One of the biggest issues that far too many dental practices have to deal with is patient no-shows and canceled appointments. This is problematic because these appointment no-shows are filling up appointment slots by patients that actually show up. Fortunately, as long as you use your dental patient marketing right, you can minimize canceled appointments and patients no-shows. Here are some ways to minimize lost appointments using your dental patient marketing.
Implement a cancelation fee
One of the easiest ways that you can minimize the number of canceled appointments and patient no-shows is by implementing a cancelation fee that has to be paid automatically when a patient cancels their appointment or doesn’t show up. Implementing a fee like this helps patients take their dental appointments more seriously since there’s additional money at risk.
However, if you’re going to be implementing a system like this, it’s important to make sure that patients are aware of this particular system. This guarantees that patients are fully aware of the cancelation fee system and doesn’t result in an angry phone call to your practice because of an unexpected charge.
Risk double bookings
If you’re not comfortable with charging your patients a cancelation fee, there are a couple of other ways that you can still minimize dental appointment cancelations. One way to make sure that all of your dental appointment slots are booked is by double booking your appointment slots. This helps maximize dental appointments since there is a lower chance of having both patients cancel at the same time.
However, this is risky because if it turns out that both patients end up showing up, then one of them is going to have to wait while you attend to the other patient, which might cause an issue with long wait times. As mentioned, this has the potential to pay off, or end up hurting your practice, so be careful when using this method.
Send out appointment reminders
Some patients end up not showing for their appointments simply because they forget that they’re due for a dental cleaning or forget about their dental appointments altogether.
A good way to counter this is by sending them regular reminders either via text or email which reminds them about their upcoming dental appointments or that they should be scheduling their next dental cleaning soon. Even a small reminder like this can go a long way in helping minimize the number of patient no-shows you might have to deal with at your dental practice.