One of the trickiest challenges that dentists face is finding that ideal balance of satisfying existing patients, attracting new patients to the practice, and reestablishing a doctor-patient relationship with past patients. The old saying, "You can never please everyone." is true even in the dental industry. It isn’t uncommon for dentists to struggle with getting patients in the door. The question is, "Why?" Could it be that your dental office looks and feels outdated and is driving your patients away?
Outdated Style, Outdated Equipment, Outdated Methods- What Message is Your Dental Office Communicating?
When it comes to trends and styles, designs usually change each decade. Does your office still look like it did when you first opened it years ago? When patients look around your waiting room, they don’t want to sit on furniture, stare at artwork and décor, or fixate on wallpaper that jumped out of the 90’s. An outdated style sends the message that you don’t care enough to invest in your practice, staff, or patients. An updated office design shows your staff that you value them, their satisfaction, and their productivity.
Equipment, Tools and Services
Even though most dental equipment has remained the same for decades, there are many advancements that have changed the face of dentistry over the years. Digital x-rays have now taken the place of radiographs; they are safer than traditional x-ray methods and emit less radiation exposure than film. Dental filling composition has changed over time as well. Various sedation methods allow dentists to treat patients in a safe, effective manner. Preventative Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry have also become just as important to patients as the standard "drill and fill" services of old. Is your practice embracing these types of changes? If not, your patients may be looking for a dentist that changes with the times.
Technology has changed the way society operates. Has it changed the way your dental office operates? Do your patients have to wait in long lines waiting to check in at the front desk, or have you implemented tablets to allow multiple patients to check in simultaneously? Does your staff have to spend hours every day making phone calls to unresponsive patients, or do you have a system in place to set up and confirm appointments via email and text message?
Patients today not only care about their own dental health, but they also care deeply about the health and longevity of the world around them. Has your dental office "gone green" yet? One of the simplest ways to show that you care about the environment as well as your patients’ smiles is by eliminating unnecessary waste. Email newsletters, appointment confirmations, and digital forms vs. paper copies to reduce your bulk paper usage.
For many people today, there is an urgent need to protect the health and well-being of the world around them. Resources are limited and unnecessary waste is a driving force behind which services they’ll use and support. If your dental office is still using outdated communication and filing methods, you may be sending a message that counters many of the values that are held by your patients.
If you’re trying to find the best way to keep and attract patients at your dental office, it could be that updating your office is just what’s needed to communicate your commitment to them. At HJT Dental Design Consultants, we’ve spent years helping dental practices around the nation transform their image to better meet the needs of their patients and their staff. Contact us today to learn how we can bring your outdated office into the 21st century with a modern feel that will effectively demonstrate to your patients just how much you value them.