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Newsletter #956: The “Lessons from an Orthodontist” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Here’s something you rarely hear about an orthodontist’s office: “My kids are freaking excited to go back.” It takes a remarkable business model to make visiting any type of health care fun for kids — and it takes some fantastic word of mouth strategies for people to talk about it. At Austin Orthodontic Arts, they have both.

Here are three lessons we can learn from the place my kids are getting their braces:

1. Know your best talkers
2. Give them a test drive
3. Make swag work harder
4. Check it out: The Worst Music Video Ever

1. Know your best talkers

For Austin Orthodontic Arts, there’s a special group of credible people who talk to their target audience daily — they’re called teachers, and this orthodontist office knows how to make them happy. They host field trips for second graders that not only give the teachers an easy educational win, but also helps kids get to know the staff and have a cool story to tell their parents. Imagine how many conversations just one field trip can start between the people Austin Orthodontic Arts wants talking about them the most.

The lesson: Do you know who your most influential talkers are? How can you give them a great reason to talk about your business?

2. Give them a test drive

At Austin Orthodontic Arts, you don’t pay for anything until treatment starts. That gives every customer a great excuse to give them a shot — and gives the office a great opportunity to hook new customers. These complimentary appointments set up everything you need to move forward with treatment, so that when it’s time to make the decision, why would anyone go through the hassle of going somewhere else?

The lesson: You don’t have to be a retail business to give out samples of your stuff. Great complimentary service is a good motivator for return customers.

3. Make swag work harder

Kids have the opportunity to earn “Hime Bucks” (named after Dr. David Hime) for when they have good reports from their regular dentist, bring in their report card, or just brush their teeth. They can redeem their “Hime Bucks” for little prizes, or big stuff like a Wii. It starts a daily conversation every time they brush their teeth, every check up, and every report card. And for the price of each little prize, Austin Orthodontic Arts has created tons of opportunities for word of mouth.

The lesson: Austin Orthodontic Arts is turning a chore into one big, fun, rewarding game that dentists, parents, teachers, and kids are all talking about.

4. Check it out: The Worst Music Video Ever

Who are you to realize that I’m no fancy human?

Check it out: YouTube

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  1. David Hime November 3, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Andy,
    I just read your blog post and wanted to thank you for writing about our practice. I hope we continue to keep you and your family happy.

    Dave Hime
    Austin Orthodontic Arts

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