Running a dental practice is no small feat! You have to ensure that both your customers are happy and your staff members too. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day admin and operational needs that you forget what is at the core of a successful dentist practice. How you manage your dental practice will leave lasting impressions on staff and patients, so it is important to always be trying to further yourself and improve how your practice runs.
Here are 5 ways to easily improve your dental practice.
1. Improve Your Waiting Area
Nobody enjoys being in a waiting area. If you are sitting in one, chances are you are going to be experiencing nerves, anxiety and stress from the kid behind you who is kicking your chair. Make your practice unique and create a waiting area that feels comfortable and pleasant to be in. There are many ways to do this, for instance, purchasing newer furniture that looks less ‘clinical’. Additionally, you could consider ‘zoning’ the waiting room, and creating boundaries with furniture so that there is a group seating area, individuals and a play area for the children to stick to.
Another way to brighten up your waiting area is to paint the walls, do not opt for a clinical white, consider using light pastel colours instead. Also, you can put up artwork on the walls to give patients something to look at and distract themselves. If you are hoping to sell your dental practice at some point or you want to purchase another, visit griggspracticetransitions.com, and remember the first thing you will notice about the practices are their waiting areas. So aside from a waiting room affecting the patient’s experience, your waiting area holds a lot of importance regarding its sellability.
2. Use Appointment Reminders
Something as simple as sending out appointment reminders can make a big difference. Firstly, they ensure a smooth running of your dental practice as appointments are never missed, and if a patient receives a reminder and they can no longer attend it gives them more time to alert the practice. This is great for you as it means you can fill in the appointment with someone else! From the point of view of the patient, this is very helpful as life can get so busy sometimes that we can forget, and a text message that goes out 48hrs serves as the perfect reminder. It is also worth noting that text reminders have been linked to an increase in patient retention.
3. Offer Regular Training For Staff
Your patients’ experience at the practice starts with their first conversation with a staff member, which is typically a receptionist or desk team member. How they present and conduct themselves will create an immediate and long-lasting impression on the patient. This impression can either make or break your dental practice and so it is of the utmost importance that front desk staff are professional, polite, communicative and friendly! Your staff should not be robots. Nobody enjoys going to the dentist, so a warm presence at the front desk will help relax your patients.
To make sure your staff are meeting the standards you would like, you ought to offer regular staff training. For example, training on how to interact with patients, communication, computer literacy and so on. Regular training will ensure that the staff are employing best practices when they work, which will improve staff productivity and improve patient satisfaction.
4. Refine Your Brand
As a dental practice, you might think that your branding is not important, but with society becoming more and more reliant on the online world your practice needs to have an online presence. Branding builds recognition, it does not have to be excessive, but it has to be there in some format. We recommend a website and a couple of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Potential patients will send enquiries through these platforms so it is important that they are monitored and that reply rates are quick. Otherwise, people will just go elsewhere.
5. Create A positive Working Environment
The best way to ensure that staff are interacting positively with customers is to ensure that staff are happy in their working environment. Small acts of kindness towards your staff, such as ‘Fruity Fridays’ where you stock up the staff room with some nice fruit can help staff feel valued and appreciated. These feelings of appreciation will be reflected in how they work and how they communicate with patients.
So there you have it, with these five top ways to easily improve your dental practice you will see an increase in patient satisfaction and retention alongside an increase in staff satisfaction and productivity. That in itself is a recipe for success and it will set you apart from the competition.