Ten Steps to Create Healthy and Productive Fall Dental Hygiene Schedules

Ten Steps to Create Healthy and Productive Fall Dental Hygiene Schedules

Hello Friends,

Many dental offices are facing the potential for the weakest fall schedules they have ever experienced. For others, your schedules may look pretty good for September as you have been reappointing patients that had appts during the shutdown. It may even look better than ever. So, if you’re busy right now does it even matter what the schedule looks like for October and November? After all, there is still plenty of time to fill all those holes, right?

For numerous reasons, it matters greatly what your schedules look like for this fall and as for having plenty of time to fill those holes, well, we know what happens with time… it goes by very quickly, especially when we’re busy!

Typically, a full hygiene schedule today means a full doctor schedule tomorrow – why is that? Approximately, 75% of restorative needs are discovered during hygiene patient visits.

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 appointments.

how to fill holes in the dental hygiene schedule

Here are some 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?  (One broken appt a day can cost a practice well over $30,000 a year in lost production. Imagine what that number looks like if you have more than one broken appt a day.)

If a patient cancels same-day be sure to get them reappointed while you’re on the phone with them. Unless of course, they are a habitual offender – poor appointment behavior doesn’t get rewarded with the privilege of reserving time on your schedule.  How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

#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? 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.  Dental Office Telephone Principles

#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? Dental Office Marketing, Leadership, and Management Tips and Ideas for September 2020

#7. Reviews & Recommendations – This one is super easy! Let your patients do some of the work, 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 My Business.

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 – strongly 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.

This is especially important right now as many of your patients may have lost their dental insurance coverage – or they know someone that does not have insurance and can refer them to you.

#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.

Bonus Tip: Celebrate your Success! –  This is going to 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! 🙂

Wishing you all the healthiest and happiest schedules for this Fall!

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.

Are you receiving my complimentary Dental Practice Management and Marketing Ideas via your email each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

 

 

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

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

Hello Friends,

“What does the month of September typically look like in your office? Do you struggle to fill the schedule? Or do you find that it is a productive month for you?”

Those are the questions I asked you all last year because I always encourage my dental office teams to be proactive by taking steps to create/design what they want their schedules, production, collections, and patient growth to look like for each month. Why wait until the end of the month to say “wow, that month was awful” or “wow, that was a great month”… and wonder, how did we do that?

Little did we know that the year 2020 would bring so many changes to our world and negatively impact the schedules in ways we could have never anticipated.

Now, here in August 2020, many offices are facing the potential for the weakest fall schedules they have ever experienced. Your schedules may actually look pretty good for September as you have been reappointing patients that had appts during the shut down. It may even look better than ever. So if you’re busy right now does it even matter what the schedule looks like for October and November? After all, there is still plenty of time to fill all of those holes, right?

For numerous reasons, it matters greatly what your schedules look like for this fall and as for having plenty of time to fill those holes, well, we know what happens with time… it goes by very quickly, especially when we’re busy!

Typically, a full hygiene schedule today means a full doctor schedule tomorrow – why is that? Approximately, 75% of restorative needs are discovered during hygiene patient visits.

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 appointments.

The ideas that I am sharing with you for September will help you reactivate and reappoint patients, attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations.

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

dental coach betty hayden fall dental schedule tips

Leadership Tips & Ideas:

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” -John Maxwell

Empower your team to focus on the possibilities of what a healthy fall schedule can look like and how that is a benefit not only to your patients but to your employees as well. Think beyond what you’ve always done to get by or your current perceived limitations– get creative with your methods for staying in touch with your current patients, reaching out to inactive patients, welcoming more new patients, and learning new things as a team to keep things fresh and motivating.

Employee Appreciation Idea – September is Self-Care Awareness Month – Self-Care has never been more important than it is right now! Give a small gift of appreciation to your employees that encourages self-care.  It could be a gift card or actual gifts. (ie: spa products, chocolate, books, essential oils, teas, waterbottle, etc.)

Practice Management Tips & Ideas:

Unscheduled Treatment Plans & Hygiene Continuing Care – Reach out to all your patients with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Encourage them to schedule their appointment during the months of September, October, and November.

Insurance Renewal Letters – Send out your “Use it or Lose it reminder texts, emails, and letters.

Betty Hayden Dental Coach End of Year Insurance Renewal Reminders

Friends, do you know what your schedules look like for the fall months? 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. 

