Are your practice numbers not adding up? Are open holes in your schedule creating less production than planned causing overhead to seem overwhelming? What steps are you taking to correct these problems that eat into your profit?
In the May 2016 edition of Dentaltown, Dr. Howard Farran expands on dentists being upset with large overhead and low profit. According to Dr. Farran:
“I see dentists upset because their overhead is high, they’re struggling … and yet staff members still expect a raise every year, based solely on the fact that Earth made it around the sun. No matter if your overhead went up, and insurance companies paid you less.”
Dr. Farran continues on, explaining the value of knowing your numbers and making sure your team is also aware of these goals. When everyone knows the stats and is working towards a shared goal, the team will be more likely to create a schedule conducive to your production goals being met and creating the profit you are looking seeking.
How UIC Dental Helps Reach Your Goals and Create Profit
More New Patients
Dentistry is competitive. Why else would you spend resources seeking new patients via print and mail advertising, a great website with strong SEO, Google AdWords, social media, etc…? No matter the kind of marketing you are doing, you have to be able to schedule patients when they call. Any time you are not answering the phone during peak hours, it leaves the possibility that a new patient and their family will move on to the next office in their search results that does answer. UIC Dental answers all of the peak hours each week and beyond, eliminating lost marketing leads and increasing profit for your office by scheduling patients at the time they call.
Schedule per Your Guidelines
At UIC Dental, we schedule directly in your practice management system and follow your specific guidelines. Experienced in Dentrix, Eaglesoft, OpenDental, Curve Hero, Dolphin, MacPractice, EasyDental, SoftDent, XL Dent, and even a Google calendar, UIC Dental has yet to find a dental practice management software with which we cannot schedule.
We also schedule based on the office’s defined protocol with chairs, providers, length of appointment, insurance, and services to be added to each appointment type. This means that if you have a specific provider and spot saved for high value doctor time, a new patient hygiene block saved, or even a limit on when emergency exams can be scheduled, we schedule patients based on your specific rules. The office’s daily goal and the ideal schedule will not be interrupted because you supplemented your availability, but more patients will be scheduled more efficiently.
More Saved Appointments
Rescheduled and cancelled appointments are an unfortunate fact of every dental schedule. With voicemail, the office has no ability to attempt to save the appointment when a patient leaves a message. UIC Dental offers the expertise and ability to attempt to save the appointment and keep it on the schedule as productive time. If there is a cancellation that was beyond saving, the office can know about it in real time instead of the next morning, allowing the ability to fill that slot via a ASAP list or adjust the time staff arrives if it is the first patient in the morning.
More production on less overhead means more profit, allowing you and your team to feel good knowing they earned their raise this year!
Every day, prospective patients are searching for dental practices. It could be a family new to town, a person who perhaps did not have insurance and now does with a new job, or even someone unhappy with their current office. Now more than ever, the first step for any search is Google, Bing, or some other search engine which is why SEO is so important for a dental practice.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is a system or process to enhance your office’s online search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. More simply, SEO makes sure search engines can find your website so new patients can find you when searching for a new dentist. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness.
Marketing Expert Brad Schorr addresses some recent developments in internet marketing in his recent article on dentistryiq.com. Brad discusses how to take advantage of SEO and get more patients as recent changes are in favor of dental practices. According to Brad:
The big changes to leverage
The most important developments to consider are these:
- Mobile Internet use is exploding—it now exceeds desktop use, and the gap is widening rapidly.
- Google is working hard to promote local businesses in its search results and advertising.
How do these changes help dental practices?
- Mobile Internet users are apt to use their smartphones to search for dentists, book appointments and request information—it’s fast, convenient and increasingly familiar.
- Dental practices, local in nature, get a bigger “bang for the buck” for investments in SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
Capitalizing on SEO
Effective SEO is a huge part of the new patient process, but not the only piece of the puzzle. Once a patient finds your site, it needs to be convenient and clearly express the value of your office so they feel good about scheduling an appointment. Finally, once they decide to schedule, you need to make sure you do not miss that phone call.
Looking for ways to increase your office’s availability and new patient production? Click here to contact us and learn how UIC Dental can help supplement your current phone answering process and grow new patient production. The value of the service is guaranteed as UIC Dental promises the service will create at least FOUR (4) times the cost in new patient production value.
