I love it when I see a business doing it right. And I love it even more when that business isn’t one you would think would naturally embrace digital best practices. Both my kids go to an orthodontist in Collierville TN. His name is Dr. Bill Burriss. (http://www.burrissdds.com/)
The first thing Dr. Bill is doing right is he has learned that, in order to reach his patients’ parents effectively, he must speak to them on their terms. Here is what Dr. Bill does:
1. When I make an appointment, I get a follow up email within about 10 minutes with appointment details and an option to add it to my Outlook calendar.
2. A week before the appointment I get an email reminder of the upcoming appointment.
3. The day before the appointment, I get a text message reminding me of the appointment. If I don’t reply to the text confirming that we will be at the appointment, I receive a phone call at home at the end of the business day reminding us.
I am sure that their multi-channel, multi-device approach is good for business by keeping missed appointments to a minimum, but as the one responsible for the patient, I appreciate their willingness to speak to me via the channels that I have approved for them to contact me. I told them it was ok to email, text and call me. And they used that information to its fullest extent. Many times when you provide contact information to a business, you only hear from them once or twice a year and it’s usually just a promotional message…nothing that benefits you directly. These communications are designed to benefit me, which I appreciate. They also happen to benefit Dr. Bill’s practice which is just fine with me.
In addition to how they contact me for appointments, they have an active Facebook page with a mascot, Bracket the stuffed dog. Bracket can be seen all over Collierville, TN with their social media manager taking him to various kid friendly locations for photo opps. Over spring break, they held a contest, providing clues throughout the week as to where Bracket was. He ended up being at the Library, of course. Leave it to Dr. Bill to sprinkle in messages about reading and literacy with those about good dental health. The winner got some sort of prize that I can’t remember, but I saw all kinds of kids posting on their Facebook page that week. No offense to Dr. Bill, but there can’t be many less cool people for a teenager to be connected to on Facebook than their orthodontist, but Dr. Bill and his team have cracked the code!
If an orthodontist can figure out how to become cool to a bunch of teens and pre-teens on Facebook, there has to be hope for the rest of us. The hardest group to reach and appeal to now is Millennials. And it has got to be next to impossible to get Millennials excited about dental care, wouldn’t you think?
"Bravo" to Dr. Bill and his staff for finding the secret sauce that appeals to the oh-so-elusive Millennials and for lighting a fire under the rest of us by setting a new standard. I am a student of case studies of many Fortune 500 companies’ marketing efforts. I was all over the Oreo-Super Bowl social media incident! It was high profile and in all the industry publications and websites within a few hours. But I love that this success story is one about a small business owner whose primary job and passion in life has nothing to do with digital media itself. He and his team figured out how to communicate with their patients and families and took it to the next level.
Do you have some small business wins to share? Please post them here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to read about them!