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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you would like a complimentary snapshot.
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
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.
- 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.
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Yours for Greater Success,