16 Aug Dental Marketing Tips: Reducing Cancellations & No-Shows
As one of the leading Houston marketing agencies specializing in local internet leads, we work with many various industries—which means we also learn about those industries as well. Our clients come from all sectors including technology, engineering, home services, and even dental. In fact, dental marketing has been one of the niche markets we have devoted special attention to and for good reason.
Dental practices tend to shine when it comes to their field, however, the marketing side of things tends to be a struggle and there are valid reasons for this:
- Lack Of Time For Focus on SEO/Web Design
- Lack Of SEO Tools Or Industry Knowledge
- Lack Of Patience
As you can see, it’s not that dental practices don’t want to focus on dental marketing, they just don’t have the time and often resources to devote a team to handle that in-house. Where many dental practices in Texas have begun to find a solution is outsourcing these tedious and complex tasks to SiteJab, a maverick among Texas marketing agencies.
We have become quite the go-to agency for dental practices seeking help with their marketing and branding needs. The reason we have developed a reputation inthe dental care industry is our focus on educating ourselves about the industries we serve. We don’t just lightly read about dental care on Google, we go deeper. We show up to our client’s practices and spend several days throughout the year just learning what makes their practice tick, what problems they’d like to overcome, and even the technical side of the business. We learn the terminology, the industry procedures, andeven the culture.
Are You Doing Everything You Can ToPrevent Cancellations Or No-Shows?
That being said we have noticed one of the most universal problems dental practices in Houston and all over struggle to overcome is—problematic cancellation rates. When patients cancel last minute or no-show for an appointment, it throws a wrench into the workflow for your day—but also costs your practice money.
Your scheduling team is stuck trying to find a patient that can take that time slot, often not being able to find someone in time. This leads to missing daily production goals and lost revenue. If this happens several times a week, you are looking at a serious problem. So how do you reduce these no-shows and cancellations? The answer is clear—more effective dental marketing—yes, dental marketing. Let us explain.
Dental marketing is simply the art of making your practice known and appealing to your local market. This encompasses many activities, including many that most wouldn’t consider under the umbrella of “marketing,” but they are.
You have to think outside the box and stop limiting marketing to sales, leads, andclosing. It’s much more than that. It’s about educating clients, relationship building, client management, brand management, and most of all attention to details. With that scope of dental marketing in mind, just take a look at a few tips we impress on our dental clients to reduce those cancellations and no-shows. You might just be surprised at what you overlook.
5 Tips To Reduce Cancellations And No-Shows
- Pre-Scheduling Is Antiquated –Listen, we know you want to be able to schedule a follow-up before a patient even leaves and we understand the logic behind that. The problem is, in this fast-pacedand live by the minute society, pre-scheduling patients isquite outdated. If you book a patient 3 months in advance—the chances of them remembering or knowing what time they booked you at are slim to none. It is better to flag their file for a scheduled callback or email closer to the date they should return, advising them it’s time to schedule their follow-up. This will lead to the appointment date being fresh in their mind and far enough in advance to book, but close enough so they can choose a date that works with their schedule.
- Educate Your Patients – You’d be surprised what a small dose of impartedknowledge regarding the patient’soral health can do to make them remember to follow-up with a second appointment. Advise patients about the potential dangers of their current bad habits or lack of care if it continues. When patients havea sense of urgency regarding their dental care, they are more likely to keep scheduled appointments. Go further though and use educational teeth modules, handheld mirrors, anddental care brochures to let them visualize what is going on with their teeth. So, the bottom line is—envision each client as an opportunity to educate them.
- Pay Attention To Details –When scheduling patients both new and regulars—always make sure you cover all the details about the appointment and the cancellation policy before they hang up. Place emphasis on the cancellation policy, which should include a 48-hourcancellation policy deadline to avoid downtime. Make sure you inform them of the time, place, location, and what time they need to be there and any records or materials to bring.
- Confirm. Confirm. Confirm – The most common reason patients no-showfor appointments, is because they have busy schedules too and just forgot. It is for that simple reason that it is so integral to confirm with patients on every single appointment. The standard rule of thumb is to contact patients two days prior to their appointment and get a confirmation of their intent to keep the appointment.Also, don’t settle for a voicemail message—contact the patient intermittently until you speak with them.
- Establish a policy –If you have a strict cancellation or no-show policy—such as one that includes a fee if a patient cancels past the deadline or doesn’t show up—patients are less likely to cancel or no-show on you. Establish a policy that is in writing and also postnotices on the wall and always quote the policy when setting an appointment.
Struggling With Your Dental Marketing?
If cancels and no-shows are just the tip-of the iceberg when it comes to dental marketing problems for your practice—you aren’t alone and we can help. Cancellations and no-shows are a part of doing business, but they don’t have to play a large part at all. SiteJab can help relieve the burden of your main marketing tasks so that you can focus on cleaning up your booking process and schedule management. Contact us today and see how we can impact your practice.