How to improve your dentist waiting area
How to Improve Your Dentist Waiting Area
Whilst most people can agree that no one actively looks forward to the dentist, there are ways to make a patients experience a positive one, starting from the moment they walk through the door. First impressions count, and an immaculate waiting area has the power to turn a one-time appointment into a regular client.
Naturally, when thinking about renovations, cleaning, and optimising a space within your dental practice, treatment rooms are likely to take precedence. However, also prioritising your waiting area could be what makes your services stand out above competitors, and most importantly, stand out to patients.
Why is a dental practice waiting area important?
Why do we believe that you should be pushing your waiting area to the forefront of your mind?
A dentist practice welcomes patients from all walks of life, and a proportion of these people will find going for a check-up a nerve-racking experience. Therefore, ensuring everyone who steps through the door feels as comfortable as possible, should be priority.
Whilst attracting new clients is important, ultimately retaining patients is fundamental for business success, and this should also be carefully considered. A trip to the dentist isn’t just the few moments you are in treatment; it is also the experience prior when you’re sat in the waiting area and speaking with reception. If the waiting area is lifeless, with little care put into it, naturally customer retention is going to decline. Why return to a dental surgery which doesn’t consider the comfort, and priorities of their patients?
How to make your dental office waiting room more inviting
We have established the importance of a dental waiting area, but now is the time to think about how you can optimise your space to enhance customer satisfaction and business success.
Discover our top tips for making your dental office waiting area more inviting.
Consider the layout
The first thing you need to consider is your layout. Naturally, larger spaces will allow for more versatility when it comes to furnishings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean as a smaller surgery, you are restricted to just one design.
Rows of up-right chairs is not only an outdated layout but can also be uninviting and intimidating. A more friendly model would incorporate different areas to accommodate varying patient needs. Consider an area dedicated to occupying children, a quiet space to relax and read and an area for retail and marketing materials.
Did you know that within the first seven seconds of stepping through the door, the patient will already have a solid impression of who you are as a business? Enhancing the layout of your practice will have an immediate impact on your customers experience and will set a positive tone from the start.
A screaming baby or disruptive toddler is only going to add stress to an already nervous patient. Whilst you can never guarantee all children are going to behave, incorporating a child-friendly area into your waiting room will help to not only put kids and their parents at ease, but also fellow patients. Consider offering books and toys for children to enjoy while they wait.
When the dentist is running late, it can be undeniably frustrating. However, nothing is more frustrating than being delayed, whilst sitting in an uncomfortable chair. Naturally, if you’re in a comfortable seat, you’re likely to be less irritable or frustrated if an incident is to occur. Therefore, prioritise the comfort of your patients through calming décor and comfortable seating. Would you rather be sat in a squishy sofa area or in a row of hard, plastic chairs? We’ll let you ponder that one!
Consider the atmosphere
Nothing says intimidating like a silent waiting room. An easy, cost-effective solution is through the power of music. Invest in calming soundtracks or radio stations catering to all audiences. Instantly watch the atmosphere of the room improve.
Another consideration and way of improving the ambience of your reception area, is through having TV screens. Playing educational videos or other all-rounder entertainment is a simple way of distracting nervous patients, while adding dynamics to a plain room.
Add additional amenities
Design aside, including additional amenities will help to enhance your patients experience, and help you stand out above competitors.
You’re not alone if you’ve fallen victim to a dry mouth when you’ve been nervous. Having access to a relaxing cup of coffee or a water machine will help to hydrate your customers pre-appointment and feel more at home.
Another great option to consider is reading material, including books, leaflets and magazines. Not only is this a good opportunity to market your services and provide patients with educational material, but it also helps to distract patients and allows any waiting time to fly by quickly.
We’ve all forgotten to brush our teeth prior to the dentist at some point or another, and nothing is worse than rushing to your appointment from work and not having the opportunity to freshen up. Offering complimentary sample size toothbrushes and mouthwashes will be appreciated by working professionals and will reduce any excess anxiety amongst patients. On top of that, it gives customers the opportunity to trial your retail products, before potentially going onto purchasing a full-size.
Ensure your waiting room is clean and hygienic
Whilst you may have taken the time to prioritise comfortable, welcoming décor and furnishings around your practice, the hygiene and cleanliness of your waiting room is a factor which cannot be compromised and should be reflected throughout the rest of the surgery.
Another factor that demonstrates the importance of prioritising your dental practice waiting room is that, whilst COVID restrictions have eased significantly over the past few months, this doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t still around. With elderly and vulnerable people likely to walk through the door several times a day, creating a space where patients can feel safe, and therefore more at ease, is pivotal. Ensure a safe and hygienic space for employees and visitors alike, through investing in Covid-19 specialist deep cleaning services, such as Jani-Kings.
Discover more reasons as to why cleaning in all healthcare facilities is essential, and how it can be maintained.
What areas of your waiting room should you be cleaning?
It can be easy to confuse cleaning with simply hoovering the floors or emptying the bins, but to reassure your patients that your dental practice engages in the best cleaning practices, you will need to prioritise several areas throughout your reception/waiting space.
Cleaning practices you should be carrying out in these areas daily include:
- Disinfecting any contact points (doorknobs, card machines, desks, light switches.)
- Wipe down chairs (including armrests)
- Empty bins and replace bin bag
- Clean water dispensers (if necessary) and refill with fresh water
Cleaning practices you should be carrying out in these areas weekly include:
- Give the floor/rugs a deeper clean (including sweeping/mopping/vacuuming)
- Dust surfaces, lights, air care units and ceilings
- Disinfect bins and replace bin bags
Cleaning practices you should be carrying out in these areas monthly include:
- Thoroughly vacuum chairs or wipe them down, depending on their material
- Dust any surfaces, appliances, and corners of the room
- Clean glass windows or any other applicable items
- Check curtains/windows and wash if necessary
Discover our guide to delivering high levels of hygiene and cleanliness within your dental practice.
Hire professional dental industry cleaners
There is a lot to consider when cleaning your dental practice, particularly in a post-pandemic world where customer expectations are at an all-time high. Consider utilising commercial cleaning services which can take away the pressure and ensure your business will appear more professional, will pass inspections by the Care Quality Commission and increase patient satisfaction.
How Jani-King can help your dental practice
Jani-King understands the importance of hygiene for the safety of patients and employees at your dental practice. With over 50 years of industry experience, guarantee outstanding results every time with Jani-King’s reliable and efficient healthcare cleaning services available across the UK.