When you enter Dr. Arleen Azar-Mehr’s office, the first word that might come to mind is “happy”. Happy is generally not a word that preteens and teenagers attribute to teeth straightening techniques, however the wildly successful southern California orthodontist has worked hard to put fun into her orthodontic practice.
From top-to-bottom, the one thing that shapes the practice is Dr. Azar’s passion for her patients, “I absolutely love watching my patients transform and love when they are happy and excited about their new smiles.”
Dr. Azar is a third generation dentist with impressive credentials. Both of her parents are dentists as well as professors at USC School of dentistry. Her grandfather was Dean of the Dental School at Seoul National University in Korea. Azar herself has a dental degree from USC and taught at the orthodontic department at UCLA Dental School.
It’s not hard to learn about Dr. Azar’s practice. In addition to a robust website, she’s active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her office is also raved about on Yelp and Google+. With all of the promotional marketing going on, you would think that Dr. Azar has hired a full time professional to manage everything.
“It’s just us,” she laughs. “We get together and brainstorm. I have a very creative team.” Here are some of the creative ways Dr. Azar engages with current clients and attracts new ones.
While researching dentists and orthodontists with strong marketing in place, we came across a lot of social media profiles gathering cobwebs. Dr. Azar understands that you can just “set it and forget it”. The Azar office puts love and care into their social media profiles. They follow back on Instagram and make sure to like photos from patients. With professional images and clear copy, those researching the practice will now that the doctor and staff care about their patients. The content is a mixture of practical – how to floss with braces – and fun – photos of the staff and patients.
YouTube is a tough nut for many small practices to crack. How can you get your story across in a clear, concise and visually appealing video? Dr. Azar effectively uses the platform for patient testimonials. The videos are low-tech but genuine and sweet. (One patient thanks her mom and Dr. Azar) Check out testimonials here.
The Give & Get Sweepstakes
Each member of the office staff wears a t-shirt advertising their latest sweepstakes. For the summer of 2017, they are running a “Give & Get” sweepstakes on Facebook. Smartly, the sweepstakes is not just open to patients but to anyone that has a Facebook account. Entries have been through the roof according to the staff.
Baseball Ticket Giveaway
A new summer promotion, patients play a baseball toss game for points. The kids with the most points are put into a drawing. The winner gets four tickets to a local baseball game. A perfect seasonal event!
Spin the Wheel – Get a Prize
Wooden tokens are given to kids who have been brushing well, wearing rubber bands, taking care of retainers and other tasks that can be hard when you wear appliances. When you get a token, you’re able to spin a big wheel at the front desk. Everyone wins – prizes aren’t expensive but the kids love it when they win a t-shirt, flashlight, glow stick and more.
Teacher Appreciation Program
School aged kids are encouraged to write a short paragraph about a favorite local teacher to nominate them for a special surprise. A representative of the office shows up at the child’s school and presents the teacher with an overflowing gift basket. Sabrina Robertson, a patient who recently got her braces off, nominated her science instructor. “It was really neat to see my teacher get a gift she wasn’t expecting! She actually cried!” In addition to recognizing a hard-working educator, this program is another way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. “A lot of my friends asked who my orthodontist was. A lot of them are getting ready to get braces so I gave them Dr. Azar’s name.”
Patient Appreciation Day
Every year, Dr. Azar holds a Patient Appreciation Day at Skateland, the most popular roller-skating facility in the area. In addition to free skates, they offer food, drinks and a prize giveaway at the end of the party. Each attendee is given a gift bag filled with branded swag.
It might not sound like a big deal, but almost all of the patients and parents utilize the free Wi-Fi in the office. It’s even mentioned in a recent review.
“The assistants are great and I always came away leaving pretty pleased. They have a reward/token system that helps you out if you come on time and you can participate in their monthly contests and giveaways. And there’s free wifi in the office! Never say no to free wifi.”
Braces Off Gift Basket
You don’t just get a “congratulations” in Dr. Azar’s office when you finally get those braces off. The staff goes a step further. Patients get a champagne bottle of sparkling apple juice along with forbidden foods for braces wearing kids – caramel candies and popcorn. It’s a social media slam-dunk. What parent can resist posting a photo of their kid’s new smile?
When we asked Dr. Azar if she had any final words of wisdom, she said, “I simply love my job, if you can even call it that!”
If you’re ever in California’s San Fernando Valley and you see a beautiful smile, it might just be a happy patient of Dr. Azar! Visit her website gallery to learn more about her promotional activities and see photos of her staff and patients.