We have all heard the phrase, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!” Have you ever driven away from an appointment because the outside of the business looked unappealing? Did you ever eat at a restaurant and decide to never go back because the service was terrible? The imprint of a first impression is a pivotal moment for anyone you are dealing with, whether it is a personal relationship or a business relationship. Almost immediately we form opinions based on first impressions and your patients do the same thing. Within seconds, they already have an opinion about you, your practice and your staff. It’s important to make sure that your patients don’t drive away as soon as they pull into the parking lot and that they will want to return after their visit. To put it simply, it is critical to make a good first impression in order to make a long-lasting impression.
Here are some tips to creating a long-lasting impression:
1. Have a clean office space
This is true for both inside and outside the office. A clean office space will make your patients feel at ease and also comfortable. This does not just mean dust free, but also clutter free so patients can walk easily and find a place to sit while they are waiting to be seen.
2. Professional Staff Appearance
The dress code policy should be enforced to avoid any conflicts in unprofessional work attire. A sleek, clean look to the staff’s appearance makes for a good first impression.
At all times, staff should be polite, considerate and helpful to their patients. This shows respect and gratitude for their business and in return, the patient will want to come back for continued care. A smile goes a long way – remember, it’s contagious!
4. Welcoming Environment
Patients should be able to navigate themselves around without asking too many questions. Visible restroom and water signs are extremely helpful. Comfortable chairs and plenty of reading material will make their waiting time more enjoyable as well. In addition, make sure that the waiting area is well lit.
Creating a good first impression is the gateway to meeting the patient’s needs and expectations. A warm, friendly atmosphere along with knowledgeable staff will not only create a good first impression, but leave a long-lasting impression as well.