Effective Strategies for Dental Hygiene Patient Reactivation and Retention
August 31, 2023
Maintaining a steady stream of patients is crucial for any dental practice’s success. One of the most valuable segments of your patient base is those seeking dental hygiene services.
This blog will guide you through effective strategies to reactivate and retain dental hygiene patients, ensuring the growth and profitability of your practice.
- 1. Segment Your Patient List: Start by segmenting your patient list into different categories, such as active, inactive, and overdue patients. This will help you find the best patients to contact first.
- Personalized Communication: First begin with a personal phone call to the patients best contact phone number.
- When patients don’t answer your phone call (Which happens often!) do leave a very brief message with your name and office phone number.
- Your message will sound something like this:
- “Hello (Patient Name), This is Angie calling from ABC Smiles about your dental appointment, please give me a call back at (Your office #). Thank you and have a great day!
- Why this brief message?
- Your goal is to get patients to return your call and #2 is HIPAA compliance. You don’t want to leave any personal information.
- Next is to text patients who have not answered their phone.
- People are most likely to see a text message faster than listen to a voicemail message.
- Your text message will appear like this:
- Hello (Patient Name), please contact our office at your earliest convenience. We miss you and hope to talk to you soon. Then sign your office information and include your office phone number.
- Your message will sound something like this:
- When patients don’t respond to your text message do send an email. In your email you should send content that is valuable.
- It works well to send video content. Possibly a video created by the dental hygienist talking about why preventive care is important and then add a message to click a link and call to schedule their hygiene appointment.
- If you have patients who need to schedule for gum treatment find a video message (find this inside your patient engagement software) and add this to your email.
- In the subject line be sure to add [Video] and a few more words that you believe add value to your patients so they will call and schedule their appointment.
- If you are open to having patients schedule online it will work well for hygiene preventive care appointments to click and schedule.
- Be sure you have blocked out hygiene appointments that are specific to preventive care on your hygiene schedule.
- If all else fails, send a letter to the patient with a place where they can check off why they are not scheduling and enclose a SASE so they can send back a reason why they are not scheduling. Inside your letter have them let you know (add a checklist so they can easily respond) they won’t be returning to your office.
- This has worked well for patients who are overdue by 18 months or more. Some patients will call your office immediately and let you know the exact reason they are not scheduling.
- Many patients will tell you they want their records transferred. This is a great way to eliminate patients in your database that won’t be coming back. Edit these patients and mark them as inactive.
- Send Reminders and Offers: Utilize email and SMS reminders for upcoming dental hygiene appointments. Offer special discounts or promotions to incentivize patients to return. Limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency.
This one thing has worked very well to keep patients on your schedule. The entire system helps to add more new patients and will grow your cosmetic cases. To learn more about this, I have added a link at the end of this blog so you can learn more.
- Social Media Engagement: Use your practice’s social media platforms to engage with patients. Share oral hygiene tips, success stories, and showcase your team. Share specific incentives here. Encourage patients to follow your accounts for updates and useful information.
- Educational Content: Create blog posts or videos about the importance of regular dental hygiene – preventive care visits. Address common concerns and dispel myths. Educated patients are more likely to prioritize their oral health.
- Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program where patients earn rewards for consistent hygiene visits. Rewards can range from discounts on future visits to free dental products. Check that link at the end of this blog to learn more about this ONE THING,
- Surveys for Feedback: Send out surveys to understand patient preferences and areas for improvement. Use their feedback to enhance the patient experience and show that you value their opinions. Ask patients to give you 5 Star Google Reviews. This will help you with SEO and more new patients will find your office.
- Flexible Scheduling: Offer flexible appointment scheduling options, including evenings and weekends. This can accommodate patients with busy schedules, making it easier for them to commit to regular visits. If you’re a new office you will do well if you offer evening and weekend appointments.
- Telehealth Consultations: Introduce virtual consultations for dental hygiene advice and quick check-ins. This can foster a sense of care and accessibility, encouraging patients to stay connected.
They say there is a big economic decline ahead of us. We don’t want to run business around fear but there are so many valuable ways to use Telehealth Consultations and in the One Thing (See link below) you can use this via Telehealth appointments.
- Showcase Patient Results: With patient consent, share before-and-after photos showcasing the positive outcomes of regular dental hygiene visits. This visual evidence can motivate patients to maintain their oral health. Share these on your social media posts and also have a portfolio on a coffee table in your office to show off case studies and your awesome dentistry!
- Stay Updated with Technology: Invest in dental technology that enhances the patient experience, such as digital records, online appointment booking, and chairside education tools. We recommend various apps such as Dental intel to track KPI’s and help the team drive your productivity.
We also recommend patient engagement videos to easily send emails with videos and sms messages. See our list of recommendations at the end of this blog.
- Create a Referral Program: Encourage current patients to refer friends and family by offering referral rewards. Word-of-mouth recommendations can significantly boost patient acquisition.
Reactivating and retaining dental hygiene patients requires a combination of personalized communication, engaging content, and strategic initiatives. By implementing these strategies, you can strengthen patient relationships, foster loyalty, and ensure the long-term profitability of your dental practice.
Remember, a healthy patient-dental practice relationship is built on trust, excellent care, and consistent communication.
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