5 Essential Communication Strategies for Dental Practices During the Holidays
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
The holidays are by far the most hectic time of the year, but the yummiest as well! With the stresses of gift giving and all the yummy foods to distract, no one really considers the impact all those treats are having on their Dental health in such a concentrated period of time. They’re thinking about that second piece of pumpkin pie or another glass of eggnog to wash it down. The only thing on people’s minds are good food, good company, and finding the perfect gift. But traditional holiday foods are notoriously bad for one’s oral health. They are often loaded with sugar and dairy, which over the span of only 2 months, certainly takes a toll. Take a look at this list of the worst holiday foods for your teeth and you’ll see that at least half of them are considered staples during the festivities.
This is probably the most important time of the year to keep up with one’s oral care. However, your patients are running around holiday shopping, and have an endless supply of goodies at hand. It’s up to you as their Dental care provider to remind them that their teeth need extra special attention during the holidays.
Communicate to your patients that you are there to support them during this stressful time of the year by reinforcing the importance of maintaining their Dental health regime. They should know you have their health as your first priority. This would be a good time of the year to offer extended or earlier hours for those trying to juggle work alongside holiday preparations. It may also be a good idea to consider offering special deals or discounts on services. Your patients would really appreciate you looking out for their pocket books, as well as their dental health.
Here are some essential communication strategies every Dental practice should adopt during the holidays:
Blast your Changes in Office Hours During the Season
Imagine your own frustration when you are trying to schedule an appointment, but you had no idea the office had closed up shop early. Don’t make your holiday hours a secret. Patients are stressed enough without having to hunt for your office hours. Take this uncertainty off the table and make it obvious by sending out email notifications, putting it on your website’s homepage, changing your voicemail, and put a sign at your front desk as well.
Update your website to be mobile friendly
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, this is a good time to update it! Last year, mobile searches finally overtook desktop, and that trend continues to grow. During this frenzied time of the year, more and more, people will be turning to their mobile phones to shop and peruse the internet. Make it easier for patients to schedule their appointments or find your office hours by ensuring your site is mobile friendly. If you're unsure about your website, here is a mobile friendly test. Enter your web URL and this website will be able to tell you!
Make the most of your PRM
Stay on top of communicating holiday changes by making the most of the automated notifications built into your Patient Management Software. Your patients are always on the go, but even more so during this time. Make sure your automated messages are working properly, and consider using them for more than just appointment reminders. You can also use these types of text notifications to inform patients of holiday treatment specials or any promotional events you are having for the holidays.
Timely and consistent communication
It is critical to begin sending out notices, particularly for office hour changes, a month in advance. However, in case someone missed the memo, be sure to send a reminder email or two. We are programmed to go through our inbox often without fully reading what’s in it. It’s not uncommon that it may take a few times to get the message across about any changes at your dental practice during the holidays.
The Holiday Card
People still enjoy, arguably even more so now, the traditional holiday card. Don’t skimp or pass over this important piece of communication. It’s the difference between being the Dentist and my Dentist. As a suggestion, divide up your patient list amongst yourself and staff, and write handwritten holiday cards. That extra personal touch will convey exactly the holiday cheer you are putting in the mailbox!
Make a checklist for your communication strategy. Cross it off and check it twice! Good luck staying on top of your communication this year, and Happy Holidays!