Many dental offices find themselves quite busy over the summer, especially with children’s dental appointments. My O’Fallon dental office has been buzzing with children for the past three months, but now that school has started here, the schedule begins to thin out. In anticipation of slow times that we often experience in September and October, we have consulted our Dental Marketing Calendar and started taking steps to avoid this usual slowdown.
My office manager will be keeping busy with the following tasks:
- Running an overdue recall report for any patients who have not had a recall appointment in the past 18 months,
- Contacting those patients via their preferred method of contact (phone call, email, or postcard). We gather their preferred method of contact by using the Patient Appointment Reminder Preference Form found on the Dentistry’s Business Secrets’ Dental Practice Management Tools CD or for immediate download here,
- Running an outstanding treatment plan report for patients who have a treatment plan but have not scheduled their appointment yet,
- Contacting these patients to encourage them to schedule before the end of the year to take advantage of their remaining dental insurance or FSA benefits and
- Considering offering a discount for treatment performed in one of these slow months if the schedule looks particularly light.
We are also busy exploring internal and external marketing efforts as well, including:
- Writing thank you letters to patients who have referred several new patients this year. We always send out an immediate thank you letter, but we like to say an extra thank you to those patients who refer frequently. For patients who refer frequently, we may send a gift card or give a credit on their dental account as an extra thank you,
- Considering short term use of Google Adwords during the slow time,
- Offering a referral raffle for patients who refer new patients,
- Examining which marketing efforts have worked this year and what needs tweaking and
- Exploring whether we should invest in new mover postcards for all of the summer new movers who might be looking for a dentist.
It is easy to become so busy in the summer that you do not give consideration to the ongoing marketing needs of your dental practice. For this reason, I designed the Dental Marketing Calendar that is available on the Dentistry’s Business Secrets’ Practice Marketing Tools CD.