Making the right first impression
Apollo Dental explains that if you’re offering high-end dentistry, it must be matched by a high-end look
What does a patient experience when they walk through your doors for the first time? When we habitually inhabit the same space every day, we don’t tend to pay attention to these important details. But to a new client, perhaps someone who is apprehensive or nervous about what’s about to transpire within your surgery, every aspect of your interior design and layout tells a story about your practice.
First impressions count, and that’s just as true of your dental practice interior as it is of your handshake or your smile. So when it comes to building a relationship with the patients in your target demographic, the design of your practice may have a greater role to play than you might think.
Sending the right message
Private dental practices usually invest significant time, effort and resources into their marketing budget. That’s just good business; it’s important for the survival of your practice that you recruit the patients you need to keep your surgery afloat. You’ve probably spent time thinking about what type of people you would ideally like to be registering as new patients in your surgery, and how to target that particular demographic. It’s likely that these will include affluent professionals willing to spend top dollar on premium procedures.
But if you want your interior design to create an impression that matches your marketing, you’ll need to think hard about the message your décor and furnishings are currently conveying. If you want to build an image of a high-end, luxury practice offering the latest in high-tech treatments, you’re unlikely to succeed with a shabby waiting room cluttered with dated magazines. Instead, potential high-end clients are likely to choose rivals with cleaner and more professionally presented interiors; places where they feel a sense of confidence in the practice as a whole.
These superficial things shouldn’t matter, you may protest. Why should a patient care about the colour of our carpets when we can boast the latest hi-tech equipment and the most experienced, highly regarded dental practitioners? Unfortunately, human psychology doesn’t always work like that – and as dentists, human psychology is something we must all respect.
Visiting the dentist is, for many people, a dreaded experience that they will use any excuse to avoid. Bad experiences in childhood leave many individuals in fear of the dentist even decades later, however much their adult minds can rationalise that it’s a pain-free and friendly encounter that’s essential for their good health. We need to use all the means in our power to ‘rebrand’ the experience of visiting the dentist, and that includes creating interiors that are clean, calm and welcoming.
Whatever the impressive credentials you can boast in terms of treatments and technology, ordinary people won’t necessarily receive that message if your interior design tells them something different.
How to make the right impression
If you’ve resolved to update your interior design, follow these basic principles to improve your patients’ experience and let clients know they will be looked after.
• Be welcoming. Ensure that the journey from the door to the reception desk is intuitive and easy to navigate. Don’t make patients negotiate a peculiar layout or sit in an abandoned area where they feel they may be forgotten.
• Look high tech. Create a contemporary aesthetic that conveys modernity and really reflects a state-of-the-art approach to dentistry.
• Inject some luxury. If you’re seeking high-end clients, give them the luxury touches that they expect. Don’t be afraid to invest a little more in higher quality furniture and fittings; they will make a difference.
For a free consultation on how to maximise your interiors, if you are looking for a freshen up or even a complete redesign of your dental practice, we are here to help.