Dental Tips and Ideas for October

Dental Tips and Ideas for October

Hello Friends,

October is the start of your final quarter for the year. It’s your opportunity to make it your best fourth quarter ever. To help you plan for that, today I’m sharing some tips and ideas with you. Ideas that when implemented will keep things fresh and fun in your office. More importantly, they will exceed your patients and potential patients’ expectations which will allow you to focus on doing what you do best, helping your patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. Why? Because exceeding your patients’ expectations will help keep them loyal to your office.

Fall Dental Marketing Ideas for October

Here are some fun ideas for October – I know a lot of offices will be focusing on Candy Buy Back events so I will share some ideas for those events and some other ideas just in case you’re looking for something a little extra to exceed patient expectations.

Candy Buy Back:

Options:

  •   Collect candy in office. Open to the Public

Or you can do this,

  • Team up w/local school(s) and set up collection bins in each classroom where the kids can bring in their candy and the classroom with the most candy wins a gift card or get a local pizzeria to donate pizza for a classroom pizza party for the winning classroom.

If you desire more help with a candy buy back event for your office, please contact me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com for a consultation. I have had the privilege of creating & implementing candy buy back events from start to finish. 

More tips and ideas for the month of October: 

National Apple Month – See  Apple Month dental tips and ideas

Service/Product Opportunity –

National Orthodontic Health Month – Use this as an opportunity to promote Invisalign. This time of year people are thinking about gift ideas and want to get their smile camera-ready for the holiday parties.

Community Involvement Opportunity  –

National Field Trip Month – Don’t wait for Children’s Dental Health Month in February to invite local schools to bring in their students for a Field Trip to the dentist. Bring them in during the month of October instead.

National Friends of Libraries Week: 15th -21st  – See Dental Ideas for your Local Library  & Part 2

Educational Opportunity –

National Dental Hygiene Month – Throughout the month, make a special effort to work your hygiene continuing care lists. Send emails, texts, and make calls encouraging patients to schedule their hygiene appointments. Use your website and social media platforms to share dental hygiene tips and facts with the community.

National Face Your Fears Day: 10th  – Opportunity to share what you do to help make dental visits more comfortable for the fearful patient.

~ Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement ~

 National Walk Your Dog Day: 1st 

National Taco Day: 4th 

World Smile Day: 6th 

National Kick Butt Day: 9th 

Wear Something Gaudy Day: 17th 

World Pasta Day: 25th 

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day: 31st 

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom marketing campaign that includes ideas for special offers, office fun, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and hygiene continuing care/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

I have some more marketing & practice management ideas for October coming soon!

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!

 It is my wish that you all have a wonderful October!

 Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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Scripting for when your dental patient calls to cancel their cleaning appointment…

Scripting for when your dental patient calls to cancel their cleaning appointment…

Hello Friends,

I OFTEN get asked the question, what should we say when a patient calls to cancel their hygiene appointment?

Today, I’ll share with you some scripting examples for handling calls from patients that want to cancel same-day hygiene appointments.

what do I say when patient calls to cancel their dental hygiene appointment

Please note: this isn’t scripting for perio appointment cancellations. You would use different scripting for those types of appointments.

Scenario #1:

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

Admin: NOOOOO!

What do you do? It’s 9:00, how are you supposed to fill that time slot?

Scenario #2:

Patient: I’m calling to cancel my appointment for today at 4:00, it’s just for a cleaning.

Admin: YESSSSS!

What do you do? Celebrate, of course! Now you can get out early.

I’m kidding! We hate cancellations (even the “just a cleaning” ones) at any time of day because they all kill profitability.

So what do you say to the patient when they try to cancel? How do you save the appointment?