Dental Office Professional Development
There are many avenues for development available to dental professionals. Continuing education courses, local or national conferences, or even going back to school for a college or graduate degree can provide significant personal growth and value to a practice. However, these development tools also might not fit into a busy schedule or office budget. This does not mean that you should ignore a worthwhile development process. Below are four excellent sites that dental office professionals can use for on-demand and valuable professional development at your convenience.
Front Office Rocks is a training resource developed for dentists who need specialized training for their team on all aspects of the front desk. They offer free videos on:
- Handling Late Patients
- How to Offer an Appointment
- Asking the Patient to Pay
- Benefit Breakdown Form
- First Week on the Job
A comprehensive library of videos is available to subscribers and Front Office Rocks also hosts Live Events as one day programs to get your office the training it needs to help reach the ultimate in customer service status. UIC Dental highly recommends a live event for any practice looking to turn their front office staff into customer service rock stars.
Schools like Yale University, MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and many more are all offering free online classes that you can audit and the website Lifehacker has compiled a listing of some popular classes which provides an in depth look and many different online classes.
Some potentially interesting topics for dental offices:
- Branding, Content & Social Media
- Corporate Finance for Healthcare Administrators
- Understanding Clinical Studies: Behind the Statistics
- Finance for Non-Financial Professionals
Higher learning has never been so affordable and convenient.
An audiobook as professional development might sound weird, but what better way to spend your daily commute than listening and learning? Audible is not free, but there is a great trial offer that offers a three month subscription at a discounted rate of $9 which includes three free audiobooks. For example, you could grab the following titles about dentistry, marketing, and self-improvement for just $9:
Becoming Remarkable: Creating a Dental Practice Everyone Talks About
Written by: Fred Joyal
List Building Basics: How to Generate Unstoppable Targeted Subscribers in Any Market
Written by: Anthony Ekanem
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Written by: Charles Duhigg
These audiobooks not meeting your needs? There are thousands to choose from.
Lynda.com lets you “learn new business, creative, & tech skills with expert-led online video tutorials– anytime, anywhere.” UIC Dental uses Lynda.com and the videos are informative, interesting, and cover a broad range of topics.
For example, SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) are big topics of conversation in the dental community and Lynda has courses such as Google AdWords Essential Training, Online Marketing Fundamentals, SEO Fundamentals.
New users get a ten-day free trial, but there is also a better way. Many public libraries offer Lynda for free to library patrons. For example, locally in Kentucky, both the Louisville Free Public Library and Lexington Public library offer Lynda.com to its cardholders. Check your local library website to see if Lynda.com or similar sites are available to you.
In the latest edition of Dental Town, Dr. Anissa Holmes outlined some new and exciting ways to attract new patients sharing marketing strategies under three headings: Unique culture, Social media done well, and Relationships. I encourage you to read her entire article as Dr. Holmes has some great ideas about how to wow patients.
Dr. Holmes also outlines her social media strategy and how she is driving new patients to her office including Facebook and Instagram, which Dr. Holmes referred to as “the most effective social media platforms for dentists”. In addition, her office is building relationships with established businesses that cater to similar target audiences and parlaying that into mutually beneficial partnerships.
Marketing is indeed vital, but you must make sure you are able to schedule those leads
At UIC Dental, we agree with Dr. Holmes that marketing is vital to attracting new patients, but also remind any practice that is marketing for new patients to make sure you are available to convert these leads into appointments on the schedule. Patients are going to call when it is convenient for them and this might not match when you are currently in the office and able to schedule that patient.
For example, if a patient calls on Friday and the office is closed, will the office have someone available to make sure this hard earned lead is not lost? What about if a patient is checking out and scheduling their next appointment, but a phone call is coming in at the same time due to increased volume from the marketing efforts?
Voicemail may seem like an acceptable solution, but I promise you that there are new patient leads calling that are not being scheduled because of the highly competitive nature of dentistry. Otherwise, why would you be marketing if patients were already decided on who they would be choosing for their dentistry needs?
No more lost leads
UIC Dental caters to offices with a forward eye for marketing. We offer a service to make sure your marketing efforts do not go wasted by answering the phone when you are not available and scheduling new patients instead of using voicemail. With a guaranteed 4 to 1 return on investment (ROI) in New Patient production, an office can be sure that its marketing will be maximized and all interest generated from those efforts are scheduled right when the patient is calling.