Dental Marketing Ideas for September

Hello Friends,

September is the last month (opportunity) for you to have the best third quarter ever. Yet, many dental offices say that this is typically a slower month for them. If that is true for your office or if you just want to spice things up for September, here are some dental marketing and practice management ideas for you.

dental marketing ideas for september from betty hayden consulting

Focus: Parents – Now that their kids are back in school, it’s time for dads and moms to pamper themselves with a dental visit.

Look at your schedule for September, find any days that have a few holes in them and declare them “special days for parents”.

Reach out to all of your parents with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Invite them to come in on this “special day” for their dental visit.

Offer Incentives: $ off Ortho, Free Adult fluoride w/hygiene visit, Teeth Whitening Specials, % off treatment, etc. This could be a one day only event or you could feature a different service each day for a week. (Food & beverage is also a nice incentive 😉 )

Gift ideas: Pampering gift bag – lotion, toothbrush, lip balm, chocolate, etc. Include informational handout about the links between oral health & overall health in women & men.

You could easily team up with local businesses for some cross marketing. Salons, Massage therapists, Restaurants, etc. may be more than willing to donate gift cards that you can use in a drawing or include in a gift basket that your patients can enter to win.

Here are  4 more ways to Help your Team and Patients Smile in September!

Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day: 1 Do something special for your team today and/or something unexpected for your patients. If you’re going to do something nice for your patients, get your entire team involved by asking for their ideas.

National Clean Hands Week: 18-24 – Give-Away for your patients during this week: Small imprinted bottles of hand sanitizer.

World Alzheimer’s Month  – Use this as an opportunity to educate your patients and the community about the importance of dental health care for Alzheimer’s patients in helping to keep them comfortable and healthy.

National Courtesy MonthThis is a great opportunity to remind your patients that: “As a courtesy to our patients we remind you of your dental reservation 1-2 days prior. We kindly request that you try to keep your dental appointments as scheduled. If you do require a scheduling change please notify us with at least a 24 hours notice of your appointment date. Thank you!”

So there you have it, some fun marketing ideas for the month of September. If you liked these ideas and plan to use some of them, PLEASE let me know. I love to hear your comments and ideas.

If you would like me to work with your office to create a custom marketing campaign for the month of September,  please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Looking ahead to October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Apple Month, Candy Buy Back and more! Oh, and don’t forget, October starts your final quarter so start now figuring out your production, collection and new patient goals for October, November & December. Remember to include your entire team in your plans!

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As always, I wish you all a fantastic & productive month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Hello Dental Friends,

Is an article really necessary on how to answer the telephone? Absolutely!  This one is key to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained on how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

tips on answering dental office phone betty hayden consulting

Here are a few tips:

  • Smile before you pick up the phone.
  • Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  • Answer the phone with a thank you for calling, identify the office and give your name. (ex: Thank you for calling Dr.Smiles, this is Betty. I can help you)
  • Do NOT let the caller go to voice mail (or a busy signal!) during business hours (including lunch hours). People hate leaving messages. Oftentimes, they’ll hang up and call the next office on their list.
  • Never, ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People hate to be put on hold. If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.
  • For the few times when you do need to put a caller on hold – please, consider having a great message on hold service. Here’s why: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service?
  • Get the caller’s name and use it often. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source!). “What type of insurance do you have?” shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. In fact, let the caller bring that part up. Your goal is to build a relationship with the caller, to get to know them and their expectations.
  • Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many office’s I have called as a “shopper” and was never offered an appointment.
  • There are words/phrases that should never be used on a call. Make a list of the words/phrases you want to eliminate from the office vocabulary.

Set aside some time to meet together as a team – everyone in the office should be trained on how to not only answer the phones but they should know how to handle the calls. At the very least, professionally & courteously direct the caller to someone who can help. Role play will help all to feel more comfortable handling different types of calls.

Worried about your team members sounding like robots on the phone? Don’t be. This is what you do, create as a team, Telephone Principles (your goals & expectations for each call.)

Firm In Principle – Flexible in Procedure

The procedure may vary but the principles remain the same. This will allow the team member’s to customize their words to the individual caller’s. However, professionalism is always a must!

A few more things to consider during your meeting and training with your team:

What times are your phones being answered? Examine whether or not the times you’re actually available to answer the office phone is when your patients and potential patients are actually available to call the office.

What happens after hours? Ringing? Voice Mail? Answering Service? Here’s your chance to exceed expectations by answering the office phone after hours! (Forward calls to a cell phone.)

The Greeting – First impressions matter!!

Shopper Callers – Great opportunity! Typically, the shopper caller has a need and is ready to “buy”, that’s why they are “shopping”.  Don’t blow it by refusing to quote fees over the phone. By all means, offer them to come in for a complimentary consultation.

Insurance Questions – (Have a great response to: “Do you take —-ins?)

Wrong Numbers – offer an appointment anyway.

Sales Calls – Be kind, they’re just doing their job. Maybe they need an appointment. Plus, you don’t know who they know. It’s simple – always be kind.

Moms calling for donations or any organization that asks for donations – Empower your team to fulfill their request. At the very least, offer them an appointment.

Certainly, handling the phones is a big responsibility but it’s an even bigger privilege. Don’t miss out on any opportunities to set your office apart from the others by always exceeding the caller’s expectations.

 If you have questions about how to successfully handle telephone calls or need help training your team, don’t wait, ask for help. I’m ready to help you. If not me, there are many other excellent dental professionals out there that are ready to help.

