From their eyes to your wallet: there's a reason why patients aren't picking you to perform cutting-edge services.
Optima Healthcare Group, a specialist in the interior design and fit-out of medical practices explains why the look and feel of a dental clinic's waiting area has everything to do with a patient's repeat visit.
If it has been more than a year since you have tried to experience your office through your patients' eyes, you're not alone.
Many dentists often become blind to what their clients see when they walk through the doors, and with laser sharp focus head straight to that first "to do" of the day. While it is this kind of focus that keeps a practice running smoothly, it is important to stop and take the temperature of your patients' first impression – in particular, your reception and waiting areas.
Because from the moment they set foot into your reception area, to the moment they sit down in your chair, you are sending your patients a message. And the same message applies across all areas of your practice, even encompassing how capable they feel you are of providing state-of-the art dental techniques.
What is that message? Look around. Are they seeing the outdated, drab, or overly sterile waiting area you set up in 1992? Does your reception area look mismatched, cluttered, or chaotic? Do they have to wait while your staff fetches files, printed documents, or supplies from another part of your office?
Even more important, do your patients feel their privacy is honoured when they check in, or do they feel like they are announcing their most personal details to strangers?
Everyone knows that a patients' first impression is a lasting one, so if your reception and waiting area appears outdated, how do you believe they perceive the service you provide?
Keeping this fresh
On the flip side the dental practices that keep up with the latest trends, offer warm and inviting environments, and reception areas where patients feel their private information is kept private, are perceived as the top choice of patients community-wide.
In fact, many dental practices find they receive more word of mouth referrals and an increase in the patients requesting higher priced services after an update – because patients feel more comfortable placing their health in your hands.
Why? When your patients see that you are investing the time and money into the appearance of your practice they will automatically conclude that you are a dentist who keeps up to date with the most recent trends in your field.
So, are your patients getting the right impression?