Marketing Tips and Ideas: (Exceed Expectations for your current patients and the potential new patients that you engage with in your community.):

Theme: Fall in Love with a Beautiful & Healthy Smile

Focus: Preventive & Cosmetic Services

Giving-Away – Drawing for a Fall Themed Gift Basket / Patients can enter the drawing by leaving a review on Google and/or Facebook, referring their friends & family, and for coming in for their appts in September.

dental coach betty hayden fall marketing ideas for September

Local Business Marketing Opportunity: 

September is National Honey Month: Give away little jars of honey with a label or tag that says, for example, “Thank you for Bee-ing an Awesome Neighbor!” or “Our Nurses are Sweet as Honey!”  OR  to your referring offices you can say” Your Referrals Are Sweet As Honey – Thank you!”

Patient & Community Educational Idea:

September 1st – 7th is National Nutrition Week – You could do a quick Facebook live video and/or post content to your social media platforms all about Nutritious School Snack Options. Perhaps, you could even create a cute, simple hand-out for your patients with a list of nutritious snack options and the surprisingly unhealthy snacks.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of September:

World Alzheimer’s Month

National Fruit & Veggie Month

Sweet Corn Week: 3rd – 7th 

Random Acts of Kindness Day: 1st

dental coach betty hayden kindness

Be Late for Something Day: 5th / But not your dental appointment! Here is why it’s so important for you to arrive on time for your appointments…

Mouthguard Day: 7th

Dental Office Tips and Ideas Sports Safety

Grandparents Day: 13th

World Heart Day: 29th

Do you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month?  I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK . Thank you! 🙂

Wishing you all the healthiest and happiest September!

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.

Are you receiving my complimentary Dental Practice Management and Marketing Ideas via your email each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Marketing to Retirees and Seniors

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Marketing to Retirees and Seniors

Hello Friends,

Do your marketing efforts include marketing to seniors and retirees? Marketing to seniors typically isn’t a priority for most dentists. However, since advancing age doesn’t mean seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, why not take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to this generation? Help them to see they’re not destined to lose their teeth. Not only are there many preventive services available to them there are also many cosmetic dental treatment options to help them smile with confidence.   

dental marketing ideas for seniors betty hayden consulting dental coach

A few ways to reach out to Senior Citizens and Retirees:

  • Senior/(Retirees) Appreciation Day (In-office)
  • Senior Health & Wellness Expo
  • Direct Mail Marketing to Senior Living Communities
  • On-site Dental Health Education Presentations for Seniors & Caregivers
  • Website & Social Media Sites

Today, I’m going to focus on ideas for you to use at a community senior health & wellness fair/expo. However, many of the ideas for talking points, presentation and giveaways may be used in the other forms of marketing mentioned above.

Quick Tip: In-House Savings / Membership Plans – Loss of dental insurance may have prevented some people from seeking dental care.  Do you offer an in-house savings plan? If yes, be sure to include that in your marketing materials and posts on your office social media pages and website.

Back to health fairs… they can be challenging for a couple of different reasons.

One, there are a lot of vendors and booths/displays so you’re going to want to make sure that your display table stands out. That it draws the attention of the guests.

Two, most people are there for something free. But, I guess that doesn’t really count as a challenge. It’s an opportunity for you to make sure they won’t leave your display empty-handed. You’ll have many freebies to give away that include your office information.

Many wonder what they should talk about and what sort of items should they give away?

How about these ideas…

Service Talking Points ~

  • Denture/Partial Maintenance & Repair
  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Disease
  • Xerostomia 
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Orthodontics
  • Implants
  • Oral Cancer (On-site screenings)
  • Oral Systemic Health Link
  • Smile Makeover

Presentation / Demonstration ~

  • PowerPoint/Video presentation on a laptop/tablet/LARGE monitor with before and after photos and/or information about your services.
  • How To Demonstrations: Proper Brushing & Flossing Techniques

Display ~

  • Table Cloth
  • Banner (Office Name and Website address)
  • Brochures
  • Business Cards
  • Use nice baskets, containers, and frames to display your items.

Keep your table neat but attractive – too much information and “stuff” will be overwhelming in that setting.

Include a Big Call to Action with a deadline: You could hand out a sheet of paper that has a special offer on it: Complimentary Oral Cancer Screening, New Patient Special or Teeth Whitening Offer. On that sheet include some of the other services you offer. Also, include your social media sites and of course all your office contact info.

