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5 Ways Your Dental Practice can Benefit from Back-to-School Season

Dental Practice can Benefit from Back-to-School Season - Infographic

As the back to school season beckons and millions of parents prepare their children for school, it is important that you prepare your office and marketing department to tap into the retail market boom that happens around this season. New supplies and checkups are all in the minds of parents, position your business to find its way to the top of that list. Here are some ways in which your dental practice can benefit from the back to school season

1. Scheduling

Many families will bring their children just a few days before the school starts, make sure your staff knows the exact opening days of schools since different school districts have different opening days. By proactively anticipating which day each of your patients will be going back to school, you will be able to enjoy several benefits such as optimizing office efficiency, facilitating scheduling, staffing and building your community reputation.

Having school dates as part of a patients Meta data will help your business personalize its marketing strategies to each individual and will build the community relationships with your clients. By incorporating community dates in your business, you will become part of the community in a natural way.

2. Back to School Offerings

As you endeavor to meet your patients’ needs, have a loyalty program that will get them to your office. You can use direct mailing campaign that targets demographics that have school going children. Start you campaign a few weeks before the school starts to give your patients sufficient time to get to your office. Specific promotions and loyalty programs will play well with the excitement and the hustle and bustle of the back to school season.

3. Fully Staffed

Now that you have the promotions, and all the dates figured out prepare your staff to handle the increase in child patients. Make sure your practice is well equipped with the correct resources and tools that are age appropriate. When your staff is empowered, your customers will have a better experience and overall satisfaction.

4. Diversify Your Payment Methods

To be competitive, ensure your business does not fall behind in the latest technologies that are revolutionizing the point of sale. This will help meet the expectations of your patients and put your business on the cutting edge. The current payment methods that you need to pay attention to are EMV chip card and NFC-based mobile payments. There are payment terminals that are designed to accept multiple payment methods so that you are future-proof. All these will prepare you when the back to school crowd hits your dental practice.

5. Understand Today’s Product Discovery Process

Many shoppers today do their homework online before heading to any business establishment. It is, therefore, important to have a glowing online presence that will capture the attention of potential clients.

As many parents prepare their children for back-to-school, so should you. Dentists play an important role during this season, and it is important that you control all the marketing variables so that you can help as many patients as possible.

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5 Tips to Fix Holes in Dental Hygiene Schedule

 

Tips to Fix Holes in Dental Hygiene Schedule - Infographic

One of the biggest challenge that compromises the profitability of many dentistry practices in the country is the downtime in hygiene schedule. Despite the recent increase in the use of modern communication methods such as automated email software and text messages, there are still an increasing number holes that mess up the hygienist schedule. This common problem in many dentist offices requires a common solution.

Dentistry is not only a science but also a relationship that is created between the dentist and the patient, human contact remains to be the most significant motivator for a dentist’s clients to keep their appointments. Despite emails being a popular means of communication, they are also the greatest cause of complacency within patients; they are easy to ignore since they lack that personal touch. Below are some points to reduce broken appointments in your schedules.

1. Use the Telephone

Make use of outgoing calls every day to remind your patients about their appointments. If you do not have sufficient resources to employ someone to do this task full-time, make an administrative change that allows your receptionist to have a few uninterrupted hours to make the calls.

2. Manage Your Patient’s Expectations

The way you inform the patient about their appointment will determine whether they will show up. Make sure you use wording that emphasizes the importance of the appointment. Scripting the calls will make them effective. If the patient understands their responsibility, they will be more inclined to attend the appointment.

3. Do not Refer to the Appointment as a “Cleaning”

When the appointment is referred to as “cleaning”, it gives the patient the perception that it can wait and therefore lacks importance. The way you word your language should make the patient views the appointment as an essential therapeutic appointment. The patient should fully understand the work of the Dental Hygienist as not being cleaners but health care professionals whose work affects the patient’s wellbeing.

4. Implement a Hygiene Downtime Policy

When there is a cancellation, there is not much a hygienist can do, and it is therefore not fair for them not to be paid. Having a downtime policy will ensure that they never lack something to do. If there are patients that do not have a scheduled appointment, the hygienist can use that time to call them. It is always nice when a patient hears from their hygienist; it shows that they care.

5. Create a Positive Expectation that the Patients will Show Up

When making calls to your patient, make sure you point out that it is a courtesy call, avoid telling them it is a confirmation call since they may feel that you do not trust them. It is a negative message that implies that they may have the intention of not showing up.

By having full control of your hygiene schedule, you will increase the value of the appointments. Your patients will be more motivated to attend and will appreciate the experience. By using these simple rules, you will notice dramatic results in a short period.

