People lead busy lives with very little downtime. For some, a visit to the dentist may be one of the few chances for them to kick back and relax. But it’s difficult to feel relaxed when you’re trying to get comfortable in a stiff wooden chair with a dirty, stained upholstery cover, while you slump against an ugly end table cluttered with outdated magazines.
Since the waiting room is the first place patients will see upon stepping foot into your office, making a positive first impression is crucial. Save the sterile environment for the treatment room and instead opt for giving your patients a waiting room experience that they’ll never forget and be eager to return to again.
Here are five waiting room essentials:
The word stylish doesn’t typically come to mind when thinking of dental offices, but it should. The color, pattern, and type of material you choose for your waiting room furniture should be carefully chosen to reflect the brand of your dental practice. For example, a pediatric practice will likely choose different fabric or furniture choices than a clinic aimed at adults known for cutting edge services and equipment. In that case, furniture should be simple and clean to reflect the modern look and feel of the practice, whereas furniture chosen for pediatric practices can be a bit more whimsical or fun.
The manner in which your furniture is arranged in your waiting room is just as important as which fabric pattern you choose. Clustering chairs versus having everyone grouped together allows more privacy and space. For example, placing some chairs in the corner near the kids area so parents can properly supervise their children while adults who are there without children can relax in a different location of the waiting room away from the noise.
Waiting Room Helper
Appointing or hiring a staff member to look after the patients in the waiting room after a dental office redesign is a good investment because nothing is worse than feeling as if you’ve been forgotten about or abandoned in the waiting room after checking in at the front desk. Having an appointed staff member check in on patients to make sure their needs are being met, as well as keeping them informed on wait times, will make patients feel important and valued.
Time seems to move more slowly when we find ourselves with nothing to do, so keeping patients active, busy, and entertained, versus focusing on the clock and complaining about the wait time is ideal.
Offering free wifi, flat screen TV’s mounted on the wall, or even a retail shopping area where patients can purchase dental supplies if space permits.
Comfortable and Relaxing
Since most patients would much rather be in the comfort of their own home versus sitting in a dental office, why not bring those same comforts of home straight into your waiting room?
During your dental office remodel, consider adding those extra special luxuries, which can go a long way in making a patient feel pampered and relaxed, as if they’ve been transported to a fancy day spa versus a dreaded dental appointment.
Having a coffee bar, refreshment station, or mini fridge with bottled water will keep them comfortable and content while they wait. Leather recliners or massage chairs placed in front of a flat screen TV, or even a cozy, roaring fireplace can make a patient feel right at home. If you’re considering a remodel for your dental office, let’s talk. We’ve been remodeling dental offices for decades and know the unique needs your office meets everyday. Contact us today!