Dental Office Tips and Ideas to Celebrate MLB Opening Day and the Baseball Season

Dental Office Tips and Ideas to Celebrate MLB Opening Day and the Baseball Season

Hello Friends,

Baseball season opens today! (Yes, I am a little late to the game with this post 😉 )

Whether or not you’re a fan of baseball, celebrating Opening Day and the Baseball season with your team and patients is a great way to have more fun and exceed expectations.

Here are a few ideas for you that you can use today for Opening day or at any other time during the baseball season…

  • Wear your favorite baseball team gear.
  • Encourage your patients to dress up too.
  • Decorate the office.
  • Take lots of pictures to share on your social media pages.
  • Special Offer on Sport Mouthguards for the Month of April
  • Share sports-related dental health tips on your social media pages.
  • Sponsor a local baseball team.
  • Have a Raffle to win baseball tickets or a baseball themed Gift Basket in exchange for Facebook likes, check-ins, and Reviews/Recommendations on Google and Facebook
  • Hand out some patient appreciation gifts such as imprinted lip balm, popcorn, peanuts, or for additional gift ideas check out my Pinterest board HERE.

Remember that it is important to find and create more ways to have fun at work!

Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals and not enjoying dentistry like you used to – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

If you enjoy the 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. Thank you!!

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

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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

Tips and Ideas to Grow Your Pediatric Dental Office

Tips and Ideas to Grow Your Pediatric Dental Office

Hello Friends,

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.

Practice Management

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.

Reception Room 

  • CLEAN/Well-maintained
  • Up-To-Date Décor
  • 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 team by 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!

For more telephone success tips, take a minute to read this helpful article: How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

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 bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com 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.

  • Chromebook Covers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Masks

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 –

In-Office –

  • 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.
  • Charity – Host a Give Kids A Smile Event (See Children’s Dental Health Month and GKAS Day Ideas )

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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.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.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

Hello Friends,

I have been getting many requests for help from dental office team members complaining that their schedules will often fall apart at the last minute. If this ever happens to you I know how frustrating that can be. Not to mention, it kills production.

In this article, you will find several ways to greatly reduce last-minute schedule changes. I can assure you that if you follow each step, you will stress less, make more money, help more patients, and have more fun.  Please print it out and share with everyone on the team. We need everyone following the same protocol/system in order for you to be successful.  Consider reviewing this at your next huddle or team meeting.

Note: If you need a quick-fix for holes in the schedule – check out these ideas: Tips and Ideas to Fill Holes In Dental Hygiene Schedules, However, they are just that, a quick fix. Follow the ideas in this article to prevent them from happening at all.

Dental Office Systems for Reducing Cancellations from Betty Hayden Consulting

Reduce last minute cancellations and no shows by following this protocol/system:

Consistently Be Great! – Do everything to ensure that each and every patient has a great experience during their appointments.  Give them something good to talk about and reason to keep coming back!

STOP moving appts around! A sure-fire way to aggravate patients, cause them to disrespect your time and the schedule, or for them to think you don’t know what you’re doing is by moving their appointment times. Unless, of course, they have asked to be on your Priority List.  Calling patients to come in early, come in late, or come in on a different day is annoying and I promise you it is hurting your schedule and production. I can’t emphasize this enough –  Respect their time and they’ll respect yours.

Appointment Reminder Systems – Ensure that you have an effective interval set up to remind patients of their appointments and that your message is helping not hurting the practice. For example, NEVER say “Calling to confirm” – it should be “We’re looking forward to seeing you on ____ at ____. OR ____ is looking forward to seeing you…”

 Unconfirmed Appointments – If it is 1 day before the appointment and a patient or patients haven’t responded to your appointment reminder system, it is imperative that you pick up the phone and call the patient(s).  You shouldn’t be able to look at the day’s schedule during your morning huddle and see unconfirmed appts.

Cancels – Using the word cancel or cancellation sends a poor message to your patients. It tells them that cancellations happen and are expected. We don’t want that. You can say ”this doesn’t happen very often but if for some reason you need to change your reservation with ___, we ask that you please provide us with at least 48 hours notice.”

Stay on Time – See your patients at their appointment time. Avoid running behind schedule. (Tip: Make sure you are allowing enough time on the schedule for each procedure/appt type.)

New Patients – Every new patient needs a call preferably from the provider 2 days prior to their appt. “Hello, this is ___. I was calling to let you know that I am looking forward to meeting you in person for your reservation on ___ at ___. See you then.”

Please don’t rely on an automated service to welcome your new patients.

Bad History – If a patient has a history of not showing or canceling last minute, please don’t schedule any future appointments for them. However, if you find there are some patients on the schedule with that history…call them at least 2 days in advance of appt. “Hello, this is ____ from ____. I am calling regarding your appointment on ____ at _____. I need you to please return my call by____ at ____. If I don’t hear back from you by that time we will assume you’ve changed your mind and will cancel your reservation.”

