Is Your Facility Tired?
When was the last time you walked in the front door of your facility to see what your patients see? 2014 is going to be here before you know it. Now is the time to establish new goals, which may also include establishing a new look for your practice.
“Branding” means making a statement about who you are – it’s your practice name and logo, and the message they convey. Take a look at your logo. Does it distinguish your practice from others? Does it convey to the public that it’s “your” dental practice? Along with your logo and the name of your practice, there are other fundamentals that will be used consistently as part of your practice image, including colors and fonts. Your brand should convey a credible and professional image. It’s worth it in the long run to get the advice of an expert.
The artwork that is on your wall. Have those prints been hanging there for 20 years? Do you have nicely framed images of people with beautiful smiles? Does the artwork get patients to think “dentistry” or golf courses, horses or flowers? Consider incorporating the wall hangings with your new logo design and color. Do you have a professionally framed sign that invites patients to refer their family and friends? Believe it or not, you have patients who don’t even know you are accepting new patients! “Why is that?” you ask. Because no one in your office, including yourself, encourages your patients to refer the people they know. It is so simple to say, “Mrs. Jones, we enjoy having you in our practice. I am sure your family and friends are as nice as you are. We would love to have them here if they are looking for a new dentist.”
Do you have the same furniture in your reception area that you had 20 year ago? I bet it looks tired! Consider re-upholstering, again incorporating the fabric with the new logo. Everyone can appreciate complimentary Wi-Fi in the reception area. How about a small desk and chair to allow someone to work on their laptop while they wait for family? What about clutter - if you asked 100 patients if your practice appears “cluttered” what would they say? Unfortunately, clutter equates to uncleanliness. Walk around the office and take note of all the “stuff” that is sitting around on countertops. Is it necessary? Can it be relocated into drawers or cabinets? It’s also much easier to wipe down countertops that are free of clutter.
Patient bathroom - do you offer disposable toothbrushes with toothpaste, mouthwash and floss? Notice what is on the walls. How long has that print of a sailboat been hanging there? Check out the wallpaper that is in the bathroom. How long has that been there? Imagine what a fresh coat of paint would do or a more current-looking wall covering. Do you have a place for women to place their purse? Do all the walls in the office need to be repainted? Do you need to replace the old, worn-out commercial carpet with a different look, such as the new wood-look floor coverings?
Here are the real questions: Will this increase revenue? Will more new patients come as a result of updating your look? Will your employees be re-energized? How about you - would you feel good about changing the look of your facility and bringing it into the 21st century? My answer is this: You don’t know until you do it. And it sure can’t hurt!
At your next monthly team meeting, bring this concept up with your staff. Get feedback from them. Notice the enthusiasm in hearing there is a real possibility that the office they come to work in every day, some for the last many years, is going to have a new, fresh look! Just seeing the smiles on their faces is worth the investment, let alone all the positive comments you will receive from your patients.Maybe you have no idea how to even start. Ask around and hire an interior decorator. Your dental supply house may have design services that will be helpful. Step outside your comfort zone and into your facility from the eyes of your patients (and especially your new patients). Have a new look for 2014. You will be glad you did!
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