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
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
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 Engagementduring 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!
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Are you looking to improve and grow your pediatric dental office? If yes, then I am sure you will appreciate the dental marketing and practice management tips and ideas that I am sharing with you today.
Certainly, this year has brought about many changes to our world; forcing us to also make changes and edits to our daily systems and protocols within our dental practices and how we engage with potential patients in our communities
Even with these changes there are still wonderful opportunities to enjoy the privilege of helping the children in your respective communities to smile happier and healthier. Resulting in happier, more productive, and less-stressed teams.
Gather your team and discuss your goals and vision for the new year. Plan now to make 2021 a great year.
Please, keep in mind that the way to mom and dads’ heart is to treat their children well. The way to keep mom and dad loyal to your office is to treat their children exceptionally well. Why? Happy Kids = Happy Parents. As a mother of two children, I know this to be true.
Here are some Pediatric Dental Marketing and Practice Management Tips and Ideas.
Please note: –With the COVID safety guidelines and current restrictions some of these tips may not be possible for all offices at this time but you can hold on to them for future use. It’s important to take care to remember that even with our office safety guidelines and precautions we want to ensure that we don’t compromise the need to still deliver warm, friendly, and memorable dental visit experiences for our patients and their families.
Video Games – Stationary or handheld devices
Books – Lending library bookshelf.
TV (children’s movies and short dental education videos)
Pictures – Wall of fame, digital photo frame or photo album filled with pictures of your patients.
Photo “booth” area with backdrop and photo props.
Tablet/Cell Phone charging station for parents.
Bottled water (beverage & snack station for parents.)
New Patient Experience –
INTRODUCE yourselves (Front office team, doctor/hygienist, and assistants.) to the parent(s) and the child.
Give a tour of the office. Point out where the restroom is located.
Explain what they can expect during their visit
Free stuff – children love to pick out a prize after their visit.
Sign them up for your kids’ club/team.
Send them a welcome card after their first visit. Kids love to get mail!
Okay, time for a personal experience… I took my children to a new dentist. The hygienists’ took my children back for their cleaning appointments without introducing themselves to me or the kids first. Also, I was never invited back to meet the doctor before, during, or after his examination. Yes, I could have insisted on an introduction but seriously? common courtesy here, how difficult is a simple introduction? This was a turn off for me. I can’t be alone here – I suspect most parents and children for that matter would appreciate a greeting and introduction.
Kids Club/Team – I’m not a fan of “no cavity” clubs because I like to see all children have the opportunity to be part of the office kids club/team and sometimes, a child’s unfortunate cavity is the fault of the parent. Have a club/team that is just for fun and that rewards healthy habits, report cards, community involvement, etc. Take a picture of each child to hang on your wall of fame or in a digital photo frame or picture album, as well as for your website, newsletter and/or social media sites. Present the child with a certificate/wristband/t-shirt when they sign up for your kids’ club. Have monthly contests/drawings that the children can enter to win prizes.
Give-Aways – Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift Cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, Kites, Small Stuffed Animals, Glow items, etc. Children love to leave the office with a small treasure.
Reviews/Recommendations – Ask for reviews and recommendations on Google and Facebook. Parents appreciate hearing from other parents about their experiences with your office. Most often, it is as simple as asking mom or dad if they would please take a minute to leave a review/recommendation.
Referrals – Acknowledge all referrals with a thank you card/letter signed by the dental team. Consider offering thank you gifts/raffle items. Prize ideas: Gift Cards, Family get-away, Gift Baskets, Etc. See Gift Ideas – Pinterest Board
Answer Your Phone –
Sure, you know that the office phone should be answered within the first couple of rings by an unhurried, friendly scheduling coordinator whose goal is to schedule an appointment and wow the caller with excellent customer service but if you want to see greater results from your marketing efforts, then you must be certain that your office phone is answered during times when patients are calling. Invest in your entire teamby providing training on how to effectively answer the phone.
Missed and poorly handled calls are missed opportunities and those missed opportunities mean missed dollars…big dollars!
Distractions/Safety – TV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Sunglasses, Weighted Blanket, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.
Post-Op Calls – Each evening place a “just wanted to see how well you’re doing call” to any patient that had an extraction or maybe was nervous or had a rough time during their visit.
Treatment Recommendations/Acceptance – Make it easy for mom or dad to say yes to your treatment recommendations. Have effective financial options in place. For convenience, offer more same-day treatment. For example, if you’re recommending sealants at the hygiene visit, if possible, do them at that time. This is coming from a busy mom, convenience matters!
