Your waiting room is the first and last thing patients in your office, and it has a substantial effect on whether or not they choose to return to your dental office. To ensure that you don’t have customers visiting your office once and never returning, make sure your waiting room has these four key elements:
1) Make it Comfortable
When it comes to waiting rooms, comfort is key. If your patients aren’t comfortable, nothing will make them happy. A short wait in an undesirable room will feel like an eternity, while a longer wait can be made considerably more appealing when set in a place that people actually want to spend their time.
How can you make your waiting room more comfortable?
- Invest in the right furniture: If you’ve ever spent even a minute on an uncomfortable chair, you will know how each second can feel like 10 minutes. The clinic furniture you choose should be sturdy, comfortable and accommodating to people of all sizes, ages and abilities.
- Set the mood with the right lighting: A simple change in lighting can drastically alter the entire mood of a room. If you have windows, clear the way to let in as much natural light as possible. If that is not an option, do the best you can to stay away from fluorescent lighting that emits an artificial, unwelcoming look.
- Get the temperature right: While many people differ on what is the ideal temperature, studies have shown that 70 degrees is ideal for a large majority of people. Keep in mind that having more people in a waiting room will also raise its temperature slightly.
2) Make it Fun
No one wants to wait in dead silence with nothing to do for any amount of time. This is especially true if some (or many) of your patients are little ones. Make sure that there is enough entertainment to keep people of all ages occupied.
A few things you can place in your waiting room include:
- Children’s toys and games
- A TV and movies
- Complimentary Ipads
- Charging stations for phones, tablets and laptops
- Interesting art and other décor
- Free Wi-fi
Keep in mind that there are people who prefer a bit of silence, so you should take measures to ensure that the entertainment other guests are enjoying doesn’t disturb the more introverted guests. You can do this by providing headphones to people who are using devices and, if you can, provide a separate waiting area for patients with children. This will allow the little ones to play without disturbing anyone else.
3) Keep it Clean
Even the nicest waiting rooms with the best furniture and décor can look terrible if they aren’t kept clean. You spend a lot of time keeping treatment areas clean, so don’t neglect the other areas of your office. The more work you put into keeping waiting areas clean, the more patients will want to frequent your office.
4) Keep it Brief
Even if you have the most comfortable, clean and exciting waiting room in the nation, it won’t make patients happy if they have to spend an inordinate amount of time inside of it. Staying on schedule still remains one of the best ways that you can keep patients happy and coming back to your office. The shorter the wait time, the happier your patients will be with your service.