Dr. Chuck Hughes is a highly successful pediatric dentist in Jackson, Tennessee, and a valued customer of IDS. We sat down with Dr. Hughes to ask him about his experience working with IDS and the impact it has had on his practice. Now an enthusiastic office ‘themer’, he was happy to oblige.
IDS: Dr. Hughes, what made you contact IDS in the first place?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: When I first saw them in PDT magazine and then at the AAPD conference, I thought, wow, this company is really creative and I bet if I put one of their giant characters on my roof, it would stop traffic. Of course it would be great advertising.
Then, taking it one step further, I thought about why I became a pediatric dentist. I love working with kids and I know how important it is for them to learn how to take care of their teeth. What if I could do more to make their office visit fun, engaging and educational? Everyone at our office already does so much to put kids at ease but what if we could make the office seem like a fun place for kids, super welcoming and just for them… how great would that be?
IDS: Were you doing anything to market your practice before you found IDS?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: At the time I was doing everything I could think of! I was doing newspaper ads, TV commercials and radio spots. It was expensive but what I believed needed to be done. I was spending about $6000 a month on what would help grow my practice.
IDS: Did you get the results you were looking for and how did you know?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: I knew as soon as we opened that we were getting a lot of new patients, so I asked my staff to keep track by asking each new patient or their parents what brought them in. At the time, like I said, I was spending a significant amount each month on promotional ads in the newspaper, on TV and radio and a bunch of other things. And all those things took a lot of time to manage.
I was thinking that I would have been happy if my new investment in IDS had been responsible for 50% of the new patients tracked. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the results came in after six months… a full 94% of people surveyed cited the exterior theming!! I was so happy to hear this. I knew I was making the right decision but this survey proved it.
IDS: Were there any other benefits?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: Multiple benefits! Patient retention, no question. My dental team is the best and we have always worked very hard on patient retention. However, if children cannot wait to come back because of how cool our office is, that’s just a bonus.
We always see parents and teens taking pictures with their phones in the office. You can’t buy that kind of advertising when they send out those pictures to their friends and family and maybe even post them on their Facebook page. That’s a true benefit.
Another benefit is for my staff. They love it when a child walks in and their jaw drops at what they see, or when a mom compliments the office. It makes them proud because it’s their office too.
I am a huge advocate for proper dental education for my patients. IDS really helped me by creating elements in the theming that I use to educate all my patients. It is done in a fun and playful way so the kids are much more likely to remember what we’ve taught them.
And a final reason and this is really important, it also makes my job easier as well as our other dentists, hygienists, and assistants. If children are more relaxed, it is definitely easier to do our jobs.
IDS: How was your experience working with IDS?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: Fantastic, from beginning to end. When I first called and spoke to Dave (IDS President) he was so excited about the potential of my office that I couldn’t help but get excited too. I could immediately tell from our first conversation that he knew dental offices and all the challenges that we have setting up and running our practices. I knew I was talking to an expert.
I could tell from their website that everything was very high quality, so I was a little worried about costs. Once I started working with IDS, they were so professional and detailed that I realized I was in good hands. How can you not be impressed with their design ideas and the quality of their products?
And the results! They did everything that they said they would and more. The IDS installers that came down to my office did a great job and the installation of everything went very easy and on time. I was blown away by what they accomplished.
IDS: Would you work with IDS again?
Dr. Chuck Hughes: I am thrilled with my current office and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Dave and his team again! Not only would I work with them again but when other practitioners ask me, ‘who did those great animals on your roof’ I say, IDS, and you’re going to love them… here’s their number.
Dr. Chuck Hughes has been in the specialty practice of pediatric dentistry since 1989. Dr. Hughes is dedicated to providing all of his patients with the most comprehensive and advanced pediatric dental care available.
Interested in learning more about themed environments? Check out these related resources on IDS customers:
Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience. Or download our inspiring look book and start imagining the possibilities in your office.