Hygiene Continuing Care – Schedule their next hygiene appt. while they’re in the office. Be certain that your hygiene continuing care reports are being monitored and calls are going out to schedule appts.
Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? 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. Or just shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you would like a complimentary snapshot.
Are you enjoying these tips and ideas so far? I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.
Here are a few Marketing Tips & Ideas
Website – Have an attractive, informative, and up-to-date Website.
Social Media – Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses, and to connect with potential patients. Be sure to connect with community mom groups and all kid-related businesses on your social media platforms. (See this Pinterest Board for a plethora of posting images/ideas.)
Facebook/Instagram Videos – Share (live) videos about brushing & flossing techniques, what to do in a dental emergency, why baby teeth are important, what age should a child first visit the dentist, how much sugar is in your favorite drink/cereal/snack, healthy snack ideas and so on.
Online Presence (Website & Social Media) – Become the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos, and pictures on your website, Google My Business, and social media platforms about different dental treatments/products, tongue-ties, sports safety, nutrition tips, what to do in a dental emergency, etc.
Patient Gifts/Give-Aways’ – Here are a few additional gift ideas for your patients and potential patients. Of course, you’ll want to personalize these gifts with your office name and information.
Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –
What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize giveaways, and snacks.
Theme Ideas: Luau, Superhero, Disney, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, Pajama Day, Silly hats/hair/socks, Etc. (visit party & dollar stores or orientaltrading.com for a ton of theme ideas)
Be sure to take lots of photos/video that can be shared to your social media platforms.
Children’s Dental Health Month –
Education – During the month of February (and all the other months too) share dental health tips with your patients when they come in for their appt, in reactivation/reappointment campaigns, and via your social media platforms.
Outside the office –( If appropriate in your community during the COVID pandemic safety restrictions…)
What: On-site Short Dental Education Presentations/Demonstrations and Toothbrush gift bags for the kids and teachers/parents.
Where: Schools, Daycares, Library, Mom groups, etc.
Community Engagement (Visit Local Businesses) –
Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios, Salons, Etc.
What: Introductions, Referral pads/business cards, Small Gifts and/or food/snacks. TIP: When visiting general dentist and pediatrician offices, always treat their reception team wonderfully… if your goal is to meet the doctors and get patient referrals, you want/need the “gatekeepers” to like you. 😉
Consider sending a food/drink/ice cream truck to local offices/businesses.
Back-To-School Seasons/School Breaks – Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special dental days on your schedule. Special pricing or promotions on Sealants, Ortho, Fluoride, Mouthguards, etc. Consider doing a drawing for a Backpack filled with school supplies. Contest: nominate your favorite teacher (use social media sites to promote), prize ideas for winning teacher: Breakfast/Lunch at the school, free teeth whitening, or team up with local businesses for prize donations.
Book Drive – Collect new or gently used books to donate to your local library or schools. Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards and to your current patients.
Sponsor Local Sport Teams –Free or reduced pricing on sport mouthguards for local sports teams.
Referral Tracking – keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, all fulfilled requests for donations, etc. Put specific referral source codes into your software system, this way, when you ask “How did you hear about us?” you have the correct referral code to enter in and you’ll be able to acknowledge that source with a thank you as well as know what marketing is working to bring in new patients.
Are you ready for the #1 Way to Grow your Pediatric Office?
Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations by Consistently Being Great! Give your patients something positive to talk about to their neighbors, workmates, friends, and family members. Make it easy for them to refer patients to you.
I know this is a lot of information but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your practice, then it’s worth it to take the time to implement some or all of the ideas that I have shared with you today. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to do this on your own, I’m here to help.
Are you receiving my complimentary Dental Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please follow today or send me (email@example.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to tell your dental friends all about this website so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too.
I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, Oh My! So many Social Media Sites – Enough to wonder, why? (and maybe wanna cry). Seriously, don’t we have enough work each day at the office to keep us plenty busy?
It is quite busy that is true; however, Social media platforms such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Blogs, Online Community News Pages, YouTube and more “can” help to build your dental practice.
