Does Your Practice Need A Makeover In 2016?
When patients walk into a dental practice, they want to feel comfortable. They want a clean, relaxing atmosphere that puts them at ease. When you look around your dental practice, is that what you see? Take some time to really look at your practice from a patient’s perspective – both inside and outside. Do you see a comfortable, attractive environment or are you starting to realize your practice just might be a little out of date?
As 2015 comes to a close, now is a good time to think about updates you can make to help attract and keep patients. Look for ways to create a relaxing environment that will make more patients want to call your practice their dental home.
Not sure where to get started? Here are a few tips to help you update your practice and grow your patient base.
Consider investing in a new sign. If your sign is old and unattractive, patients will judge your practice before they even walk in. They’ll assume the practice is outdated too. Make sure your new sign features your logo, and is illuminated so patients can see it at night.
Make sure the front of your building is clean and attractive. Spider webs, peeling paint and even a worn doormat could make patients leery about entrusting you with their care. Make sure the outside of your building is clean, inviting and properly maintained.
Give whoever cleans the office a checklist of what to look for both inside and outside, including spider webs and fingerprints. This might seem small, but a clean, well maintained building will help put patients at ease from the start, and will give them a positive first impression before they even walk into the reception area.
Model your reception area after a living room. Patients don’t want to sit in a cold, stiff environment while they wait for their appointment, yet I’ve seen so many practices set their reception area up this way. These practices have white tile floors that echo when you walk, and old plastic chairs lined up against the wall. If this describes your practice waiting area, you have to admit it isn’t exactly warm and inviting, and could be enough to send patients to the practice down the street.
If you’re ready for an update, I suggest you start by placing a noise-absorbing area rug on the floor, and replacing those stiff plastic chairs with a comfortable sofa and arm chairs that are easy for patients to get out of. Add tables and lamps, and switch out any plastic trees for live plants. This will make your reception area feel more like a cozy living room than a sterile medical environment and will help put patients at ease as they wait to see the doctor.
Adding a refreshment center is another way you can make patients more comfortable as they wait for their appointment. Offer patients coffee, tea, water or juice to help them relax.
Create an atmosphere that gets patients thinking about dentistry. While images of beautiful outdoor landscapes might add a nice touch to the reception area, consider putting photos of patients and families with beautiful smiles on your walls instead. This will help set the tone for every patient who visits your practice, and will show patients what you can do to help them improve their smile and reach their oral health goals. It may even prompt them to ask about cosmetic services and how you can help them improve their smile.
Dress the part. Patients don’t just judge you based on how your practice looks and feels. The way the team dresses also makes an impression. I suggest telling your business team members to come to work dressed in business attire. Remember, these team members talk with patients about accepting thousands of dollars in dental treatment, and it’s important for them to look professional during these conversations.
Updating your practice won’t cost you much, but the changes you make will impress your patients and even help build team morale. Loyal patients will notice your beautiful new sign, the more comfortable reception area and how clean the outside of the building is – and they might even mention all the updates to their family and friends. New patients will also feel more comfortable when they first walk in, no matter how nervous they are, and that goes a long way in growing your patient base and your production numbers.
I encourage you to stop for a minute and take a look at your practice through your patients’ eyes. If you don’t like what you see, make the necessary changes. You’ll be amazed by how much a few updates can benefit your practice.Forward this article to a friend
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