Research shows that wait times are one of the largest customer concerns when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. That’s why it’s so important to create the best waiting room experience possible.
A couple months ago we gave you some basic tips to upgrade your waiting room. But what if you’re ready to go the extra mile in providing your patients with an experience that makes them enjoy their time spent waiting in your practice?
Here are a few ways you can take your waiting room experience to the next level.
A patient’s experience in your office begins the second they walk through the doors. Good communication is the best way to immediately make your patients feel welcomed.
When a patient arrives, the front desk team should greet them (by name, if possible), provide instructions on the check-in process, and address any questions or concerns they might have.
This is also a good time to inform your patients of how long they can expect to wait before they’re taken back for treatment. In general, people are more satisfied with a longer wait when they know what to expect than they are with a shorter wait of unknown length.
Also, if you’ve had an office emergency—a staff member is out sick, or an urgent patient had to be squeezed in—let your patients know. They will be much more accepting of an extended wait time if they understand the reasoning behind it.
People love to see that their local dentist is in touch with the surrounding community. A magnetic or bulletin board can serve as a place to post local events, organizations, and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.
Your community board is also a great place to put a few printed copies of your practice’s email newsletter for patients to read while they wait.
Add a Retail Area
Do you recommend certain brands of toothpaste, toothbrushes, or mouthwash? Do you offer home whitening kits for sale? If so, adding a small retail area to your waiting room can provide a convenient way for patients to stock up on everything they need for great at-home dental care.
The retail area not only saves your patients an extra trip to the store—active browsing can make their overall wait time feel shorter.
It’s time for healthcare offices to start taking cues from other industries when it comes to waiting room luxuries. If your patients can expect to find a small beverage station and free Wi-Fi at their local hair salon and car repair shop, why should they expect any different from their dentist? Offering these small amenities can make them feel welcomed and cared for.
If you’d really like to go above and beyond, some dentists have even added a massage chair to their waiting room. What better way to show the parents of your pediatric patients you care than by giving them a place to relax while they wait for their kids?
Filling out forms is a huge frustration for patients, especially when they have to input the exact same information at each visit. With the DentalForms‘ digital check-in forms can save time and add up to a shortened overall wait, leading to more satisfied patients.app for iPad, your patients will be able to quickly and easily review and update their previous answers without starting from scratch. The convenience of