent ways to engage and build lasting relationships with your patients. Remember to take advantage of your Google My Business listing too! 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, masks, hand sanitizer, and lip balm.
- Cards – Send cards to your patients, Just Because, Thank you for your referral and/or Special Occasion cards. People appreciate getting an “old fashioned” handwritten 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. Right now, during this Pandemic a call to your unscheduled patients simply to check in and see how they are doing would be well-received.
- 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.
- 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 the email addresses of your patients. Periodic Email communication is inexpensive and easy. 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.
- Local Businesses – Look for ways to reach out to and build relationships with the businesses in your community. Take advantage of the opportunities to engage with businesses on their social media pages, too. When you engage with the local businesses you’re not only getting your name in front of potential new patients you’re also keeping in touch with your patients at the places that they may work or do business with.
- 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. Or you can open your office as a drop-off location for donations of non-perishable food items, winter-gear, books, school supplies, etc. for those in need in the community.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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Yours for Greater Success,
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