When you walk into your dentist’s office, how are you greeted? Are you greeted with a warm and friendly welcome by a smiling receptionist, or are you made to wait at the glass for five minutes while the desk clerk finishes his or her business before they finally ask you about your appointment time? Chances are it’s the latter. Dental office construction, and most healthcare facility construction for that matter, is designed so that patients interact with a glass panel first and then a human. This is not good customer service. If you want your patients to feel warm, welcome and appreciated from the point of first interaction, you need to reconsider your office design.
The Dental Receptionist Concierge
A new concept in the field of office construction is the receptionist concierge. More dentists are beginning to treat their office personnel more like hotels do. Think about it: when you walk into a hotel, what is the first thing you see? More often than not, it’s a large desk with one or more people behind it who are ready to serve you. There are comfortable chairs set up for you to lounge in when the receptionist is busy, and when they’re not, you’re able to interact with the person behind the desk in a very personable and human way. Dental office construction should be designed in much the same way—with a person behind a desk (not a glass panel) smiling and ready to serve.
Meshing Function and Design
A lot of dental professionals believe that by treating their office personnel as if they were concierges would somehow prevent them from doing their job. That would not be the case. A hotel concierge does much of the same work as a dental receptionist—he or she answers the phone, schedules appointments, greet customers and notify staff when a person has arrived. A hotel concierge can do all that from behind a desk, so why can’t a dental receptionist?
It’s time for dental offices to stop being so clinical and to start treating patients so clinically. It’s time to reconsider dental office construction design.