At Banyan, we hear a lot of inspiring stories from our clients.
This is the story of Advanced Dentistry South Florida—a bustling practice in Delray Beach. It’s also the story of Kelli Carter, three-time cancer survivor and innovative practice administrator for ADSF.
Kelli’s Story at Advanced Dentistry South Florida
Several months after Advanced Dentistry South Florida was introduced to Banyan, Kelli Carter watched a video about Banyan CEO (and fellow cancer survivor) Carine Clark.
“I know exactly how Carine felt,” said Kelli. “If you’ve been through enough medical obstacles, you know that bathrooms are always hiding somewhere (in a practice). We show our patients where the bathrooms are on their first visit. We hug them, know their names, know about their family members, know about the trips they go on, and know when a family member is ill.”
But that’s just the beginning of Kelli’s—and ADSF’s—story.
Check-In for Charity
During a phone conversation in August of 2018, Kelli Carter talked to Banyan about a unique initiative that’s making a big difference for patients and staff at Advanced Dentistry South Florida.
Kelli calls this initiative “Check In for Charity.”
Banyan: We’re thrilled to talk more about the cool campaign you have going there. How long have you been working on this particular idea—Check In for Charity?
KC: We started it around March or April of this year (2018).
Banyan: Pretty recently, then.
KC: Pretty recently. And I’ll tell you where I got the idea: from my gym. Every time we went to the gym, they would say, “Hey, check in and use the hashtag (whatever hashtag it was) and we’ll make a donation.” They were a very new gym and they’d just opened.
Banyan: That’s amazing.
KC: Yes! So, someone would say, “Oh, my friend goes to that gym. And they’re doing something—we don’t know what it means—but they just checked in there, so hm, let me go too.” And then, it spread like wildfire.
KC: So, I got to be friendly with the gym owners, and I asked, “Where did you come up with this?” They told me about a company that helps them manage the whole thing.
Banyan: That’s such a great idea! Tell us how you adapted this for ADSF—and how you manage these campaigns day by day.
KC: Well, we have a group of five people in the office who volunteered for this position (in addition to their regular duties at the practice). Anyway, they’ll do things like wearing our t-shirts when they go out. They also get other extra-cool swag to promote our office when they’re out and about. For instance, they have beach towels with our name on (them). So every time they go to the beach, people will notice the towels and say, “Oh, that’s a dental office!”
KC: And so these five people get to decide every quarter which charity we donate to.
KC: And we do have some guidelines as far as our office having non-profits we’ll support (we don’t do anything political)—and we’ll support those. Our team also comes up with different ideas. For example, they’ll have internal contests like “I’m going to get more photos than you will!” and “This is MY charity!” and they’ll even have their friends and families come here when they’re in the area. Just to stop by and take pictures at the practice. It’s fun.”
Banyan: Yes, absolutely. That’s perfect for social media.
KC: Plus, we keep it fresh—because every quarter (the charity) changes. And so you have kind of a cheerleader for each charity who reminds us during morning huddle to ask patients about our campaign. We even have little buttons that say, “Ask me about Check In for Charity,” with a banner in our waiting room.
Banyan: That’s wonderful. So, how has it gone this first little while, especially in terms of how much you’ve been able to raise for charity?
KC: So, our first quarter we raised over $500 for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Cancer Center. The team was so excited about the campaign! Of course, we tried other things in the past. Like, ‘For every review, you’ll be entered to win an iPad or TV.’ But sometimes that all got a little old.
Banyan: Right. Been there.
KC: So, instead of patients being asked to do something for a prize, we asked them, “Would you like to be part of a great cause?” That got them curious. Once we told them about Check In for Charity, they’d say stuff like, “You’re inviting me? Um, of course! Do I give you money?” and we’d say, no no no—all you have to do is check in or do a review, and we’re going to make a donation.
Banyan: How inspiring. Wow.
KC: Right—it started a whole chain reaction. People would get excited about the causes we were supporting and would say things like, “I’m going to see you guys because you’re the best dental office, and you guys really care.”
Banyan: Oh, that’s so wonderful. I was going to ask if it was ever a challenge to get your team to buy in, but it sounds like when it became their choice, then the whole situation was different.
KC: Exactly! Before, it was a chore—an absolute chore. We had one person in the office that was incentivized to get online reviews. She was a greeter, and she got online reviews. But after a while, that wasn’t exciting for her anymore. We also didn’t want patients to hate it, so after a while, we stopped. Later, when I asked our team about what they thought of the charity idea, everyone got on board.
Banyan: It’s easy to see why.
KC: The team also volunteers a lot. We’ve done a lot of crazy things. One time, we took over a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop to raise money for kids’ cancer. And with all these events, I’ve told everyone, “We make this happen as a team; it’s not just me.”
Banyan: Yes, team buy-in is everything. What else have you done?