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE dental marketing and practice management ideas. If you liked this article, please let me know by giving it a “like”. Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

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Tips to Improve your Dental Office Part 4 ~ Happy Team

Hello Friends,

The key to successfully improving your dental practice, reaching your goals and having loyal and happy patients is to have a loyal and happy team. For some, this can be quite challenging.

I want to help. I’m going to share with you tips on how to have a Happy Team and in turn, Improve Your Office.

Before I get started, did you catch Tips to Improve your Dental Office Parts 1, 2 and 3? If not, here they are; First Impressions,  Make a Change and The Little Things. (BTW: Sign up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas and tips each month right to your email inbox…this way, you won’t miss a single FREE idea!)

When people feel valued, appreciated, heard, supported, acknowledged and included, they are motivated to bring their best selves forward. ~ Betsy Myers

Isn’t that the truth? I know it’s that way for me. I’m sure your team would respond the same way. Give it a try with these tips and ideas…

how to have a happy dental team

Commendation This one is easy. Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Commend & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Thank them for going the extra mile to help a patient out, or for the day running smoothly, or for always getting to work on time.

Communication   Job descriptions and expectations must be clearly defined.  Team Meetings/Morning Huddles are essential for a happy and smooth work day. Visit here for some tips on how you can have a successful morning huddle. Address quickly any needed discipline or correction, don’t wait for a staff meeting to address these problems. Instead, meet one on one with the offender.

Avoid office negativity, it’s toxic and will infect your team – Rather, focus on and share positive experiences.

Your team must know the why, what and how. They may know the what and the how but not the why, often times, this is why employees are there just to collect a paycheck. Talk about what you believe and attract those who believe what you believe. People buy the why not the what.

Training Don’t hold back in this area! Invest in your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc.   Follow through on goals and changes. Training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training. Which leads me to the next point…

Continuing Education Continuing education, not just for the doctor or hygienist but the entire team is a wonderful way to ensure practice growth. Not to mention, it’s a great team-building experience, one that will give you a happier and motivated team. Think about this, your administrative team is the first and last impression made on each and every one of your patients. This includes potential patients that call your office. Certainly, you want to have the very best training and education for not only your clinical team but your administrative team too. You can do this with in-office training, webinars, lunch and learn, and seminars/classes outside the office.( For example, Ever hear of TBSE? Check this seminar out if you really want to boost your team: TBSE -The Best Seminar Ever.)

If you’re still unsure about the true value of continuing education for your entire team, consider the following scenario… You the doctor, come back from a dental seminar all fired up to implement some new ideas, protocol or the use of a new/improved dental procedure or cool piece of dental equipment. Only to find that your team is less than enthused, maybe a little angry that they cannot possibly add one more thing to their already too busy day. Besides, the way they do things is how they always have and it’s working out just fine… Sound familiar? Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, begging to be used? I hope not. However, if this or something similar has happened to you, it’s because your team didn’t understand the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment or procedure works, benefits the patient and the office as a whole. Critical to its success and yours.

Example – Lead by example.  Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient! If you want to see positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example. It starts at the top.

Have Fun! – Have more fun in your office with Team Building Activities and Events

In Office Fun: Potluck lunch, Ice Cream Truck, Carry out lunch (team choice), Craft, Games, Puzzles, Book club and Brainstorm sessions with prizes for ideas. (Purchase a Team Building Activity book such as:  Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 Exercises That Get Results in Just 15 Minutes)

These articles have some really good ideas for team building activities: Six Quick Teamwork Games to Engage Employees at Work and this one: When I work – Team Building Games

Outside the office Fun: Bowling, Paint a Canvas, Shopping, Dinner, Cooking Class, Wally Ball, Baseball Game, Spa, Escape Room, Field Day (Team up with other offices), Concert, Skating, Batting Cages, Mini Golf, Pottery Class, Theater, Community Events, Volunteering at a local charity, Nature hike/walk, Etc.

Tips to get you started:

  • Positive Gossip Only! Entire team agrees to stop gossip. Refuse to listen. Rather, encourage the person to go directly to the other person they have an issue or complaint about. Unless of course, they can let it go and move on.
  • Why are you here? What are you doing? Do you know? What about your team? Knowing why you show up every morning will help to create a culture of happiness and excellence.
  • Book Club – Start a book club with your team. Purchase a great team building book and share paragraphs or chapters at your team meetings. There are so many wonderful team building books out there. Below you will find a list of some of the ones that I have read. (Also, short team building video clips might be helpful to share at a morning huddle or team meeting. One of my absolute favorites is the FISH! Philosophy)
  • Little Surprises – Write a thank you or I appreciate you note and stick it on an employee’s computer screen. In the morning, bring in donuts and coffee.  In the afternoon when everyone is feeling sluggish, bring in a refreshing drink or treat. If possible, have everyone step outside for a few minutes of fresh air.

It is my wish that these ideas and tips will help you and your team experience greater happiness at work. If you have any other team building ideas or things that have worked well in your office, I would love to hear about them. If you have any questions or concerns about the things you’ve read today, please ask me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

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!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

P.P.S. Team Building Book Suggestions: Move Your Bus; Fun Is Good; The Energy Bus (ALL books by Jon Gordon); Our Iceberg is Melting; Who Moved my Cheese?; FISH!; Full Steam Ahead; Million Dollar Dentistry; Be Our Guest; …more added soon.

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