Is Obtaining New Dental Patients More Important Than Retaining Established Patients?

Is Obtaining New Dental Patients More Important Than Retaining Established Patients?

Hello Friends,

So which is more important to your practice growth – obtaining new patients or retaining established patients?

The short answer, both are very important to successfully grow your dental practice.

Yes, new patients are very important, in fact, we should have a monthly new patient goal that we are working toward each month. Offices love new patients. I hear doctors and teams all the time saying “we need more new patients!” They believe that is the answer to all of their scheduling, production, and collection woes. But is that good enough to grow your practice, just ensuring that you’re getting fresh new patients each month?

Well, if you want to spend lots of money and ultimately work harder instead of smarter, then yes. But, I think it’s safe to say, that isn’t your intention or end goal.

And yet, that is exactly what I am seeing many doctors doing in their practice. They are investing time and money to bring in new patients but are not giving the same attention to retaining those new patients. Like they are just spinning their wheels and will eventually just burn out.

Oftentimes, I will see healthy new patient numbers each month, and yet, the office isn’t growing at all and their production is weak. Why is that? When I examine the data, I learn that far too many of their new patients are one-timers. They left the office without scheduling a future appointment. Why is this a bummer situation? Calling, emailing, texting, and snail mailing our patients to get them to reappoint can be a drag. It’s tough to reach patients once they leave. It’s possible of course, but it takes money, time, and energy that could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, we don’t even see those attempts being made to reach out to those unscheduled new patients. No one really knows what happens to the patient after their first visit. Or they make minimal attempts to reach out to the patients before giving up after a couple of months.

What does your new patient experience look like from the initial call, and first visit, to how you stay in touch with them after they leave?

Do you know what your new patient retention numbers look like?

So if the most expensive patients to acquire are your new patients, the easiest and best patients to fill your schedules are those who have come to you before.  BUT, you may be thinking… that takes time and money to reappoint established patients too. That’s true but you have a huge advantage when reaching out to established patients of record; It’s the power of pre-existing relationships.  (Oh, by the way, on average, it can cost up to six times more to gain a new patient than it does to retain an existing patient.)

What does retaining, reactivating, and reappointing established patients mean for you and the patient?

  • We are creatures of habit.  It’s easier to do something we are already doing than to do something different.
  • Established relationship. (They already know, like, and trust you. You just need to focus on strengthening that relationship)
  • No marketing costs – you’ve already paid the initial investment in getting the patient.

What are you doing to keep track of your established patients? What are you doing to ensure your established patients don’t slip through the cracks? Here are some ideas and tips for reactivating and reappointing your patients: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/12/31/dental-patient-reactivation-and-reappointment-tips-and-ideas/

Friends, Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  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. 

What are you doing to keep your new and established patients loyal to your practice?

Loyal patients, isn’t that what we want? Patients that return year after year, accept your treatment recommendations and refer their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. They are loyal to your dental practice because they like and trust you. You’ve earned the privilege to serve them not just for a moment but for life.

Is it really a privilege to serve them? Absolutely! Any office that struggles with getting and keeping new patients, struggles with getting patients to accept their treatment recommendations, struggles with the hygiene department’s continuing care reports and Swiss cheese-like appointment schedules, struggles to keep up with all the record transfer requests from patients for their new dental office, will learn (hopefully quickly) that having loyal patients in your practice is an earned privilege. The best part with loyal patients is the aforementioned struggles are greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.

Of course, this takes some work – implementing and following closely, effective office systems/protocols are critical to you successfully retaining your patients and reaching/exceeding your practice goals.

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Do you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

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. Or send me your email address (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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Dental Patient Reactivation and Reappointment Tips and Ideas

Dental Patient Reactivation and Reappointment Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

Have you scheduled for some R & R in the new year? No, I’m not talking about rest & relaxation (although, you definitely want to schedule for that 😉 ) – the R & R that I am referring to is your patient reactivation and reappointments.  Why is this so important?

Because when your patients are healthy – your practice is healthy.  For your patients to smile healthy they need to schedule the treatment you’ve diagnosed and to come in regularly for their hygiene continuing care appointments.

Last year did you struggle with any of the following?

