Months with minimal production. An uncertain future. Things just aren’t like they used to be. But soon enough, they will be again. Even so, without a solid plan, your first few months back won’t make up for the time that was lost, unless you have a plan. So here’s what to do with your schedule.
Michael’s ground marketing strategies are a great place to start. And once you have prospects ready to sign on for their next appointments, effective scheduling is the next most important thing. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to hand a prospect a tablet so they can book an appointment straight into your system, right then, right there, no front-desk action or phone calls needed.
These tips will be valuable to any practice, but LocalMed makes accomplishing them extra easy. Even if you don’t currently use LocalMed, these tips will still put you in a position for success for whenever your doors reopen in full.
#1 If you’re still at home, work from home.
Elective procedures are back in some locations. Others are still locked down. Regardless, even if routine dentistry isn’t happening in your practice, there is so much to do, and it needs to be done now.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room first - you obviously can’t do root canals in a lawn chair in your garage. That’s not exactly legal, and your patients would probably prefer your office’s decor over a chair side view of your lawn mower. Garage dentistry is not what I’m recommending.
Instead, let’s take first things first. Your staff needs easy access to your schedule. Ideally, it won’t take any fancy remote connecting to your server. LocalMed makes that easy. You can see how it works here:
You need to be able to schedule emergency appointments. You need to be able to manage your schedule even if your staff isn’t in-office. Most of all, you need to be able to make sure you’re in contact with your patients so that your schedule can be full when you reopen.
#2 make new kinds of appointments available
If your area hasn’t reopened, emergency appointments will be your breadcrumbs until it has. Those appointments need to be available online. If you have LocalMed, that’s an easy change. If you don’t, please, change whatever online scheduling you have to make emergency appointments top-priority. We may not be able to hit our usual production numbers, but making emergency scheduling available makes sure we’re claiming as much as we can.
Time wasted is money wasted, and that’s something we can’t afford to do right now.
#3 Embrace a flexible schedule
When everything is uncertain, we need to adapt.
I’m sure you’re sick of the cliche “uncertain times.” It’s in marketing everywhere right now. It’s right up there with “we’re in this together,” which nowadays is pandering newspeak for “buy a Toyota.”
That said, as annoying as that phrase is, “uncertain” is probably the most succinct way to describe where we are right now. We don’t know when things will reopen. The light may be peeking through at the end of the tunnel, but none of us can truly know when you’ll be able to get back into the full swing of things as they were before this March.
This means you need an easy way to modify your schedule. What’s more, we believe you should allow your patients the same power, within controls that you set. It’s not about handing the reins to the public, it’s about doing what’s necessary now to make sure that, whenever your reopening day comes, the schedule is full of the right patients.
If you don’t use Localmed, make sure your staff is putting in the necessary hours to give you that fantastic first day back.
#4 Work Fridays and Saturdays
This isn’t something we recommend lightly, but here’s the reality of the situation: Two and a half months of payroll and other practice overhead with no production to show for it can be lethal for many practices. And that’s the smallest time window. We need to think bigger. And unfortunately, that will probably mean working days that you haven’t worked in years.
Recovering is going to take some grit, just like the last two months of this has. But it will pass. Ride it out. It won’t last forever.
Set goals, and dedicate yourself to achieving them. They can be whatever is realistic for your practice.
Maybe you want to knuckle down and work extra hours until your production numbers match what they would have been without a pandemic. That’s incredibly ambitious and maybe impossible. Maybe you want to make up one month’s loss. Maybe you just want to get back on your feet.
Every financial situation is different, and you can choose what’s best for you. Regardless, unless you are extraordinarily comfortable, don’t just go back to business as usual. Unusual times call for unusual resolve, and it’s in your hands to set goals that make sense for you and work to achieve them.
Regardless of what you choose to do, taking control of your schedule is the first step on the path back to success. If you want an easy way to upgrade your schedule, call us at (888) 203-7531, or check it out by clicking here.
If you use PROMO CODE: DENTALMARKETER10, you’ll gain access to LocalMed’s scheduling with no long-term obligations until June 1st, or whenever restrictions in your area are lifted, whichever comes later.
LocalMed is also giving you a FREE guide so you can see EXACTLY what LocalMed will do for your practice and how they can bring in MORE new patients!
Stay safe, and thanks for reading!
Written By: Kevin from LocalMed