KC: We’ve fed people at soup kitchens, held beach clean-ups, built homes with Habitat for Humanity, and done other volunteer work. After a while, even the kids who were used to getting everything they wanted began donating their allowances to charity. That’s better than anything you could ask for!
Banyan: Absolutely! That’s what it should be about.
KC: When we started this practice, we wanted it to be the best dental practice around, and we knew we’d have to do certain things to make that happen. We also get patients involved in some of our projects. For instance, this November we’ll be doing a veterans’ build with Habitat for Humanity. And we’re inviting patients to help us. Dentistry is the vehicle that gets us where we want to go. But, the things we’re doing along the way are also important.
Banyan: Of course. And how does Banyan fit into things?
KC: We’ve been using Banyan for a few months. I kept seeing wrong business profiles for our practice but every time I changed the information online, it was always wrong somewhere else. I thought, why is this happening! Anyway, I reached out on Facebook and asked, “Does anybody know of a company that (fixes) this?” I got the names of a whole bunch of companies, and I spoke with the people. Quite frankly, they weren’t very nice. And then I spoke with somebody at Banyan and they said, “Oh yeah—we can do that!”
Banyan: Sounds like you’re using One Listing, then.
KC: Yes, that’s right. We also use Banyan Social and love how easy it is to the sign the HIPAA/Media release right on the iPad and post pictures right away. That was always such a hangup before.
Banyan: Especially because your practice is already so socially minded with all those initiatives like Check In for Charity. It’s frustrating if you can’t get a media release quickly. Speaking of checking in, what does that typically look like at your practice?
KC: People usually check in on Facebook (most of our patients use it). We’ll have a few people on Instagram. Sometimes we’ll take advantage of a fun moment in the office—like when we did the Floss Dance—
KC: A patient came in, and I saw on the screen that he wanted to be an actor; that he was in acting class. If anyone would do the Floss Dance, it would be this guy! So I asked, and he said, “Hey, great!” Another patient happened to be standing in the same area, and she asked, “What are we doing? I’ll do it too!” So, I held out my phone and just started taking a video. And that’s how it all happens. You just have to be aware of little moments around you.
Banyan: We call those “moments that matter.”
KC: As for tracking our numbers, here’s basically what we do: I’ll go and look through the analytics and say, “So this is how many reviews we had this quarter, how many check-ins through Facebook’s analytics, and then we also get helpful information in our Banyan portal. That pulls from different places as well. It probably takes me—I don’t know—maybe two hours a quarter. Which is not much time at all.
Banyan: Not bad! So, are you the person in charge of tracking all the data on your campaigns? Do your team members also help figure out the number of shares, posts, and reviews?
KC: Yes, absolutely. I’ll check things to make sure the numbers look right. One month, our brand ambassadors said we only had 6 reviews, but I knew we had more. It turns out that they were looking at Banyan’s weekly view rather than a monthly report. The numbers may not always be 100%, but if we can be in the ballpark, then we know where we stand.
Banyan: What other strategies do you use to spread the word about your practice?
KC: We have little signs in the operatories and at the front desk that say what our charity is, and little directions about how people can participate. One thing we had to do was shut off our wifi when doing reviews, otherwise, our IP address would interfere with the process and reviews wouldn’t post correctly.
Banyan: That’s smart. It’s great that you can sidestep those typical problems and get your reviews up on Google and other platforms.
KC: Many people in our area use Comcast, so we just tell them to log in through their Comcast account. It took some adjustment, but our reviews go through better now.
Banyan: That’s good news. We’re glad Banyan can be a part of your process, too.
KC: Absolutely. Banyan is a tool that helps us in our mission to help others. If we take a picture of a patient when they can sign right there, that’s easier for us. We can grow our practice, which helps us make more of a difference for everyone. We can give back to more people.
Three years ago, we had three doctors, seven operatories, and maybe twelve total staff members. [Editor’s note: ADSF now has nine doctors, 18 operatories, and 35 staff members.] The reason we’ve grown is that we do the right thing. We DO care. Some people say that dentistry is all about money. We say, “No, it’s not.” Money helps us do more things for others. It’s what we can do for our community and the people that are here. That’s the biggest difference.
We didn’t go through all this growth just for ourselves. We went through it for our families and those in our community. We want people to be better because of their time with us; the human factor is so important.
Banyan: That’s so wonderful to hear. In your initial letter to us, you mentioned your status as a cancer survivor. How’s everything going these days?
KC: Well, cancer is a kick in the pants that makes you re-evaluate every single thing in your life. That’s what I’ve done. We don’t live forever, so the time that we have really matters. We better be impactful with it.
Banyan: We all need to remember that advice. Our hat is off to you for being so courageous and for all the great things you and your staff are doing for ADSF patients down in Florida.
KC: It’s not hard! Really, it’s not.
Banyan: Thanks to the entire team at Advanced Dentistry South Florida. You inspire us!