Make certain that you’ll have the ability to schedule complimentary consultations and New Patient Hygiene visits right there on the spot. (Access to your schedule…at the very least a copy of the schedule for the next 2 weeks.)

Very Important:  Your display table must include friendly, smiling, approachable and outgoing team members (also wearing, professional & clean attire).

Other things you can do to attract people to your table…

  • Prize Wheel
  • Gift Basket Drawing/Raffle

Lots of FREE stuff! Which brings us to…

Giveaways ~

  • Bottled Water / Reusable Waterbottles
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Xylitol Products- Gum/Mints
  • Sample dental health products with a sticker or tag attached showing that a “refill” may be purchased at your office.
  • Imprinted Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss / Imprinted Floss Cards
  • Imprinted Pens
  • Magnets
  • My favorite idea for a quick & inexpensive freebie is Lip Balm- (my go-to; http://www.lipbalmexpress)
  • Reusable Bags with your Office Information on them is a handy giveaway, one that allows them to carry their free gifts in and advertise your office for you.

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money on bags, please consider using small imprinted plastic bags so no one is fumbling with their gifts.

Raffle / Drawing ~

  • Electric Toothbrush
  • Whitening Pen
  • Gift Cards
  • Gift Baskets ( Themes: Dental Health, Gardening, Seasonal items, Spa, Etc. – don’t hesitate to team up with local businesses for basket items)
  • Free Teeth Whitening and or $ off Dental Treatment ( NOTE: they can either check the box for which one or all that they are hoping to win. Use a full sheet of paper with prize options and large space for them to fill out their name, email, address & phone (to be used later to send nice to meet you cards).

Should you decide to use a Prize Wheel instead of Raffle/Drawing be sure to find another way to capture their information so you can follow-up with a “pleasure to meet you” thank you card after the event.

Another Quick Tip: Include the Caregivers – be sure to have information on hand and give-aways for the care-givers. Especially because it’s often the care-givers that are the decision-makers.

Encourage attendees to “like” your office Facebook page and “follow” your office on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Perhaps you can offer some type of incentive/reward for visiting your social media sites.

Take a few minutes before and after the event to briefly introduce yourself to the other vendors and businesses at the expo. Give them a gift some of your office freebies. This is a great opportunity to build relationships within your community.

So many ways for you to have a fun and successful senior health and wellness fair. Do you have any other ideas that have worked well for you? Please, share them with me.

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a minute to leave me a review here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your email? If not, PLEASE take a second and follow today or send me your email address to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my website with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

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

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for December 2019

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for December 2019

Hello, Friends ~

December is the last month of your final quarter for 2019.

Winter Dental Marketing Ideas from Dental Coach Betty Hayden

What does December typically look like in 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? What about you and your employees – do you mentally check out thinking about your time off for the holidays? Or is it just another stress-free and perfectly productive month? Haha – you have months like that, right? 😉

Regardless of what December usually looks like in your office – take some time now to plan for how you will keep/get a full and productive schedule all month long without any extra stress.  I know that we can’t control the schedule 100% because well you know… life happens. However, we certainly can plan to end the year on a happy note.

I put together a few dental leadership, marketing, and management tips and ideas to help you do just that.

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

Travel Toothbrush Bags – Many of your patients travel during the holidays – Surprise them with a small gift for their travels. Put together toothbrush bags that include a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and a “what to do in a dental emergency” handout. You could also include other travel sized items such as lotion, Advil, lip balm, etc.

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.  

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, email blasts, and telephone calls.

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.

Homecare Products:

December is a great time for Special offers  on Electric Toothbrushes

Cosmetic Dentistry Opportunity:

Many of your patients will be attending holiday parties/events during the month of December. Typically with these special occasions come a lot of picture-taking. Now is a great time to help them see how they can easily get their smile ready for the camera with teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment/procedures.

Gift Certificates:

Remember, Gift Certificates/Cards for Teeth Whitening or Dental Treatment should always be available for your patients to purchase as gifts for their loved ones.

Leadership Tips & Ideas 

michigan dental coach betty hayden leadership quotes

December is National Write a Business Plan Month – Plan now to make 2020 your Best Year Ever! 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.

~ Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement ~

National Cookie Day: 4th

National Cotton Candy Day: 7th

Short Girl Appreciation Day: 21st (Shortest day of the year) 

National Thank you note day: 26th

Bacon Day: 30th

Sometimes despite your best efforts the schedule still falls apart. Don’t stress over it, instead use that downtime to do some training, team building, and/or office cleaning/organizing.

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