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5 Steps to Get Your Dental Practice Debt under Control

5 Steps to Get Your Dental Practice Debt under Control - Infographic

Many dentists are experiencing a significant increase in practice debts, largely due to the fact that more people than ever are unemployed or simply cannot afford to purchase dental insurance. If you are a dentist who is struggling with high amounts of practice-related debt, the tips below could help you get it under control and to the point where it is more manageable in the long term.

1. Assess Your Cash Flow

This can be done by logging the figures for net production and collection over the past year, the percentage of patient accounts that have been outstanding for 90 days or more and any amounts that are being repaid monthly for loans, leases and/or business credit cards (if applicable). Other expenses to consider include dental supplies, lab fees, salaries, benefits, taxes and any other expenses that you pay for each month. This will enable you to see whether you have enough money coming in to cover your costs each month or not.

2. Hire a Professional to Evaluate your Finances

After assessing your cash flow, it’s a good idea to have a professional evaluate your financial situation and determine what the best method(s) will be to reduce the amount of debt your practice has. In some cases, a financial expert may recommend loan consolidation or even finding premises that you can purchase at a better rate than you are currently paying for a rental agreement or lease so that you can reduce expenses. Once you are able to successfully reduce your expenses, you will be able to channel more money towards repaying any existing practice debt.

3. Ensure that Bills are Mailed ASAP

If you only send out bills 30 or even 60 days after dental work has been done, you stand a far higher chance of not being paid than if you had billed the patient immediately. Implement a policy whereby invoices are sent to patients or their respective health care providers within a day or two at the most, as this will help improve payment rates substantially.

4. Be Proactive About Debt Collection

After you’ve found ways to reduce your monthly debt repayments, it’s time to implement a system whereby outstanding accounts are followed up on timeously. Although it may cost you an additional salary each month to hire a dedicated person to do this, in most cases, you will be able to recover far more than that amount in outstanding debtor accounts within a week or two at the most. Additionally, it will help take a lot of stress off other employees, who will then be able to better serve your patients.

5. Implement the Use of SimplePay

Most patients only get approximately half of their dental treatments covered by insurance, which means that many of them will either request that they can repay it over a specified amount of time or worse, default on the balance completely. However, if you introduce them to SimplePay, they will be guaranteed to receive the treatment they need, while you as the dentist will be able to rest assured that you will be paid in full for the work you have done.

Keeping your practice debt under control will not only enable you to manage your finances in the best way possible; it will help relieve a significant amount of stress for you as well.

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7 Features of a High Performance Dental Website

7 Features of a High Performance Dental Website - Infographic

As a dentist, you will want to ensure that your patients are easily able to find information about you and your practice online – preferably by means of your dedicated website. Below are 7 crucial elements that need to be incorporated into your dental website.

1. Clear Navigation

Your dental website should be as easy as possible for site visitors to navigate. Tabs for various pages such as ‘Contact Us,’ ‘About Our Practice,’ ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ or ‘Blog Posts’ should not only be placed in such a way that they are easy for visitors to see and click on; they should be labeled as clearly as possible as well.

2. A Blog Section

Most patients that visit your website will be eager to find out as much as possible about the products and services you offer at your practice. The easiest way to share this information with them is by means of blog posts or even press releases – especially if you are running promotions or discount offers.

3. Security

If you are going to enable functionality on your site for patients to pay for dental services online, it is imperative that you secure your site by means of an SSL certificate. This will ensure that their personal and financial information is kept secure and confidential at all times.

4. Social Media Integration

Nowadays, dentists who are not on social media don’t stand much chance of being in business for much longer. As a result, it’s imperative that you create a presence for your practice on at least one or two social media sites. Some of the more popular sites include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Be sure to include ways for clients to connect with these profiles through your website.

5. A Clean Design

As a dentist, you will want to convey a message of professionalism to your clients. This can be done by keeping your website’s design as uncluttered as possible. Refrain from using too many colors and/or cluttered looking templates when designing your site.

6. An ‘About Us’ Section

When potential patients arrive at your dental site, they will want to know what services and products you offer without having to call your practice. Providing an ‘About Our Practice’ page that lists your most popular offerings will let patients know what you can provide for them.

7. Responsive Design

More of your patients than ever before will be browsing your website on their smartphones or tablets, which means that your site will need to accommodate this trend. Using a 100% responsive design or template will enable all of your site visitors to enjoy full website functionality – and Google will rank your site higher than those that are non-responsive.

Ensuring that all of the above mentioned features are incorporated into your dental practice’s website will ensure that you have the marketing edge over your competitors. It will also ensure that your patients find it as easy as possible to browse your site and make use of the features and information that are available on it.

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