It’s not too early to start planning your post-COVID production ramp-up strategy. And, how you communicate with your patients now will have an impact on your rescheduling success later. Once the “air clears”, your primary goal will be to get the highest production patients in your chair as quickly as possible you can so that you can generate revenue and get your practice back on its feet.
Whether your dental office is officially closed or you are available for emergencies only, it is vital that you remain in contact with your patients to foster a sense of urgency when you need to get them scheduled. We have outlined below some initial strategies for post-COVID scheduling and communication, as they go hand-in-hand.
4 Important Post-COVID-19 Production Ramp-Up Strategies:
- Identify priority patients inside your practice management system and create specific COVID-19 patient lists for these three categories below. Then, schedule these hi-production procedures first. We are not saying that these patients are more important, as all of your patients are a priority. This strategy is about getting production and revenue moving so you can get financially healthy.
- Consider moving the COVID-canceled patients you most likely rescheduled for April and replace them with your hi-production patient priority lists above.
- Replace one operatory with another hygiene option so your front desk team can front-load hygiene and diagnose for restoration and perio.
- If you use an online scheduling system on your website, open up more new patient appointment blocks so prospective new patients can schedule.
Your hygiene or front desk teams can still use those blocks, if needed, for periodontal therapy appointments. Don’t have an online scheduling system? Contact us.
Once you have identified your post-COVID scheduling strategy, start and continue communicating with all of your patients.
9 Key Communication Strategies during the COVID-19 Crisis
Email each of these patient groups separately and assure them that their procedures are your priority and you will get them scheduled as quickly as possible depending on the COVID-19 health situation. Continue sending these separate group emails with unique messages, including:
- You are our priority
- We care about your health and safety and we promise to contact you to reschedule as soon as possible
- We are still here to answer your questions. Call us! (Refer to our previous blog about your phone answering strategies.)
Write thank-you notes to your emergency patients and reassure them their safety is your priority, and let them know they can call your office at any time with questions.
Call patients who need to update their contact information (email, cell phone, etc.).
Call your older patients just to check-in and ask how they are doing during this crisis.
Call patients who haven’t scheduled their 6-month check-up and schedule recare appointments for August/September.
Send a recare email to all patients who have not scheduled between 7 – 18 months to set an appointment for August/September and beyond.
Send hand-written thank-you notes to all patients who have referred patients to you in the past year.
Send thank-you notes to your referring dentists, as well.
Record a 30-45-second video message to your patients and post on your social media pages. Add this to the emails listed above.
We will continue to keep you updated on ideas, tips, and actions that will impact your practice throughout and after COVID-19. Please don’t hesitate to CONTACT US us at any time, as we are always here to answer questions, problem-solve and build strategies that will work best for you.