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If your dental practice's décor has seen better days, it’s time to initiate a practice makeover. It will give you a competitive edge in today’s challenging dental market.
Looks aren’t everything, but a dental office that looks like it hasn’t been updated for years can prevent you from reaching your potential.
Even though décor has nothing to do with dental skills, signs of neglect can send a subtle but very real message to patients … especially prospective patients. If you don’t keep your office in good shape, they could interpret that as a lack of respect for them. In today’s competitive market, you can’t afford to create negative impressions in this way.
To ensure that your space looks as welcoming and professional as possible - and contributes more to your success - there are three steps you should follow.
Read Step 1 on the next page...
Conduct a thorough patient’s-eye-view survey of current conditions
It’s human nature to become oblivious to things you see every day, or to overlook gradual changes. To get an objective view of your facility from a patient’s point of view, make a conscious effort to look at everything as if for the first time. Involve your team in the process. They’ll probably notice details you’ve missed. You may even consider bringing in a family member or friend who hasn’t been to your office for a long time.
Write down every problem you see … stains or wear patterns on carpeting, frayed upholstery, faded art on the walls, nicked chair legs or counters, etc. Be judgmental, too. Even if the wall paint is still in good condition, is the color appropriate? If you love classic cars, does it really make sense to hang automobile art all over the practice?
Pay attention to functionality as well as appearance. Is seating comfortable? Does sunlight get in patients’ eyes in the afternoon? Do you have a secure place for them to hang their coats?
Also note the overall impression your practice makes. Does it project an air of up-to-the-minute professionalism? Does it welcome patients with warmth and comfort? Does it convey a sense of energy and fun? If you’re concerned about branding, does your décor support it … or detract from it?
Read Step 2 on the next page...
Develop a plan and budget for updating your space
You may only need to freshen up your office, or a total professional makeover may be in order. Only you (and your bank account) can say. In either case, you should draw up a list of “next steps,” defining specific tasks to be accomplished, who will handle them and when each stage is to be accomplished. Some of your renovations could disrupt normal practice operations, so plan carefully to avoid unnecessary downtime or inconvenience -for you, your staff and especially for your patients.
Read Step 3 on the next page...
Promote your new look
By the same token that an outdated décor detracts from your business potential, an attractive new look can help you grow … but you have to get the word out. Put photos on your website and in social media posts. Hold an open house. If your office makeover is dramatic, see if you can interest local media in featuring it. And when established patients come in for treatment, make sure your staff points out the improvements while suggesting that there’s more reason than ever to recommend your practice to people they know.
If your office décor has seen better days, it’s time to initiate a practice makeover. It will give you a competitive edge in today’s challenging dental market.
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