“First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between
30 seconds and two minutes.” ~ Elliott Abrams
First impressions of your dental office matter just as much.
Take/Make the time to look at your office with your patient goggles on. What does this mean?
Look at your office building, the exterior and the interior as if you were a patient or a potential patient.
Don’t be content just to “look”, actually see, hear, smell, feel and taste! (Don’t actually taste the building…but you knew that already, didn’t you?)
As a team, step outside your office…
What do your patients and potential patients see?
Poor Signage? Dirty Windows? Weeds in the parking lot? Ugly landscaping? Garbage around the building? Safety Concerns?
Next, walk in to the office through the main entrance, sit down together in the reception room. What do you see? hear? smell?
Look high and low. Dirty carpeting/flooring? Outdated magazines & decor? Stained Chairs? Peeling wallpaper? Cobwebs? Dusty plants/floral arrangements? Light bulbs that are out? Static radio coming through the speakers? Look over at the front desk area, if you see a sliding glass window that is full of signs and papers telling your patients what to do and what not to do…remove them immediately! In fact, remove the glass. It’s very unwelcoming!
Now, you’re going to want to go check out the restroom. Is it clean? Why does it matter so much that the restroom looks great? Because this is the only place your patients will visit unattended. What do they see? Filthy bathroom? Poor quality paper products? Drippy fixtures?
Most if not all of your patients that visit your restroom WILL determine the quality and safety of your care from that experience. (Isn’t that true of you when you’re at a restaurant or any public restroom? No one wants the gas station bathroom experience…not even when you’re at a gas station.)
Do the same with the rest of your office. Sit in the treatment room chairs. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you taste? What do you smell? How do you feel? Again, your patients can’t measure quality of care, they measure quality of their experience. Keep your patients loyal to your practice by making certain they consistently have great experiences.
Fifth Step: Yes, we’re going to keep moving…
Visit the front desk area. How are things looking there? Clutter represents indecision’s. Make a decision to get rid of the clutter! (That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitor’s, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs and fast food drink containers sitting out on the counters.)
Now is the NOT the time to settle for less than the best.
Work together as a team to see where improvements can be made and more importantly, act on them!
Look around the office through the eyes of your patients, what do they see, hear, smell and feel?
Make a plan to Improve Your Office. Make it Great!
Once you have truly looked at your office through the eyes of your patients and potential patients, and you have made all the necessary improvements, make a promise as a team that each and every one will do their part to keep your office sparkling! (Below, I will include just a few tips to help you make this all happen – Be sure to check them out!)
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I love hearing your comments and idea’s, please continue sharing them with me. Remember, I’m happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have. Take a minute and check out Part 2 in my Improve Your Office Series.
Yours for Greater Success,
- Make a cleaning schedule – who, what & when will the parking lot, restrooms & reception room be checked. This should be done several times throughout the day. Do not wait for the “cleaning person” to take care of those areas.
- Purchase hot/cold beverage tumblers, preferably with your office logo on them for your team members to use at their work stations – this looks much nicer than your patients seeing soda bottles or coffee shop cups.
- Get rid of the dreaded dental office smell. There are products out there that will eliminate that smell without aggravating patients with allergies. Bake chocolate chip cookies if necessary. 😉
- Make a promise as a team that when you see debris/trash you simply pick it up and throw it away.
- Keep the noise down! Patients want to be put at ease, they don’t want to hear the latest office gossip or a TV that is too loud. Avoid using patients full names or complaining about patients when you can be heard from the reception room or treatment chair.
- Have a lending library bookshelf in your reception room. Books that patients can borrow, keep or books that they can donate to your library.
- Fold the toilet paper in to a pretty fan shape. Seriously, when I would do this in the office restroom, I would get male patients coming out of the restroom asking me to show them how to fold the TP so they could surprise their wife. lol …true story.
- If this is all just too much for you, hire me to come in to your office and I will happily make it all happen for you! Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.