  • Low treatment plan acceptance from your patients.
  • Not knowing your active and inactive patient numbers.
  • Hygiene continuing care reports were a nightmare.
  • Too many holes in the schedule.
  • Poor treatment presentation skills.
  • Too many patients left the practice and you don’t know why.
  • Not enough time to keep your office social media sites current.

Don’t struggle another minute, plan now to make 2020 your BEST year yet! Get whatever help and training you need and want to make the necessary improvements. Feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

Today, I’d like to help you tackle one of those struggles… your inactive and unscheduled patients. Let’s reactivate all of your patients that haven’t been in for one year or longer and schedule your active patients that are currently unscheduled.

Betty Hayden Consulting Dental Patient Reactivation Letter and ideas

The start of the new year is a great time to make a plan for reactivating and reappointing your patients…. (attack that File Cabinet…or computer patient database!)

Ideally, daily, weekly and monthly efforts should be made to develop and maintain relationships with your patients in order to keep them active.

The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene visit when they are there at the office. Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time of treatment presentation. You should be tracking both your pre-appointments and your re-appointments.  This is important if you want to reduce patient attrition and reduce the amount of money and time spent trying to reach these patients later on down the road.

Quick Side Note: Friends, if you do not know what your office numbers look like, or how many of your active patients are unscheduled, and so many other important key practice indicators; please take note of what those numbers look like. That is the only way to successfully grow your practice. You need to know where you’re at currently to know what your potential for growth is. 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.

Now, back to Reappointments and Reactivations…

Control the Schedule – Same-day cancelations attempts and broken appointments must be handled effectively. The goal is to greatly reduce the number of same-day schedule changes and for the appointments that you can’t save be sure to reschedule them while the patient is still on the phone. (Unless of course, they’re a habitual offender!) See more tips here: How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

However, if for whatever reason your inactive patient database is growing (you are tracking this, right?) – take steps now to welcome those patients back into the schedule. You can start by reaching out to them with a We Miss You reactivation letter and email.

If you would like a sample letter that you can customize to your practice for your patients – feel free to request one at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Some suggestions for your letter are:

  • Include a deadline to respond.
  • Use a handwritten colored envelope (Grab their attention!).
  • Have two offers: One for your patient and one for a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor.
  • Make a call to the patients about a week after mailing the letter.
  • Be sure to document all attempts at contacting the patient and the response.
  • Include Social Media & Office Contact Information.

I hope that these tips and ideas are helpful to you.

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.    Thank you very much!!

Friends, schedule some R & R and make it a GREAT Year!

Are you receiving my free Dental Leadership, Practice Management, and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. 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, and Pinterest

Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for January

Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for January

Hello Friends,

Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. ”    ~ Michael Josephson

December is a great time to find and create opportunities for growth in the New Year. Make your to-do list for any wanted and needed improvements to your office including setting your production, collection, treatment, continuing education, and new patient goals for the new year. Do include your team in this plan, ask them what their ideas are to make 2018 a more productive and happier year for all! People are more likely to support that which they help to create.

Here are some Practice Management Tips and Ideas to get you started:

January Dental Practice Management Ideas from Betty Hayden Consulting

Hygiene Continuing Care & Incomplete Treatment:

Insurance Maximums: Many of your patients’ dental insurance maximums renew on January 1. Phone your patients with a friendly reminder of their renewed benefits and make a reservation for them to come in for their hygiene visit or incomplete treatment with the doctor. Include reminders on your social media pages.

Inactive Patients: It doesn’t help anyone to have a file cabinet or computer full of inactive patients – Get them on the schedule. January is a great time to send We Miss You Reactivation Letters to your patients. For a sample letter, please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Hygiene Patients: Are you pre-appointing hygiene visits? If not, January is a good time to make this a goal for the office. While you have the hygiene patient in the office, schedule their next 3, 4, or 6-month visit. Avoid saying “would you like to schedule your next appointment?” Some will say no. So instead, say this: “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next visit.” Assume they want to schedule their next visit. By the way, your entire team needs to be on board with pre-appointing your patients. It can be done! 

If you’re struggling to have a productive and effective hygiene department – I can help you with this.

