By Nancy Hyman
When it comes to orthodontic practice marketing, attracting the parents is just as important as appealing to children and teens themselves. Focusing on making your practice child friendly should be a priority, and so should parent outreach.
Giving flexibility in scheduling is one way you can please parents and attract new patients. Consider opening early several days each week, or staying open later. If you don’t normally have practice hours on Saturdays, consider a once a month day when all you do is quick adjustment appointments and initial exams for potential patients likely to start treatment. Another Saturday option is scheduling short adjustments in the morning and initial exams in the early afternoon. A suggested schedule may include adjustments between 8 A.M. to noon and initial exams between 12:30 and 2:30 P.M. with two exams per 45-60 minutes with two treatment coordinators and a records technician available for on-the-spot records. If you do not have two consult rooms designate an area in the clinic for back up.
Clarifying each step in the treatment process makes your patient and their parent more comfortable. Consider creating and distributing a free DVD explaining the course of treatment to new patients with charts and calendars they can use with their child to track their orthodontic treatment progress.
Special pricing may be offered in a variety of ways to lower the cost of orthodontic treatment as dental insurance plans continue to fall behind on coverage. A new patient program with a built-in discount for additional family members is one option. You can also hold a raffle each month for a credit applicable to treatment or a gift card to a retail venue. At Hyman Orthodontics we offer a Super Patients Club with one winner drawn monthly for a $50 gift card.
Other promotions parents will love:
- Ask parents to make a video of their child talking about their orthodontist and post them to your Facebook page. Draw a winner at random and award with a gift card or a spin on the rewards wheel.
- Include parents in your oral hygiene program. Reward the parent who returns a signed OH card from his/her dentist with a spin on a rewards wheel.
- Ticket giveaways. A ticket to the hottest teen band can be a huge deal to preteens and teens. Consider buying a pair of tickets and holding a drawing – the winning parent/child team will never forget this experience.
Promotions with parents in mind are an often forgotten resource. Make the parents of your orthodontic patients feel included and valued by thinking of them when planning promotional strategies.