Dental Office Tips and Ideas for November 2019

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for November 2019

Hello Friends,

Can you believe that the New Year is just around the corner? Where are you at with your goals for this year? Have you created opportunities to celebrate reaching (better yet, exceeding) your goals?

Are you working in harmony with your mission, vision, and goals for the practice? If not, what is holding you back? If you really want to reach your goals, you must be willing to get uncomfortable enough to implement change. I am here to help.

How do you want to end this year? What do you want November and December to look like? If you are ready to increase your production, collections, and new patients for November and December – please take a few minutes as a team and together decide which of the following ideas you want to implement. These ideas WILL help you attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations.  As always, my goal is to also help you all stress-less and have more fun at work!

November Dental Ideas Betty Hayden Consulting

Leadership Tips & Ideas:

Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.” -Unknown

Employee Appreciation –

Random Acts of Kindness Week: 17th – 20th – Surprise your team with a random gift of appreciation. (Cash, Lunch, Breakfast, Gift Card, Snack, Etc)

Practice Management Tips & Ideas:

Scheduling  – What steps have you taken to ensure your schedules will be able to accommodate those patients that wait until the last minute to use their dental benefits before the year ends?

Reducing last-minute cancelations – If you’re not already doing this now would be a good time to start collecting the patients co-pay at the time of scheduling. Be sure to also remind your patients that the appointment time is being reserved exclusively for them.

Use it or Lose it Reminders – Have you followed up with a call(s) to your patients that haven’t responded to your use it or lose it letters/emails? If you didn’t get your letters and emails sent out I encourage you to take action now. Would you like a sample Use it or Lose it letter? Email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will gladly send one over to you.

Dental Office Insurance Renewal Reminders Betty Hayden Consulting

Marketing Tips & Ideas

Monthly Theme Idea: Gratitude (November is National Gratitude Month)

For your patients: Invite your patients to share what they’re grateful for (turn it into fall decorations by having them fill out fall leaves that you hang on the wall.)

For the community: Visit local businesses with a gift and a note of gratitude for what they do for the community. Or each week feature a local business on your FB/IG pages that you are grateful for.

Reviews/Recommendations – Set a goal to get a certain number of reviews/recommendations to your Facebook and Google pages during the month of November.

 

Patient & Community Educational Idea:

November is Diabetes Month –

All month-long share posts on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist. When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums.   https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11263-oral-health-problems-and-diabetes

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Diabetes Month

X-Ray Day: 8th – Create a short video about why radiographs are necessary and their safety to share on your office social media pages.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of November

Daylights Savings: 3rd

National Candy Day: 4th

Red Lipstick Day: 11th

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day: 15th

Great American Smokeout: 21st

Flossing Day: 29th

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to 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 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)

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

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Dental Office Tips and Ideas for October’s National Apple Month

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for October’s National Apple Month

Hello Friends,

“You are the sunshine of my life That’s why I’ll always be around, You are the apple of my eye, Forever you’ll stay in my heart.” – Stevie Wonder

This post isn’t about songs with the word apple in them, it is, however, about planting dental marketing seeds during October’s National Apple Month. We’re going to use apples as our dental marketing seeds.

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

Ready to celebrate apple month? Here are some dental tips and ideas to help you do just that…

fall dental marketing ideas

Exceed Patient Expectations –

Give-Away – Set out a nice bowl/basket of apples to give to your patients’ and visitors to the office.

dental office tips and ideas for apple month betty hayden

Gift Basket Drawing – Make an Apple tree and every time a patient comes in for an appointment during the month you add an apple with their first name on it (full name on the back) and use it for a drawing to win an apple-themed gift basket filled with goodies.

You could even promote that via your social media sites. (Perhaps extend the drawing to new office Facebook likes.)

Events in the Community – Create a hand-out for your patients listing the best local cider mills and apple orchards. Include any fall-themed events taking place in your community. You can also post local fall-themed community events to your office Facebook page.

Relationship Building /  Marketing to local businesses ~

Who will you visit in the community?

  • Schools
  • Salons
  • City Hall / Police Station / Fire Department
  • Library

And anywhere else you think might be a good place to bring in new patients from. At the very least, you’ll be building healthy & fun relationships with the folks in your community.

What will you bring?

  • Basket of Apples
  • Donuts and Apple Cider
  • Apple Pie
  • Toothbrush or Lip Balm attached to an apple-shaped gift tag.

Be sure that when you deliver these items, your office information is visible. Maybe include some sort of call to action special offer.

Visit my Pinterest Apple board for more ideas.

An apple a day won’t keep your dental office away!

Marketing via your Social Media Sites: Here are just a few ways to utilize your social media sites during apple season.

Facebook –  

Post the dental health benefits of apples, apple recipes, & craft ideas to your office Facebook page. Solicit comments, likes, and shares.

dental office facebook content apple month betty hayden

Invite your patients to:

post a picture of themselves apple picking or at a cider mill onto your office Facebook page.

(Have your team members do this as well.)

Team Building Activity – Get your team together to make apple sauce, apple pie filling, caramel sauce, or an apple/cinnamon sugar scrub. Put it in little jars with a ribbon and label with your office information. You can then give away as gifts to your new patients and or referring doctors/specialists. How fun is that?!

So many different ways to help exceed the expectations of your current patients and to hopefully, bring in many new patients just by planting little seeds every chance you get or create.