How Can Social Media Help Your Practice? Here are just a few ways…
Build relationships between your office team and potential new patients
Stay in Touch with your Active and Inactive Patients
Increase your Online Presence
Learn what your patients/potential patients want
Improve Community Involvement
Manage and Increase your Online Reputation
Great Way to Advertise Special Events, Office Specials, and feature Dental Products/Services
Excellent Dental Education Tool
Surely, you can see that in order to be effective and successful with your use of social media, it’s not a case of “if you build it they will come”. Yes, you must build it; however, you must also develop and nurture it. It takes time and effort to build relationships. The key is engagement. Just sporadically posting to your sites will not effectively engage your audience.
You effectively engage (build relationships) by;
Acknowledging comments and likes on your posts.
Interact with other local business pages, this means, visiting & liking their pages, commenting on their posts and sharing their content. Remember, every time you do this, all of the people (potential patients) that see these business pages will also see your office comments and likes. It’s planting little marketing seeds.
Post quality content. WIIFM (What’s In It for Me?) not you, but your target audience, your patients and potential patients. What content will capture their attention?
Be real – share information, pictures, and videos not only about your office but of you and your team. Show your audience that within the office building are real people, people who care about dental health, care about changing smiles & improving lives, care about each other, care about their patients and care about their community.
I understand that not all business owners (Doctors) want to nor do they have the time required to start and grow a social media presence. Take a look at your employees; do you have someone who is a good candidate to help you do this? Someone that you can train to be the “voice” of your practice?
If not, I happen to love working with social media as a dental marketing source. Fresh content and posts just for your office! Done in a way that your patients and potential patients believe it’s coming straight from your office. Sound good to you?
Contact me today firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your complimentary consultation.
Perhaps, your social media pages are set up, yet, you struggle to know what to post on your pages.
Here are some quick ideas for you:
Dental Health Tips
Dental Emergency Instruction
How to Videos/link to YouTube
Office Contest Information
Fill in the Blank statements
Quotes (Motivational, Funny and/or Inspiring)
Community News (Events, weather, sports news, etc)
Team Member News (work anniversaries, family news, etc)
Product & Service Information
News/Photos about Dental Continuing Education Events/Classes
Before and After Smiles
Pictures of team members having fun and being silly
Acknowledge all “likes” and “comments” on your posts
Share local business posts to your social media pages
Comment and like other businesses posts
Ask your audience to please share your page with their friends & family
Openings in Schedule (note: avoid saying “we have a cancellation” instead say something like: “__ has an opening in his/her schedule today at 11:00 for your all-important dental hygiene visit…” Whatever you say, saying a change in schedule is better than saying cancellation.
A few more tips…
Vary the times you post or share on your social media sites.
Don’t spam with too many posts in a day.
Occasionally boost your Facebook posts.
Use Facebook and Instagram Ads
Invite your patients to check-in on your office page.
If your team is active on social media sites, encourage them to engage with the office social media pages (ie: like, comment and share posts)
Ask your patients to please review your office on Google and recommend you on Facebook. (Hint: Don’t simply rely on third-party companies to ask for you – it is so simple to ask your patients while they’re in the office to please review the office or share their experience on Google and/or Facebook.)
Here, I will show you here how simple it really is to ask for reviews and recommendations: Did you enjoy these tips and ideas? I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK
Easy, right? (I can’t wait to receive that verbal sunshine from you! Hearing your thoughts about the complimentary ideas that I share each month makes my day! Thank you!)
Are you following my complimentary dental leadership, marketing, and practice management ideas that are sent right to your inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. You can subscribe right here on this page or send me your email address to email@example.com and I can send you a link to subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Your dental practice choosing to support Breast Cancer Awareness month is a great way to show your patients and the community that you care.
The way we celebrate may look a little different this year due to the safety precautions we’re taking in our practices however, there are still many ways to show your support.
If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a quick minute to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK
Here are some tips and ideas for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month
First, make a plan. Work together as a team to decide how you will promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Here are a few areas to consider:
Raise Awareness, How?
Collect Donations for a charity, which foundation/charity will the donations go to?
Office Decorations, What? Who? and from Where?
Social Media Sites – Use to raise awareness, discuss dental health tips, share office happenings, and contest details, etc.
Production & Product Sales – (Portion of sales will be donated to… )
Give-aways – (ex: pink imprinted lip balm, little pumpkins, see more gift ideas here)
Special in office Event (ex: Pink Day)
Community – Get involved with a local BCA event(s)
Wear Pink and encourage your patients to wear pink
Involve your local news media with a press release
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Scott Terry & Team
Check out my Pinterest Board for more ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/BettyJHayden/dental-office-ideas-for-breast-cancer-awareness-mo/
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!!