We are continuing our series on patient reactivation to help you understand the best way to execute a reactivation plan. Once you understand the importance of patient reactivation, next comes the task of deciding who is going to champion patient reactivation in your dental practice. Before creating a strategy, planning your messaging, and assigning responsibilities for your staff, you have to know who will be the one person responsible for making sure each staff member does their job. In this post we will breakdown the steps to launching your reactivation campaign and who should be responsible for it.
Assign Reactivation Oversight To One Person
We're not saying one person is full responsible to execute the reactivation strategy. What we are saying is one person should hold everyone accountable to making sure each step of the reactivation process is done according to best practice and is getting done. When no one feels responsible, things fall through the cracks. Holding people accountable for what is expected of them increases buy-in and results. When implementing a dental recall system, whether that be a software solution and/or a process of best practices you follow, having one person in charge will ensure your team is staying on task.
Create A Strategy
Once you have a person overseeing reactivation, it's time to create a plan. Who creates the strategy? That could be a team effort with your main person leading it. Let's say the office manager is the person you chose to oversee reactivation. They can meet with their front office team and discuss ways to improve welcoming patients, pre-appointing them before they leave the practice, and best practices for follow-up and patient recall strategies.
Next, bring in your dental assistants and hygienists to strategize about the best hand-off strategy from them back to the front desk. What small steps could be taken to make a patient feel known, valued and appreciated?
Once you figured out how to increase patient retention, you need to think about the work of reactivating patients that you lost. Do you know how to reactivate old patients? Based on your demographic, decide the best way to reach out to inactive patients. Maybe the older generation receive postcards and phone calls while the younger generation gets texts and emails.
Other great questions to ask are:
- Whose schedule needs to be filled (i.e. dentist or hygienist)?
- What procedures are the most profitable?
- How do I maximize the schedule?
- Do we have a cancellation list of people who want to be seen if someone else cancels?
Plan Your Messaging
When you reach out to inactive patients, what are you going to say? You need to create a dental patient reactivation script for your front office team members to use. You don't want to sound like a robot so make sure the script is a spring board your team can jump from, rather than a box the have to stay in. You want to make sure they say the right things but sound genuine and personable.
How you communicate with your patients will ultimately determine what you say. Are you sending a text or email? Mailing a postcard or letter? Each one of these requires different amounts of text to be written and a different tone of voice. Texts are meant to be short and sweet. While a letter signifies a lot more information. Your overall messaging should be the same not matter which media you use. As a practice decide on your voice. Are you funny, serious, friendly, or to the point? This will dictate what you say and how you say it which can make all the difference in reactivating inactive patients.
The main person in charge of patient reactivation can delegate responsibility to different team members so they too can champion an aspect of the reactivation strategy. This also increases the feeling of ownership of the process. Patient reactivation is a team effort but you need a captain to lead the charge!
How will you track progress? Do you use a dental KPI software that shows you the financial opportunity you have on a daily basis to win back patients and increase your revenue?
Do you have a system that tells you the last time your patient was contacted, how and if they answered? Having an automated dental recall system to help you track your progress is vital to any reactivation strategy. If you can't track it, you can't hold people responsible for doing their job.
"Anything that is measured and watched, improves." — Bob Parsons
Inactive patients are the low-hanging fruit. You can spend tons of money getting new patients or you can spend some time baking out a good strategy for patient retention and reactivation. It's cheaper to keep an existing patient than to get a new one. Don't just assume reactivation is happening. Give one person in your practice ownership of the process, create a strategy, plan your messaging and assign responsibilities. After all, the health of your patients and the health of your practice depends on it.