Are you looking to improve and grow your pediatric dental office? Today, I’m going to share several dental marketing and practice management ideas for your pediatric office. You may want to print out this article and discuss these ideas with your team. Together, come up with a plan that will help to make this your Best Year Yet!
Before we get started, 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 you go, Dental Ideas for the Pediatric Office…
Reception Room –
- Up-To-Date Décor
- Video Games – Stationary or handheld devices
- Books – Lending library bookshelf.
- TV (childrens 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 –
- Give tour of the office
- 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!
Open House Kids Day (In Office) –
- Choose a theme: Carnival, BBQ, Luau, Movie/TV/Book Characters, 50’s, etc.
- Activities: Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Hula Hoop Contest, Karaoke, Crafts, Carnival-like games, Photo booth/props, Bounce house, etc. (Depending on if the event is inside or outside the office)
- Prize: Have a drawing to win a gift basket, gift card, bicycle, or team up with a local business for a donated prize.
- Food: Hot dogs, Chips, Ice Cream/Popsicles, Water, Popcorn, etc.
- Advertise: Promote via social media sites, local newspapers, in-office fliers, on continuing care postcards, and emails/texts to your current patients.
- Option: Book appointments in hygiene only, this way, you’ll have production for the day and the doctor(s) will be free to visit with guests and still do the exams.
- Memories: Take lots of pictures during the event to share on your social media sites, newsletters and media press release.
Host Patient Appreciation Events (Outside of office)
- Skating Rink, Indoor Bounce/Trampoline, Movie Theater, Public Pool, Bowling, Local Park, etc. Invite your patients to bring a friend. Be sure to have imprinted give-aways and information about your office at these events. Encourage all attendees to visit and like your social media pages.
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)
Children’s Dental Health Month –
- Charity – Host a Give Kids A Smile Event (See Children’s Dental Health Month and GKAS Day Ideas )
- Field Trips – Invite local schools and daycares in for a free field trip to the dentist. (Serve a Healthy snack such as grapes, apple slices, string cheese and small bottled water, Present Education stations/demonstrations -visit the ADA website and Pinterest for great ideas for presentations, Toothbrush bags for the students and teachers/parents, show a short Video while the kids eat their snack)
Outside the office –
- 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.
Participate in local Family Health & Wellness Fairs –
See Health and Wellness Fairs for some great ideas.
Community Involvement – Visit local farmers market, art/street fairs, Races/Run/Walk for-a-cause, Fundraisers, Parades, Etc. Be active in your community. Have imprinted freebies ready to pass out at these events.
Visit Local Businesses –
- Where: Pediatricians, Dental Offices, Children’s stores, Dance studios, Salons, Etc.
- What: Introductions, Referral pads/business cards, Small Gifts (Imprinted toothbrushes, flosscards, lip balm, etc.) Food (Bagels, Donuts, Fruit, Pies, etc), Contest/Drawing for Prizes, Lunch-n- Learn, etc. 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 them to like you. 😉
- SEE Dental Marketing Ideas for your Local Library
- Consider sending a food/drink/ice cream truck to local offices/businesses.
Back-To-School/School Break Visits –
Set aside some back-to-school and/or breaks from school special days in the office. 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.
- Incentive: Gift Basket (put together a fun themed gift basket). Every person that donates books can enter a drawing to win a gift basket. You do not need to be a patient of record to donate books.
- Once you have collected all the books:
- Take pictures of the books
- Put together toothbrush gift bags w/office information and special offer to deliver to the employees of the library and or school.
- Deliver books and gift bags to the library and or schools.
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.
Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss/floss threaders, Toys, Puzzles, Kites, Books, Gift Cards, Bubbles, Stickers, Balloons, Fidget Spinners, Kites, Small Stuffed Animals, Glow items, etc. Children love to leave the office with a small treasure.
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
Social Media –
Utilize social media platforms to keep your current patients up to date with all of your office happenings, to build relationships with local businesses and 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.)
Facebook 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.
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. Minimum: Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, including lunch hours. Invest in your entire team by providing training on how to effectively answer the phone.
Forward your calls to an answering service if needed. Having a live person for the caller to talk to is so much better than your caller getting an answering machine or voice mail and then deciding to call the next dental office on their list in hopes of talking to a “live” person.
Also, despite our best intentions to not put a caller on hold we know that it still happens from time to time. Consider having an on hold message for these times, this way, you’ll have the opportunity to share office information, special offers, social media sites, etc. with the caller rather than them listen to nothing, an annoying beeping sound or lame music. See also: Should I Use A Message On Hold Service
Missed calls and calls poorly handled 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
Host a Candy Buy Back –
For tips and ideas on successfully hosting a candy buy back see: Dental Marketing Ideas for October
Blog/Website – Become the dental expert in your community. Post articles, videos and pictures on your website and social media sites about different dental treatments/products, sports safety, what to do in a dental emergency, etc. TIP: Pin your blog posts, articles, videos and pictures to your office Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a GREAT way to drive traffic to your website. If you don’t already have Pinterest for your office, add that to your to-do-list. Have a variety of family related boards such as dental health tips, recipes, crafts, party ideas, healthy snacks, book ideas and more. Feel free to check out my Pinterest boards for ideas.
Sponsor local sport teams –Free or reduced rate for mouthguards for local sports teams.
Distractions/Safety – TV’s in the treatment rooms, Ceiling Tile Scenery, Sunglasses, Etc. Make the experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for every child.
Contests/Drawing – Coloring contests, Monthly Gift Card/Gift Basket drawing, Wristband, Photo, Etc.
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.
First “Happy” Visit Experience – Take picture of child in the chair (holding a first visit sign or certificate) and give to parent in a cute picture frame. Share these pictures on your social media pages. Tag the parents in the post.
Are you ready for the #1 Way to Market your Pediatric Office? –
Consistently Exceed Parent & Patient Expectations and Consistently Be 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. (If you need some ideas to help Improve your Office, be sure to check out How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients ,Tips to Improve your Dental Office Part 4 ~ Happy Team and Office appearance
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 market your practice effectively using 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.
Reminder, keep track of your events, the businesses you visit, any donation requests, 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.
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Yours for Greater Success,