Treatment Plans and Financial Arrangements – Every patient that has an appt. scheduled with the doctor for treatment must have a copy of their treatment plan AND a financial agreement before the appt. Ideally, each patient should receive a copy of the treatment plan and a financial agreement at the time of diagnosis. DON’T ASSUME that the patient is OK with their financial responsibility simply because you gave them a copy of their treatment plan and they didn’t question the cost.  What often happens is they say OK and schedule and then will no-show or cancel at the last minute. OR they come in for the appt. not prepared to pay their portion.

Regarding their financial responsibility – put their co-payment amount in the appt notes so that you remember to remind them to bring it in w/them.

Many patients will not tell you they can’t afford the treatment. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO SAY YES by HELPING THEM FIND A WAY TO WORK IT INTO THEIR BUDGET. The total investment is ____ and we can do it for as little as ___ per month using our partner Care Credit. Have them apply for CC while they are there in the office.

Hygiene Patients – Schedule their next 3, 4, 6-month appt when they are at the office. Take a second to stress to them how important this appointment is and what you’ll be looking for at their next appt. (It’s not just a cleaning.)

VALUE – Walk-Out Statement – Consider itemizing the hygiene appt walk out statement to include the no charge services… ie: Oral Cancer Screening, Nutrition Counseling, Oral Hygiene Instructions, Etc.  Be sure to ALWAYS give the full fee for that day even if they have “100 %” coverage with their insurance. They need to hear the actual dollar amount for each visit. Helps to put more value on the appt.

No-Shows / Late Arrivals – Always acknowledge your no-show/late patients with a call 3-5 minutes past appt. time.  If you get a voice mail – let the patient know you’re concerned because they missed their reservation.  If the patient doesn’t reschedule, send them a kind letter reminding them they were missed and what your office appointment guidelines are for changing appts.  The assistant or hygienist should be making these calls 3 – 5 minutes past appt time. If they can’t make the call right away they are responsible for having someone from the front office make the call for them. Be sure to document the action/ response.

Telephone – The dreaded telephone calls for same-day cancellation attempts from your patients. They can destroy a perfect schedule in a matter of minutes. Stay in control of your schedules by using the following verbiage…

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 10:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: (with genuine concern) “Oh no! I hope everything is alright. Jenny was really looking forward to seeing you today for your appointment. Is there any way you can keep your reservation?” or

“Oh no! Thank you for calling, I know Jenny will be concerned, is there anything we can do so that you can be here today?”

or, if you have a broken appointment policy…

Admin: “Oh no! I’d hate for you to have to pay the broken appointment fee, is there any way you can make your reservation with Jenny?”

Now, if the patient is sorry and truly can’t make the appointment and this is the first time they’ve canceled an appointment, say this:

Admin: “I know that Jenny was looking forward to seeing you, I’m sorry that you weren’t able to provide us with 48 hrs advance notice due to (whatever their reason was) – we’ll go ahead and waive the broken appointment fee this time. Let’s get you rescheduled…”

Or if you don’t have a broken appt. policy, say this:

Admin: “We obviously made an appointment for you that isn’t convenient. Since your appointments are important, I want to make sure we never do that again. Is there a time we can schedule that you know will work better with your schedule?”

Document your conversation and that you waived the fee for this time and that the patient is aware next time they’ll be charged.

If the patient refuses to reschedule their appointment…

Admin: “That’s fine, but if I don’t hear back from you, I will call you on ______, how does that sound?” (Follow through on that promise.)

For patients that habitually cancel, I urge you to charge them your broken appointment fee and do not reschedule their appointment.

Admin:  “Mr/Ms (use their name), I can see that you have a really busy schedule and that makes it difficult for you to commit to an appointment time. I thought I was a busy person! What I recommend is that we place you on our “same day” call list. If we have an unexpected change in our schedule, we’ll give you a call. How does that sound?”

Document your conversation! Follow-up accordingly.

Whatever you do and no matter how desperate you are to fill the schedule DO NOT REAPPOINT habitual offenders! You should never be able to look at the schedule and point out who will most likely cancel or no-show.

I’m sure that’s never happened in your office, right? 😉

Work together as a team to come up with scripting that works for your office. Think of all the different scenarios and reasons patients call to cancel (cost, illness, work, no babysitter, schedule conflicts, etc.) and role-play the best responses. Your goal should be, if appropriate, respectfully help the patient find a way to keep the appointment as scheduled without threatening or embarrassing them.

Sending you wishes for a full and productive schedule… one that doesn’t fall apart!

Friends, if you do not know what your office’ broken appointment and reappointment numbers and percentages look like, including how many of your active patients are unscheduled, or how many patients were canceled and not yet rescheduled during COVID, and so many other important key practice indicators; please take note of what those numbers look like. This will help you reopen your practice with a baseline to work from and guide you.  You need to know where you’re at currently to know how to best care for your patients and what your potential for growth is. 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.

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here 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 at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

Betty – Dental Coach

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