Dental Office Open House Tips and Ideas

Dental Office Open House Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

One of the most asked questions that I receive is ideas for hosting a dental open house event. So if you have an open house planned for your dental office or are considering hosting an open house event, here are some ideas to help make your open house a huge success!

Dental Clinic Open House Celebration Ideas

Consider adding a theme to your event.

Event Theme Ideas:

  • Luau
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Back-to-School
  • Hearts – We “Heart” our Community or We “Heart” our Patients
  • Decades (ex: 50’s)
  • Spring – Flowers (Thank you for helping our office grow)
  • Celebration of Health
  • Fall
  • Women’s Night Out
  • Office Anniversary Celebration
  • Spa/Pampering
  • Shopping (w/local vendors)
  • Carnival
  • Cocktail Party (Wine & Appetizers)
  • Superhero

 Target Audience: 

Determine in advance who is your target audience.

  • Professionals/Specialists
  • Community (Local Businesses/Non-Patients)
  • Current Patients

 Cross Marketing Opportunity:

Team up with local businesses!

  • Hair Salons, Specialty offices, Restaurants, Etc.
  • Display a thank you board/sign listing the local businesses involved in the open house.
  • Have an area that they can display their business information
  • Have them donate a prize to be raffled off or used in a drawing.
  • Ask them to advertise your event at their place of business.

Word of caution, make sure that if you choose to team up with any other local businesses that it doesn’t distract the guests away from your office.

Advertising your Event:

  • Invitations
  • Local Newspaper (Invite them to the event!)
  • TV News (Invite them to the event!)
  • Radio (Invite them to the event!)
  • Social Media Sites (set up a Facebook Event)
  • Website
  • Current Patients (Ask them to bring a friend for a prize!)
  • Newsletter
  • Email
  • Online Local News Sites
  • Local Chambers
  • Local Businesses (Library, City Hall, Day Cares, Salons, Restaurants, Schools, EVERYWHERE)
  • Employees (Make sure the entire team is on board w/the event and talking about it)
  • Flyers
  • Banner on building

Call To Action/Community Support:

Collect Donations for…

  • Winter Gear (Coats, Gloves, Scarves & Hats, Blankets)
  • Books
  • Canned Foods
  • School Supplies
  • Aluminum Can Tabs (Ronald McDonald House)

or offer:

  • Complimentary Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Smile Makeover Contest

 Give-Aways:

Welcome letter/flyer (Include in it: Info about the office, services offered, a special call to action offer & a thank you for coming in)

Items imprinted with your office information, such as:

  • Toothbrush Bags
  • Lip Balm (www.lipbalmexpress.com)
  • Tote Bags
  • Pens
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Water Bottles
  • Flower Seed Packets
  • Magnets
  • Keyrings
  • Xylitol Products
  • Umbrellas

My favorite company to use for imprinted giveaway items is: Bizarre Marketing – www.promostuff4u.com

Activities:

  • Face Painting
  • Photo Booth with photo props
  • Balloon Twisting
  • Bounce House
  • Craft Table
  • Games
  • DJ/Karaoke/Live Music
  • Dental Health Presentations

Drawing/Raffle for Prizes:

Having a drawing(s) allows you to collect the names and contact information of the guests. Be sure to collect Name, Address, Email & Phone #.

Prize Ideas:

  • Electric Toothbrush
  • Teeth Whitening
  • $/% Off of a Dental Service
  • Gift Cards
  • Television/Tablet
  • Bicycle
  • Waterpark, Sporting Event, Concert, or Theatre Tickets/Passes
  • Gift Baskets

Team up with local businesses for contributions/donations of Prizes. Be sure to remind them that their name will be included in your advertising for the open house.

Offer an incentive (such as; gift card) to the first so many people who RSVP to your event.