National Clean Off Your Desk Day: Jan. 8th ~ Clutter represents indecision. Make a decision to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs, and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters. While you’re at it, go ahead and attack the cabinets & closets. Say goodbye to the clutter!

National Compliment Day: Jan. 24th ~ Compliment a fellow team member when you catch them doing something “right”. Compliments boost morale.  (Tip: You don’t need a special day to do this, everyday compliment & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. )

There you have it, a few dental practice management tips and ideas for January. I hope that you find them helpful. What are your goals for 2018? I would love the opportunity to work along with you and your team to help you set, and exceed your practice goals. If you would like to set up a complimentary telephone consultation, please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com. 

Stay tuned for my dental marketing ideas for January – they’re coming soon!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Dental Marketing and Practice Management Ideas for January

Hello Friends,

Now is the time to think seriously about any troubles, concerns and problems that occurred during the year that you do not want to repeat in the new year. What problems would you like to see solved? Take steps to make any needed changes or improvements. For more ideas to get you started visit here: Improve your Office – Make a change!

Also, think about all of the things that worked well and how you can repeat them or even improve upon them in the new year. Celebrate your successes!!

Do not delay, put down on paper all of your thoughts and plans to make 2017 a better year for you and your practice. Do include your team in this plan, ask them what their ideas are to make 2017 a more productive and happier year for all.

Now, here are some Marketing & Practice Management Ideas to help make January your Best Month Ever!

dental marketing ideas for winter betty hayden

Practice Management Ideas ~

Let’s start with your existing patients active and inactive…

Hygiene Continuing Care & Incomplete Treatment:

Insurance Maximums: Many of your patient’s dental insurance maximums renew on January 1. Phone, email or text your patients with a friendly reminder of their renewed benefits and make a reservation for them to come in for their hygiene visit or incomplete treatment with the doctor.

Inactive Patients: It doesn’t help anyone to have a file cabinet or computer full of inactive patients – Get them on the schedule. January is a great time to send We Miss You Reactivation Letters to your patients. For a sample letter visit this post: Reactivation Letter

Hygiene Patients: Are you pre-appointing hygiene visits? If not, January is a good time to make this a goal for the office. While you have the hygiene patient in the office, schedule their next 3, 4 or 6-month visit. Avoid saying “would you like to schedule your next appointment?” Many will say no. Instead, say this: “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next visit.” Assume they want to schedule their next visit. By the way, your entire team needs to be on board with pre-appointing your patients. It can be done!🙂

National Clean Off Your Desk Day: 9 (2nd Monday)  Clutter represents indecision. Make a decision to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters.

Fun at Work Day: 27 (Last Friday)  You’ll find many ideas here on how to have fun at work.

Next, we have few internal and external marketing ideas, some are educational and some are just for fun. All are presented to exceed your patients expectations, help to create value for better dental health and get people talking about you to their friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.

Dental Marketing Ideas

External Marketing to Local Businesses:

Send a coffee truck to local businesses/schools – What a great surprise and welcome treat for many local businesses. Be sure to take pictures that can be shared on your social media sites. 

January is Be Kind to Food Servers Month –  Visit some local restaurants and present servers with a “We Appreciate You” gift. Gift Ideas: Toothbrush bag, lip balm , pens, etc. All items should be imprinted. Consider a drawing they can enter to win free teeth whitening.

Internal Marketing Ideas

January is National Hot Tea Month

Educational & Service Opportunity:

Drinking teas such as green tea can be very good for one’s dental health.

Does Tooth Sensitivity hold some of your patient’s back from enjoying their favorite hot beverage? Show them how you can help relieve/eliminate tooth sensitivity. This will give a nice boost to your production too!

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “National Hot Tea Month” (or different themed) campaign that includes ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement:

Sugar Awareness Week – 16-20

National Motivation and Inspiration Day: 2

Dress Up Your Pet Day: 14

Popcorn Day: 19

National Pie Day: 23

Dental Drill Appreciation Day: 26

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: 30

So there you have it, a few dental marketing ideas for January. Please be sure to comment below with any other ideas or reminders you have for the month of January. I LOVE hearing from you!

If you have not yet subscribed to receive my Free Dental Marketing Ideas each month, please do so today.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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