Many patients are anxious leading up to a dental procedure. It stands to reason that your dentist waiting room should be a place where patients can rest and alleviate some of that anxiety before they enter the treatment area.
The waiting room showcases how well you pay attention to detail – and how much you value the entire patient experience. The smallest accommodations make a significant difference. You can use your office’s waiting room to strengthen your patient relationships.
5 Opportunities to Create a Dentist Waiting Room that Conveys the Right Message
Appropriate Wait Times – Your patients value their time. Long waits can lead to poor word of mouth, which can have a damaging impact to your practice in the age of Yelp, Google, and other review sites. Keeping your patients waiting for long amounts of time can negatively impact the relationship before the work even starts.
Even the patients who didn’t have any form of anxiety about their procedure may become a little nervous if given too much time to think about it beforehand.
Wall Art – Artwork is an excellent way to create a soothing environment that can take patients’ minds off their visit. There is more that can be done to take advantage of this space. Your walls can be used to help build trust, and a personal connection with your patients before they set foot into the treatment areas.
You could create a “patient of the month” board. You can use before and after smile photos and talk about the work that was done. You could display photos of your office staff in their personal hobbies. These photos may serve as an excellent conversation starter as the next patient makes their way into the treatment area.
Appropriate TV or Music – If your office specializes in children’s care, a Disney movie or age-appropriate cartoon can help calm kids before their appointment begins. If your office is focused more on adult care, it can help to have a handful of well-known movie staples on repeat.
When a patient mentally connects your office with one of their favorite movies, you win. The same thing goes for music. While elevator music may have a calming effect, a selection of oldies, classic rock, or well-known blues songs may send them out the door humming a song that they love.
Indulgences – A mini fridge stocked with water can make the wait a little more bearable. Coffee, juices, and other drinks also add an excellent touch. What about adding a super-comfortable arm chair, or even a massage chair? Those are the details people will remember upon leaving.
Interior Design – Make sure that the design details contribute to a soothing environment. Every detail involving the wall color, furniture, and artwork should contribute to a professional, relaxing environment.
For instance, blues can have a tranquil, peaceful feel. The couches, chairs, throw pillows, and wall art all offer opportunity for accent color.
You work hard to attract new patients and keep them happy with the experience. Make sure that your dentist waiting room isn’t killing that experience before they ever make it back to the treatment area.