Improve Customer Service With an Updated Intake Area
Posted by HJT Design
While the customer service of a dental practice is highly dependent on the skills of the staff members, the look, feel and functionality of the intake environment can also play a major role. If you are considering an update to your intake area, there are several areas where you should focus your efforts. Here are the most notable ones:
As the initial point of contact with the patient, the reception desk should be designed for both comfort and privacy. In particular, the counter should be the appropriate height for either a standing or sitting patient and include side baffles to block the view of adjacent clients. Also, do not forget to account for disabled clients who may need a wider countertop to interact. Finally, customer relationship management (CRM) software should be implemented so that clients can be greeted in a more familiar manner and not just handed a clipboard and asked to fill out the forms.
Furniture is easily the most important part of your patient waiting area. It is the first thing your patients see and thus sets the mood. Comfortable chairs and easily accessible tables are a necessity but so is ample leg room and space between the seats. You do not want your waiting room to seem like the area around the boarding gate of an airport. In addition, the colors of the furniture, the walls and the carpeting should be muted to instill a sense of calm in your waiting patients.
If your dental practice is geared towards families or children, you should definitely consider adding a dedicated play space for your youngest patients. A play space is doubly beneficial. First, it keeps the youngsters occupied while they await their appointment and, secondly, it keeps them from inadvertently annoying your more adult patients who may be just as – or more! – nervous than the children. A play space need not be particularly large but it should be placed away from the main waiting area and kept highly visible.
At least two bathrooms – not including the one for employees – should be provided and one of them must be ADA accessible. Additionally, a dual water fountain with a place for both tall and short patients is a necessity. A water cooler can suffice but refilling it is just another task that will occupy your staff while they could be attending to something more important. A single-serve brew station is a nice addition especially if you will also provide hot chocolate for the little ones who are awaiting your care.
The intake area of a dental practice should assuredly be aimed at distracting its occupants while they wait for their appointment. A television is a good start but most people will not be satisfied with whatever programming is chosen. Instead, consider a colorful fish tank or some interesting art. No one will complain about either and they both engender very relaxed feelings. Tech-savvy patients will want to stay connected so install some sort of free wi-fi service. It is well worth the few extra dollars that it will cost.
For further information on improving your customer service by updating the intake area of your dental practice, please contact us at HJT Design. With our experience in these types of remodels, we can help a lot. Find us online at HJTDesign.com or reach us directly with any questions at 866.213.1268.