Conveying A Message

It’s officially been 4 months since we’ve moved to our new location and I’m happy to report that we’re all still alive.

Just to recap, we made the decision to move to a bigger location last fall and moved our office this past April. Thinking about moving your office? Please read this to find out about what had to happen behind the scenes to make our move happen.

I’m so glad that we are here and settled in. Quite frankly, I never want to move again. Let’s just say that I barely remember February, March, April, and May of this year. My birthday was in the middle of that and I have no recollection of that day whatsoever. For the most part, things were on schedule and according to plan. But you know, there are always those things that you DON’T plan on-like one assistant leaving and the other one breaking her foot and being off work for 7 weeks.  There were many 18 hour days and 126 hour weeks for me during those months. I didn’t see my family or talk to my friends because I just didn’t have time. I also didn’t blog! I’ve missed writing to all of you! I lost a lot of weight…then I gained a lot of weight…the stress was unreal. Did I mention that I never want to move again? 😉

Anyway…

Those who know anything about me know that I’m OBSESSED with our patient attendance. When I walk into the office, if there are 30 patients on the schedule, I would like all 30 of those patients to arrive and be seen that day. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing more than the number of patients who are scheduled. I’m a huge fan of, “We can see you right now…” to those who call throughout the day. But I digress…

Prior to the move, I worried a lot about how our patient attendance would be for the first 6 months at our new location. We don’t allow for schedule buffer time throughout the day and so if we had patients who were late, or forgot that we had moved, etc, that could really mess us up. I worried and worried…because that’s just what I do.

Well, I did more than just worry about it. I decided that I wasn’t going to let poor attendance happen at the new office. We couldn’t afford for that to happen. Missed appointments KILL operating costs. In a bigger office, with more overhead, we coudn’t afford to have empty patient chairs. I thought about what other big companies do when they make a big change. That’s when it hit me. I knew we needed to create a relocation marketing campaign to convey our moving message. I wrote a little about that campaign in my last blog, but here are the highlights.

1. I trained our staff to use the same catch phrase, “We’re moving so we can give you more, and it’s only one exit away!” I wanted that phrase to be a knee jerk reaction for our team whenever they spoke about the move. I wanted to promote the positive and to make patients realize that we were moving to better serve THEM.

2. We made sure to tell as many patients as possible in person. We wanted to be able to look them in the eye and make sure the message was received. “Mr. Smith, the next time we see you it will be in our new office. We’re moving so we can give you more, and it’s only one exit away!”

3. We made a flyer so that we could hand patients something to look at. I’m a big believer in always letting patients leave the office with something in their hands. The flyer had all the details along with an incentive to join us at the new location.

4. We included frequent updates about our moving progress on our office facebook page.

5. Our monthly newsletters (which I create and send for free via mailchimp) talked about the move. People love looking at pictures so we included a bunch of photos.

6. We changed our voicemail message and included info about the move.

7. Our email signature contained moving info as well along with direct links to google maps and a photo of the outside of the building.

8. We wrote blogs about the move.

9. We just talked about the move…a lot.

So, here we are four months into the new office, and I’m proud to say that our attendance has not suffered at all.

Our new patient attendance is at 100%

Our current patients attendance is 97.4% (So close to rounding that up to 98%!)

I couldn’t be happier with those numbers-especially since we’ve seen almost 300 MORE patients in the same 4 month time period as last year. I’m incredibly proud of our team and the way they contributed to conveying the relocation message to our patients. It just goes to show that if everyone in the office understands the message and has the tools to convey the message, then the office can have continued success. For us, it took lots of little steps to achieve our goal of continued high patient attendance rates, but we did it. If we weren’t so persistent and consistent with our campaign, I know that we wouldn’t have been as successful. Think about it. Do YOU think we would have the attendance rates we have if we didn’t put forth meaningful effort with EACH and EVERY patient prior to the move?

High attendance rates just don’t happen on their own.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that our office did a stellar job at conveying a message. It’s a strength of ours and I need to use that for our marketing advantage. We are offering some new ortho services now and I decided that we need a similar campaign to get the word to our patients about it. So,  I talked to our team about conveying this ortho message. We have a catchphrase, “We now offer multiple orthodontic options to give you a straight smile!”. I made a flyer which gets talked about and handed to each patient. We’ve been posting about it on facebook, on our newsletters, and blogs. I haven’t even added it to our voicemail and email signature yet and we’ve already received calls and started treatment!

Got any questions or comments? I always love to hear from you!

 

 

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