by Nancy Hyman
Observation kids are an expected stream of future patients. However many orthodontists report a lack of loyalty when it comes time to consent to treatment. It is very disappointing to guide a child and parent through the lengthy observation process only to be informed by Mrs. Johnson that “I will now shop around for the best fit for us”. (Translation: best price.)
Design a Kids’ Club program that invites enthusiasm for your practice and a rave review from the child. Parents listen to their child’s opinions and a dynamic Kids’ Club will make your practice the only choice. I have outlined below three recommendations for reviving or initiating a thriving Kids’ Club.
1. Select a Kids’ Club Coordinator and determine qualifications for enrollment.
All observation patients with kept, not-kept appointments, and not appointed from 2013 to present are part of the Kids’ Club. I encourage you to go back at least 18-24 months to reactivate missing observation patients. Parents may not have booked or simply missed their child’s observation appointment.
In addition the treatment coordinator will enroll each new patient exam child placed in observation. Create an announcement for the parent to take home and kick off the enrollment with an initial gift such as the T-shirt recommended below.
2. Determine Kids’ Club amenities.
Suggested gifts can include a practice T-shirt at the first appointment. Include a photo of the child wearing the shirt, text it to the parents, and place a photo on the Kids’ Club board inside the Treatment Coordinator’s room. A modest gift can be included at each subsequent observation appointment (electric toothbrush, oral hygiene kit, child-oriented magazine, etc.). Members of the Kids’ Club can enter an exclusive Kids’ Club Only monthly drawing. One to three winners are selected monthly and Kids’ Club kids will enter the drawing at the observation appointments.
Please note: the T-shirt is a BIG hit with the younger set. If you currently providing practice T-shirts to new patients consider also offering these shirts to Kids’ Club members. You may also consider changing the style or discontinuing the T-shirt offering to new patients. I recommend using Silk Screen Printers (609) 662-1851 or VistaPrint (866) 614-8002.
3. Kick it off!
All active (appointed) and inactive (not appointed) observation patients will receive an emailed/mailed announcement. Put a sticker on the front of the envelope to catch the recipient’s interest (Example: Kid’s Club Membership Benefits…Details Enclosed!!!).
Phone parents of un-appointed Kids’ Club children to introduce the Kids’ Club concept and schedule the observation appointment.
Phone Script: “This is (Name) from (Name Orthodontics) and I am calling to enroll (Name) in our Kids’ Club. Let’s schedule (Name) for a complimentary exam and x-ray. At his/her appointment (child’s name) will receive a (your practice name) T-shirt and we will tell you about additional exciting benefits!”
A well-organized Kids’ Club will ensure transition from observation to “start” status. Create patient enrollment systems that support an enthusiastic patient base!