Incentivizing your Orthodontist Patients?

Incentivizing your Orthodontist Patients?

Is your dog’s name “Bad Dog”? If your dog only gets attention when he jumps up on people, then he’s always going to jump up on people. It’s not that he’s trying to be bad; it’s that he’s trying to get your attention! It’s the same with kids (and some adults), too. We tend to mimic the behaviors that get us attention. That’s why incentivizing your orthodontist patients is so important. It’s teaching them the importance of good hygiene skills and a good set of teeth. Recognize their achievements “I told you I loved you when I married you! Do I have to tell you again?” A recent TED talk found that the #1 reason for job satisfaction in adults is recognition. If adults are finding and keeping jobs based on being verbally recognized for a job well done, then why not apply that to your practice? Your patients want to know what you think about their hard work. And let’s face it: wearing braces in adolescence is a hard job! When your patients follow through with their care plans, give them a high-five or tell them they did a great job. Everyone loves to hear that they’re doing a great job. Reward and incentivize your orthodontist patients Going back to the dog training metaphor, dogs learn to do some pretty awesome tricks when the action is associated with positive attention and rewards. Here’s the thing: people love getting rewarded, too. And while you won’t be teaching your orthodontist patients how to catch a flying frisbee with their mouths, you are teaching them lifelong dental hygiene skills and life...
Recognizing and Rewarding Teamwork

Recognizing and Rewarding Teamwork

Watching little kids play soccer can be downright hilarious. When they first start out playing, they all swarm the ball and accidentally kick each other. As they learn, though, they realize just how important teamwork is – and how it works. Rewarding teamwork isn’t just limited to the soccer field, though. Kids need to learn how it works in all sorts of settings – even at the orthodontist. Hey – it takes a team to make it through those braces, right? Make rewarding teamwork fun Using an incentive or gaming program is a great way to reward the patient. After all, it’s only hugely important that they stay motivated and compliant, right? Letting them set the rewards can go a long way, too. That way, they’re working towards things they want to earn. Then, let them know who they can count on as their teammates. Who do they have? Well, we sure hope that their folks are on their team! Keep some “Parent Prizes” on hand Nobody likes nagging. Parents especially hate nagging their kids to brush and floss their teeth every day. Reminding them to change out rubber bands or to wear the infamous headgear isn’t any more fun. Why not find a way to keep your patient’s parents motivated, too? Okay, so you’ll have to set the limits on what parent prizes you offer. Because while many parents would love an open bar, that may create a hassle with other parents (and your local liquor licensing board). Instead, let them earn some small prizes (because you can never have enough pens!) or let them earn points towards...
3 Tips to Better Engage your Orthodontic Patient

3 Tips to Better Engage your Orthodontic Patient

“Kids these days…” If you can appreciate that phrase, odds are you’re a parent, a grandparent, or you work with kids every day. Not that the phrase is always a negative one – in fact, working with kids is a fantastic career! However, when it comes time to engage your orthodontic patient, you’re going to want their full attention. So how can you do that? Here are 3 top tips to grab your patients by their eyeballs so that you have their full attention. 1. Engage your orthodontic patient through technology As your patient comes into the practice, odds are they’re trying to connect to some sort of free WiFi connection. In fact, we’re willing to bet you probably already provide that as a way to promote patient (and family) satisfaction. Well, you’re already getting them to click on a button that says they agree with whatever your internet rules are, right? Why not change that up a bit. Instead of having them agree to the rules they’ve never read for the umpteenth time, have them answer 2-3 questions about their care plan. Ask them to honestly answer if they’ve taken care of their teeth. If your internet provider can swing it, make them answer a question or two periodically to stay connected. Yes, you’re holding their internet hostage. But they’ll totally pony up for it. Hey – they have some candies to crush. 2. Play educational spots on the TV One of our favorite dentist and orthodontist additions was the TV in the ceiling. Seriously – whoever thought of that should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Why not take...
Kid’s Care Week is Coming Up! How do you “Make a Difference”?

