It takes time and energy to get patients back in the door. The first rule is, “no patient leaves without their next appointment”. With that being said, if you have a highly transient population, you may be better off contacting this segment of your patient base closer to the due date. With these patients, they often insist on scheduling at the time of the due date due to travels, work, etc.
However, regardless, you need to dedicate weekly, uninterrupted time to efficiently work your lists. Assuming you’re not working with a great automated system, focus on the “one year” past due patients first, then call your patients of record that are up to two years past due.
Don’t call those patients you don’t want back in the door (they didn’t pay you, he was a difficult patient, or she was disrespectful)
Then focus on contacting long past due patients. Why? Because statistically, 1/3 of your patient base will come in every 12 months. Another third will come in every 12-24 months. The last 1/3 will come in every 2-10 years. Dental offices give up on patients too quickly, purging patients and terminating contact with them. Instead, keep “top of mind” presence in your patient’s lives by sending a newsletter, a greeting card, or a letter of concern.
Some patients are fearful, he or she doesn’t have the money, or he doesn’t value dentistry. Your long past due patient may have issues with one or all three of the aforementioned issues. These patients come in when something hurts or breaks, and they typically need a lot of dentistry. You have a marketing opportunity to remind them of their dental needs when you work at staying in touch.
For patients that haven’t been in for 18 months or more, warm them up for a phone call by sending a letter of concern the week prior. A strong recare and reactivation system is a form of internal marketing. For more help on internal marketing, contact me at Rhonda@MilesGlobal.net.