Everyone on your team that is…
The more new hygiene patients your practice can generate, the more new treatments you will be performing. That’s why everyone on your team should be given all the tools they need to capture every new hygiene opportunity … and to keep those new hygiene patients coming back and referring.
- Communicate practice growth goals to all staff
- Offer appointment times that consumers want
- Answer inbound calls live – even when the practice isn’t open.
Hygiene is a product and to sell it, your entire team must understand its importance. You need great call handling and great scheduling because you need availability – at the times that consumers want it most.
- If your team doesn’t understand the importance of new patient scheduling and isn’t incentivized to achieve goals – practice growth potential will be negatively impacted whether you recognize it or not.
- If your practice isn’t open before work, after work, and Saturday mornings, you may be struggling to onboard lots of new patients because competing dentists will be open during those prime hours.
- If your phone lines are not handled effectively including being answered live outside of business hours (when you “reasonably expect” to a call answered), you are very likely losing thousands of dollars.
To grow, you need to “OPEN THE FLOW” of new patients. That means being available and giving new patients a cleaning when they want one. Eliminate policies for two step exam & xrays first… If you’re experiencing no-shows, this could be why. Today’s prospective patients aren’t going to take time off work to come to you. Their job and personal priorities are too important to them – and your practice is not – especially when they have lots of choices that will suit their lifestyle. It’s just a fact. Consider a double shift process so you can be open early, open late, and available on weekends.
To grow, always ANSWER PHONES LIVE by a well-trained call handler. Don’t miss a call. Avoid putting a new patient on hold or allowing a call to go to voicemail. New patients won’t leave a message or call back. And that’s not all. Our Marketing Performance Dashboard recently uncovered that a client didn’t have enough phone lines into the practice – despite full coverage they were still experiencing missed calls. Our Dashboard helped them correct an issue that had likely cost the practice thousands of dollars in lost new patient opportunities. Track your front desk action!
Set CLEAR GOALS for new patient growth and benchmark achievement. It’s the 15th of the month – are your new patient goals on track? If not, what is everyone on the team going to do? The folks who answer the phone should constantly be working on their call handling skills, trying to beat last month’s numbers, and improving your capture rate… “Are there any other family members you’d like to book while I have you on the phone?” Do you know the rate of conversion at your front desk?
Create your own new patient generation campaign. Your HYGIENE TEAM should have a process to promote your referral incentive at every appointment… “By the way, have you heard about our referral program?” Be a STANDOUT DENTIST by thanking every new patient for choosing your practice and let them know you’d love to welcome their friends and family. Everyone at the practice should be “business proud” and take copies of your newsletters and other marketing materials to share with friends and family. Launch a fun contest for the most referrals from a team member each month!
Having goals for RETURNING HYGIENE patients is just as important to revenue growth, so don’t let them fall through the cracks. If you’re generating 40 new patients a month (500 per year) and you don’t have 4,000 active patients, you’re losing more than you think. In two years you could have 2,000 ideal patients and lots of procedures performed on them. If everyone on your team has a focus on getting patients back every 6 months, you’ll increase revenue and referrals. Backtrack to the new patient hygiene appointments you completed in the first half of 2014 … these folks should be on track for their 4th visit in the next half of 2015. Are they booked?
It’s estimated that up to 30% don’t come back. Why?
- Maybe they left the first visit without a second one booked
- Maybe they didn’t feel like your team appreciated their business
- Maybe they don’t feel that dentistry is a priority and they need to be educated.
To succeed, you need every marketing tool available to you – and you must interconnect your practice goals with your marketing plan and your team to form a stronger whole. Jointly all three must work together to help substantially grow your practice.
If you’re not satisfied with your new patient flow or you’re worried about your rate of attrition, talk to your Account Manager. We can help increase your results immediately.