Kid’s Care Week is Coming Up! How do you “Make a Difference”?

Kid’s Care Week is coming up! Every October, kids nationwide come together to do service, educate each other, or otherwise do whatever they can to “Make a Difference!” This year, Kid’s Care Week is October 26-November 1, with October 27th being “Make a Difference” Day. So what can you, as a practice, do to support the kids in this important work? Our Kid’s Care Week Ideas for Your Practice Give them a list of service suggestions Kids don’t always know right off hand what they can do to help – or where they should help. Give them a list of ideas. Let them come in and offer to tutor other patients – especially those patients who could use a little extra help before the end of the school year! As a community influence, we’re certain that you’re going to know of a wide variety of important ways to serve others. Help them become educational influencers Some of the kids will invariably want to help educate others on important causes. Well, what’s more important than dental hygiene? Let some kids help you create new educational brochures, flyers, or artwork that can be proudly displayed in your offices! Schedule a large service project Parks always need attention. Trees always need planting. Certain areas in town always need cleaning. Why not put this week to good use and schedule some much-needed community TLC and let the kids help? Not only will they be helping for kid’s care week, but they’ll be learning some awesome community pride, too. Keep an in-office list of suggestions – by other kids! We’re sure that there are...
Go Above and Beyond: Offering Back to School Photos

Go Above and Beyond: Offering Back to School Photos

What if there were yet another way to delight your patients, their parents, and get in some great, positive word-of-mouth marketing? Oh, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. With school back in full swing, picture day is on everyone’s minds. Here are a few ways to put back to school photos and Picture Day to work for your practice. Take Back-to-School Photos of Your Patients The great part about taking photos in your office is that they can be taken solo, in groups with friends, or even with their parents. The parents will love that last option! Just be sure to let them know that Picture Day is an option before they show up for the appointment. We’re sure they’ll want to look great. Your practice doesn’t need to invest in any special equipment, either. Just use a digital camera or a phone to snap a pic. Most phones take better pictures than dedicated cameras do, anyway. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can print the picture. Most families will be just as excited about getting a digital copy via email. Add Fun Designs or Instructions There are lots of free or low-cost photo enhancement programs out there. It would be easy to use one of these to spiff up the photos before you email them to your patients and their families. Whether that means using the programs to turn your patients into superheroes (or villains, we don’t judge!), to photoshop the family into a tropical paradise, or to add some orthodontic-related reminders on the bottom, the choices are limitless. If you do want to add dental instructions to...
Supporting Your Patients (and parents!) as They Go Back to School

Supporting Your Patients (and parents!) as They Go Back to School

It’s back to school season, and going back to school is more than just about adjusting your life to being in school and homework mode. It’s a complete schedule shift for families, so it’s an easy time to lose track of important things like orthodontist appointments. But don’t worry: there are some easy ways to make sure that families can make the transition more smoothly while making sure that you’re able to keep their focus on compliance! Offer Flexible Scheduling or Appointment Swaps What if your office offered extra flexible scheduling during the back to school transition? Think about how much easier extended hours or wider appointment time ranges could make life easier for families. If these aren’t realistic options for your practice, then what about setting up a Back to School Buddy Scheduling System? Let kids (or their parents) set appointments that line up with their friends. That way, they can encourage each other to remember their appointments. Offer School-Based Incentives to Keep Good Habits Going Strong Another option to capture families’ attention during this transitional time is to offer extra incentives. Offering school related incentives, like composition books or folders, is a great way to help support kids and their parents prepare for school while supporting their healthy dental habits. The kids will love it if you’ve got several different designs to choose from, too! Offer Extra Reminders Many families may love having extra reminders during the first month or two of school. Those extra reminders can come in the form of: Business card sized magnets with educational reminders (great for hanging in a locker!). Text message...