Office Appearance:

  • The office must be clean and clutter free!! (Inside & Out!)
  • Restrooms – make sure they are checked during the open house for cleanliness and that they are well stocked)
  • Decorate the Office
  • Music Playing (recorded or live)
  • Have stations/displays set up throughout the office to encourage a tour of the entire office.
  • Monitors set up in reception room and treatment suites playing videos of services offered. Before and After Photo Slideshow.
  • Display “About Our Office & Services” Brochures

Team Members:

  • Well dressed and groomed
  • Name Tags
  • Friendly & Outgoing
  • Specific assignments (designated greeter, tour guide, speaker for dental presentations, etc.)

Food/Drink Ideas:

  • Bottled water with an office label
  • Punch/lemonade/Tea/Coffee/Wine/Beer
  • BBQ Foods
  • Appetizers
  • Wine/Cheese
  • Desserts
  • Ice Cream Truck (great for outdoor events)

You may be able to get a local business to donate cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, sandwich trays, fruit and vegetable platters, etc.

Day of the Event:

  • Smiling faces
  • Name tags for your guests
  • Give tours (Depending on the size of the event you could set up tours as a scavenger hunt)
  • Be ready to schedule dental appointments
  • Greet everyone
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Record a video of the event. Consider doing a Facebook live during the event.

 After the Event:

  • Send Thank you’s to all of your guests and any businesses that participated in the event.
  • Send a follow-up article & pictures to the local paper.
  • Call prize winners to come into the office and collect their gift – be sure to take their picture(s).
  • Post pictures of the event on social media sites.

Remember, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

To-do lists are your friend! Include a timeline & who is responsible for what & when.

Your goal should be to make your guests feel welcome, special, and appreciated. No one wants to show up to an event where they are not welcomed or confident they’re even in the right place.

Make it a Fabulous Open House Event my friends!

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave me a review/recommendation 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 each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

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How to Prevent Same Day Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations

How to Prevent Same Day Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations

Hello Friends,

A complaint I hear quite often is “we have so many hygiene cancellations every day!” Does that happen to you? You have a beautiful, full hygiene schedule at the start of the day and by the afternoon the schedule looks more like swiss-cheese! UGH!

Most often I discover that we have allowed patients to think it’s ok to cancel at the last minute. 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.

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 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. But, 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.

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 solid hygiene continuing care protocols for your team and consistently follow them.

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

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

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Tips and Ideas for How to Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Tips and Ideas for How to Answer the Dental Office Telephone

Hello Friends,

The telephone is your dental office lifeline.”

Whether it is a patient or referring dentist of a new or current patient calling your office, it is essential that the conversation is cared for in a professional, friendly manner that expresses genuine concern. What kind of impression is your dental office team creating for you? Do you know how effective they are in answering the office telephone? Does it really matter? Absolutely!

All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Don’t waste your money by losing the potential patient/referring dentist or aggravating current patients due to poor telephone skills and habits. Your entire team (clinical & admin) should be trained in how to properly answer the phone and handle the call. Answering the phone is a privilege and a great opportunity!

dental telephone scripting principles from betty hayden consulting

 

Here are a 10 helpful telephone tips & ideas:

  1. Smile before you pick up the phone.
  2. Answer the phone within the first couple of rings.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Get the caller’s name and use it often.
  8. Find out how they heard about your office (document the referral source!).
  9. “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.
  10. Offer an appointment. Sounds obvious right? You might be surprised to know how many offices I have called as a “shopper” and was never offered an appointment.

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.

As a team, create your Telephone Principles (Scripts) which are your goals & expectations for each call.

Know how to respond to the following callers:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Organizations or local businesses requesting donations – Empower your team to fulfill their request. At the very least, offer them an appointment.

The telephone ringing should never be viewed as an interruption to your already too busy day. 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. Email:bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Be sure to take a second and subscribe to receive in your email inbox each month, my FREE dental marketing and practice management tip & ideas. Or feel free to Email me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invitation to follow my ideas.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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