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 and I will send you an invite 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  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

Please follow and like us:
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How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

How to Reduce Same Day Dental Appointment Cancellations and No Shows

Hello Friends,

I have been getting many requests for help from dental office team members complaining that their schedules will often fall apart at the last minute. If this ever happens to you I know how frustrating that can be. Not to mention, it kills production.

In this article, you will find several ways to greatly reduce last-minute schedule changes. I can assure that if you follow each step, you will stress less, make more money, help more patients, and have more fun.  Please print it out and share with everyone on the team. We need everyone following the same protocol/system in order for you to be successful.  Consider reviewing this at your next huddle or team meeting.

Note: If you need a quick-fix for holes in the schedule – check out these ideas: Tips and Ideas to Fill Holes In Dental Hygiene Schedules, However, they are just that, a quick fix. Follow the ideas in this article to prevent them from happening at all.

Dental Office Systems for Reducing Cancellations from Betty Hayden Consulting

Reduce last minute cancellations and no shows by following this protocol/system:

Consistently Be Great! – Do everything to ensure that each and every patient has a great experience during their appointments.  Give them something good to talk about and reason to keep coming back!

STOP moving appts around! A sure-fire way to aggravate patients, cause them to disrespect your time and the schedule, or for them to think you don’t know what you’re doing is by moving their appointment times. Unless, of course, they have asked to be on your Priority List.  Calling patients to come in early, come in late, or come in on a different day is annoying and I promise you it is hurting your schedule and production. I can’t emphasize this enough –  Respect their time and they’ll respect yours.

Appointment Reminder Systems – Ensure that you have an effective interval set up to remind patients of their appointments and that your message is helping not hurting the practice. For example, NEVER say “Calling to confirm” – it should be “We’re looking forward to seeing you on ____ at ____. OR ____ is looking forward to seeing you…”

 Unconfirmed Appointments – If it is 1 day before the appointment and a patient or patients haven’t responded to your appointment reminder system, it is imperative that you pick up the phone and call the patient(s).  You shouldn’t be able to look at the day’s schedule during your morning huddle and see unconfirmed appts.

Cancels – Using the word cancel or cancellation sends a poor message to your patients. It tells them that cancellations happen and are expected. We don’t want that. You can say ”this doesn’t happen very often but if for some reason you need to change your reservation with ___, we ask that you please provide us with at least 48 hours notice.”

Stay on Time – See your patients at their appointment time. Avoid running behind schedule. (Tip: Make sure you are allowing enough time on the schedule for each procedure/appt type.)

New Patients – Every new patient needs a call preferably from the provider 2 days prior to their appt. “Hello, this is ___. I was calling to let you know that I am looking forward to meeting you in person for your reservation on ___ at ___. See you then.”

Please don’t rely on an automated service to welcome your new patients.

Bad History – If a patient has a history of not showing or canceling last minute, please don’t schedule any future appointments for them. However, if you find there are some patients on the schedule with that history…call them at least 2 days in advance of appt. “Hello, this is ____ from ____. I am calling regarding your appointment on ____ at _____. I need you to please return my call by____ at ____. If I don’t hear back from you by that time we will assume you’ve changed your mind and will cancel your reservation.”

Treatment Plans and Financial Arrangements – Every patient that has an appt. scheduled with the doctor for treatment must have a copy of their treatment plan AND a financial agreement before the appt. Ideally, each patient should receive a copy of the treatment plan and a financial agreement at the time of diagnosis. DON’T ASSUME that the patient is OK with their financial responsibility simply because you gave them a copy of their treatment plan and they didn’t question the cost.  What often happens is they say OK and schedule and then will no-show or cancel at the last minute. OR they come in for the appt. not prepared to pay their portion.

Regarding their financial responsibility – put their co-payment amount in the appt notes so that you remember to remind them to bring it in w/them.

Many patients will not tell you they can’t afford the treatment. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO SAY YES by HELPING THEM FIND A WAY TO WORK IT INTO THEIR BUDGET. The total investment is ____ and we can do it for as little as ___ per month using our partner Care Credit. Have them apply for CC while they are there in the office.

Hygiene Patients – Schedule their next 3, 4, 6-month appt when they are at the office. Take a second to stress to them how important this appointment is and what you’ll be looking for at their next appt. (It’s not just a cleaning.)

VALUE – Walk-Out Statement – Consider itemizing the hygiene appt walk out statement to include the no charge services… ie: Oral Cancer Screening, Nutrition Counseling, Oral Hygiene Instructions, Etc.  Be sure to ALWAYS give the full fee for that day even if they have “100 %” coverage with their insurance. They need to hear the actual dollar amount for each visit. Helps to put more value on the appt.

No-Shows / Late Arrivals – Always acknowledge your no-show/late patients with a call 3-5 minutes past appt. time.  If you get a voice mail – let the patient know you’re concerned because they missed their reservation.  If the patient doesn’t reschedule, send them a kind letter reminding them they were missed and what your office appointment guidelines are for changing appts.  The assistant or hygienist should be making these calls 3 – 5 minutes past appt time. If they can’t make the call right away they are responsible for having someone from the front office make the call for them. Be sure to document the action/ response.

Telephone – The dreaded telephone calls for same-day cancellation attempts from your patients. They can destroy a perfect schedule in a matter of minutes. Stay in control of your schedules by using the following verbiage…

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.

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.

Sending you wishes for a full and productive schedule… one that doesn’t fall apart!

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here 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 inbox each month? If not, please start following us today.  If you prefer, send me your email address at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

Betty – Dental Coach

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