What do your patients see when they walk into your practice? If the answer is anything other than entirely positive, then it might be time to think about making a change. The look of your practice is one of the most important aspects of dental marketing, as it provides your patients with a first impression that will stick with them.
While a lot of marketing involves attracting completely new patients, often the same can be achieved by pleasing your current customers. This will encourage them to recommend you to others, which can end up reaching more people than conventional marketing will. However, in order to do this, you must make a good impression.
If patients come into a cluttered, messy waiting room with faded wallpaper and out-of-date magazines, they are going to think less of you than if the first thing they see is a modern, stylish and well-organised dental practice. This should be obvious, but many dentists simply do not have the time to worry about tidying.
However, it is well worth the investment. Clutter may seem harmless, but it gives off an impression of uncleanliness. Your dental procedures are sure to be 100 per cent sanitary, but a messy waiting room might put doubts in your patients’ minds. This is not what you want people thinking about your practice, and certainly not what you want them talking about.
So, how can you make sure that your practice makes a good first impression on patients? The first step is to invest in high-quality cleaners. You should make sure every aspect of your practice is as hygienic as your dental instruments. Every carpet should be hoovered, every window cleaned and every surface dusted on a regular basis.
If your current cleaners are not doing this to a good standard, think about making a change. It is for this reason that opting for an external cleaning service is often a good idea. Usually, if they are not up to scratch then it is easier to switch to a new service than with internal staff.
Once your practice is clean and tidy, it is well worth making sure the decor is up-to-date. Closing your practice for a few days every two or three years to redecorate can be a surprisingly savvy investment, as it will keep your practice looking fresh and new.
You should also think about giving off an air of professionalism. It is not just about looking good; you have to impress your patients with how high-quality your practice seems, and it should also make you seem like an authority on dental care.
This is often achieved with marketing materials such as dental posters or canvases. These not only add to the overall decor, they also advertise a variety of relevant messages. These could be procedures you offer, or simply tips for keeping a good standard of oral health.
Either way, they will contribute to your image, giving off a first impression of you as a high-quality, knowledgeable and professional dentist. Of course, this cannot be bluffed; you will have to prove that this first impression is correct when your patients meet you as well.
If you can keep your practice looking fantastic, you should find that patients have a very favourable view of you. First impressions are so important, so it is up to you to make sure yours is the best it can be.