You can’t save them all, there are unavoidable, legitimate reasons that some patients are canceling their appointment. For help filling the schedule with those inevitable last-minute cancellations, please see: Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

For all others, try this:

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 make your reservation?” or

“Oh no, Jenny will be so disappointed, she reserved this time just for you, 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 notice due to (whatever their reason was) – we’ll go ahead and waive the broken appointment fee this time. Let’s get you rescheduled…”

For patients calling to cancel due to work, try the following…

Patient: I can’t take time off of work, or I have to work…

Admin: “My job is important to me too. We really hate for you to not be able to make your appointment. Is there any way you could have someone cover for you for that time or would it help if we wrote a note to your supervisor?”

STILL NO:

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 you will be convenient?”

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.

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, 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.

If you have created this cancellation monster, it will take some time to re-train your team and your patients. How do we train our patients that it’s ok to cancel last-minute?

  • Not creating true value for the appointment through patient education.
  • Constantly rescheduling patients appointments because of some change to the provider’s schedule.
  • Not respecting the patients time by running behind and not giving the very best experience from start to finish.
  • Telling the patient, no problem or that it’s OK when they call to cancel.
  • Poor and inconsistent appointment reminder systems and protocols.
  • Not acknowledging no-shows with a telephone call 5 minutes after their scheduled appointment time and with a follow-up letter/text/email.

Sadly, I have heard many offices tell the patients, no problem when they call to cancel. They don’t even attempt to reschedule. They just say OK and hang up. I’m not joking. This really happens.

Ultimately, preventing cancellations starts with creating value for the appointment before it’s even scheduled… it’s never “just a cleaning” that they are trying to cancel.

Create a strong hygiene continuing care protocol for your team and consistently follow it.

If your office needs help in creating a protocol for how to track hygiene continuing care reports/numbers, appointment scripting, patient correspondence, etc. please contact me today for a complimentary consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

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

 

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Dental Practice Management Ideas for October

Hello Friends,

I had so many ideas to help you make October a great month that I decided to break it up into two categories, Marketing  &  Practice Management. If you want to read all of the marketing ideas simply visit here Dental “Marketing” Ideas for October

Now these things can be done at any time during the year, but sometimes, it helps to have an excuse or a little push to get going.

dental-practice-management-ideas-for-october

Use it or Lose it! – Get your letters (& phone calls) out to your patients reminding them to use any insurance benefits they have remaining for 2016 to complete any needed treatment or for their continuing care hygiene appointment before they lose them.

Scripting Idea: Customize according to the treatment needs of each of patient. Re-create the urgency and value.

See here for sample letter

 October 4th is Improve Your Office Day (It is also Taco day and Vodka day, coincidence? I think not 😉 ) – Please consider reading my Improve Your Office Series found here: Improve Your Office – First Impressions , Improve Your Office – Make a Change , Improve Your Office – The Little Things Matter & Improve Your Office – How to Have a Happier Team 

October 3-7  is Customer Service Week – This is a great team meeting theme. What ideas can you come up with as a team to exceed your patient’s expectations by consistently delivering excellent customer service?

What do you do when you run late? (If you’re habitually running behind, please change that habit! It’s disrespectful to your patients and your team) What do you do when the lab screws up a case?

What about comfort? How are you making the visit as comfortable as possible for your patients?

What about your telephone skills? Are you answering the phone during times that patients are most likely to call? (ie: lunch hours and after hours) How about after the treatment – are you making post-op calls? How are you staying in touch with your patients in between their 6 month hygiene appointments?

Here’s an idea for the fall. Make a list of local fall activities as a hand-out or post them on your website and social media sites.

October 17th is Boss’s Day – Plan now to make this day special for your boss(es). Great opportunity to show your appreciation for and to brag about the awesome boss in your life.

October 20th is Get to Know Your Customers Day ~  Perhaps you could have a Business Card, Free Lunch Drawing. Have fun with this day or turn it into a week or month-long event. This will allow you to get to know your patients better as well as learn what local businesses you want to focus some of your marketing efforts on. 🙂

Combine these practice management ideas with my marketing ideas and you will have a great October (and final quarter) as a team! Not to mention, your patients will love you for it!

As always, I would love to hear your ideas! Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help!

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Please share my blog with your dental friends.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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