Over the years, marketing strategies for a dental office have changed. There are some many different variables which affect the type of marketing, how much you spend, how you target patients, etc. The focus of this article will be on marketing for dental specialists (Perio, Endo, Oral Surgery, Pedo & Ortho). Because we are now in the throes of another hot summer in Central Arizona, we will focus on what marketing efforts to focus on in the summer months.
Phoenix Endodontic Group like many other dental specialists receive a significant portion of their patients from direct referrals from other dental offices and therefore the strategy all year round is to recognize which offices are sending you patients and which offices have the potential to do so. Staff should be aware and trained that every interaction with a referring office is an “opportunity” or “touch point.”
Some touch points are small, i.e a simple phone call to set up an appointment for the patient to go back to see the general dentist once treatment is completed. Some touch points are planned out as a Thank You to the office and a delivery of fresh baked goods for the staff to know how much their referrals mean to the specialist. These are marketing activities that should take place all year long, to keep all referring offices on the “radar screen” of the dental specialist.
In general terms, the flow of patients slows down in the Arizona summer. The snowbirds fly back to Minnesota, Iowa and the like and dentists with young families schedule summer activities with their families. Phoenix Endodontic Group has always found the 3rd quarter (summer) to be slower than the rest of the year. A good time to catch your breath, relax and slow down, right? Wrong! This should be the time of year when you go at the marketing as hard as you can.
If the third quarter is slower than others in a specialty dental office that means you will have staff with less tasks to do than normal. We say put them to work reaching out to your referral base. Everyone has different interpersonal skills. Send staff to meet and greet staff at your referral offices, that is a good way to spend any down time. Staff can also help produce marketing pieces and information to email to referring offices with something as simple as your summer hours or other important information.
We advocate using the summer to solidify your current relationships with offices that you might be taking for granted but are being wooed constantly by other specialty offices. Don’t let your office be a victim of “out of sight, out of mind.” A personal visit from your office to your top 20 referring offices during the summer months is a must.