The Benefits of Theming for DSOs
Dental Support Organizations (DSO) and Dental Group Practices are built by hard-working professionals who have established reliable partnerships to grow their business nationwide. They own and operate anywhere from 10 to 1000 dental practices.
Resourcefulness and efficiency are at the core of these organizations’ models – providing management and marketing support so location staff can focus on doing what they do best – providing quality care for their patients. With the combined knowledge and skills of everyone involved, this creates a well-oiled, efficient business.
Is this you? If so, it’s time to ask “What can I do to ensure success?”
Read along to uncover the added benefits of running a DSO or Group Practice, plus the new opportunities for the future of your operations with a secret ingredient that has proven to increase the success of dental offices – themed office decor.
What is IDS Theming?
IDS theming is the transformation of a mundane space into a magical place.
We specialize in the conceptualization, design, and creation of playful murals, engaging 3D decor, and interactive gaming for pediatric medical environments.
Many young patients experience high anxiety and stress when faced with dental and medical procedures. Themed healthcare offices can prevent and reduce patient anxiety, help create client satisfaction, secure returning clientele, and grow your business.
DSO locations and Group Practices reap the rewards of these benefits at a heightened level. Because they have multiple locations at once working under the same mentality of communicating dependable brand values and the promise of providing an exceptional patient experience through the deployment of consistent decor across the board. When people like what they see, their trust in your business is reinforced.
While you are noodling about your wildest theming dreams, continue reading to unveil in greater detail just how it can work for an organization.
Create Consistent Brand Recognition Amongst Your Locations
Your brand is your “thing”. To have a strong brand you need to establish that “thing” you are known for and create a consistent experience for your clients location-wide. By eliminating the mundane and clinical stereotype of what a medical environment should look like, you are creating a stand-out brand for your business. That “thing” patients and parents will know you for is being fun & welcoming plus your endeavor to go above and beyond for their patient experience.
Before you came here, you already knew what you wanted your patients to think about you – that you care about providing them with the best of the best – the best care, treatment, and experience. Theming can help you create a consistent experience across your organization’s landscape.
Dr. Joe Yale, owner of an IDS themed office says it best,
“I believe that our theme provides a visual manifestation of how committed we are to giving the best level of customer service and the best experience a child could have. It’s all about the people, the patients, and parents that we take care of.“
Take this multi-location dental and ortho office as an example. The same reception desk, murals, and welcoming whale are found at each location. These familiar features make a friendly environment for patients, no matter which location they go to.
By taking the anxiety out of appointments with whimsical distractions, you’ll get parents talking – on social media, at family gatherings, and with their friends over coffee.
From Dr. Alexandra Jensen,
“We live in an age where the big thing online is the review it’s the facebook ads it, it’s the facebook mommy’s and just hearing word of mouth. That being said, I think the theme of the office gives parents something to talk about.”
And here’s how the process went for themed multi-office owner and CEO, Jennifer Kreidler-Moss,
“IDS delivered exactly what we wanted. They took our grand ideas and turned them into cohesive themes suitable for our spaces and our budget. We loved customizing the small details and they walked us through the process every step of the way.“
Each of her 11 locations has a different child-friendly sitting corner with fun seating and a branded photo op character.
Supercharge Your Marketing Plan and Make Your Building Your Biggest Advertising Asset
Speaking of photo ops, theming is a great way to add extra flair to your marketing materials and social media feeds.
Dentist and owner, Dr. Michael Lateiner has seen it with his own eyes,
“Patients come into the office and are immediately comfortable and the parents can’t stop taking pictures. They made my office the talk of the town!!!“
Photo ops, from characters to head holes to surfing waves, are a great way to get organic advertising for your business. Sharing photo ops with happy clients increase social media engagement. It also adds the benefit of ‘social proof’, the idea that consumers will adapt their behavior according to what other people are doing, and potential clients will see your business as trustworthy.
The most successful photo op is a mascot that represents your business. The dental market is now more competitive than ever, and you need to use all resources available to stand out from the crowd. Mascots are memorable, helping your brand become more recognizable. A branded mascot can increase a company’s profit and emotional connection with customers by up to 40.9%, according to Technicolour Creative Studio.
One of our most successful partners has created an entire magical world surrounding their mascots. Every location has a familiar face to greet visitors.
Exterior Landmark characters make a business’s exterior stand out visually to people passing by. They draw attention, stir conversation, and become a part of the community’s vernacular. “Turn right at the giant octopus” will become a common phrase heard around town.
Landmark characters completely changed the way owner Sheryl Wright saw her building,
“As a result of the theming, marketing has definitely improved. Even if patients cannot remember the name of the clinic, they know where we are and that our clinic is the fun place for kids to come play while they are waiting for their appointment. Telling patients it is the clinic with the octopus is an easy visual landmark to help them find us. This has helped get new patients through the doors.”
Themed interior decor is a game-changer for creating marketing campaigns that stand out amongst the mass of dental reminder postcards and facebook ads. Featuring photos of your interiors with all the amenities you have to offer will get you noticed amongst the noise.
For Dr. Scott Savel, owner of 3 themed IDS offices, the horizon for future success is endless,
“We found that theming has been instrumental in our success. By making the investment, it sets us apart. Especially in pediatrics, we walk into an area and we’re a category-killer in that area. We’re definitely planning on opening multiple offices and using theming for all of them.“
Ultimately, when you have successfully established brand recognition within your clientele, they know who you are, what you do, and the level of service you provide – all the things they need to know to trust your organization which will help you grow your business.
Sensitivity to Ownership Changes
When you acquire an established practice, there are going to be existing patients and families that are connected and loyal to the previous provider.
With this in mind, as the buyer, you must be mindful of these existing clients’ feelings and find ways to communicate that the change in ownership will only make the place they know and love even better.
Change Can be Good
By joining up with a DSO, dental offices become infused with the latest in staff training, more efficient billing & insurance management, and access to modern technology. But those beneficial improvements might not be obvious to the average customer.
Decor upgrades to your space can be visual cues for patients to recognize this promise to improve their experience and help build their trust in your brand and services. By signaling your willingness to go above and beyond for the comfort of your young patients in ways the previous owners did not, you can help build those new relationships and create loyal customers.
Repeatability Makes Adding Unique Decor Easy
What we do over here at IDS is create original environments for our clients. With our team, you can develop a custom package of repeatable and on-brand decor for all of your locations.
From the initial design concepts, a Group Practice or DSO corporation is making an original, customized investment in their business. This investment is one that is unique to their brand but can be flexible in its conceptualization and execution so core design elements can be re-deployed across multiple locations.
We’ll be candid, there is a cost to the theming process. However, savings on economies can be amplified by theming all offices with the same foundational essentials – a mascot, desk cladding, repeatable wall murals, and more. Once design, brand, and execution are established, there is no starting from scratch when expanding to new locations.
For example, this carnival themed DSO has the same balloon-riding monkey photo op in each location.
Once the design is complete, we can adjust for size, position, and ceiling height in each location. We have installed 6 locations already, with 3 more locations getting themed this year, and more planned for the future.
The ROI From IDS Theming
Like we said, theming is a big investment, but it is an investment in your future success. The payback is unbeatable and our clients have experienced the difference themed decor makes in their businesses.
Even the independent dentists we work with have achieved so much success after theming they are able to open a 2nd, 3rd, or even a 7th or 8th office with the profits achieved from their first themed office.
From Dr. Bill Martin,
“At first when I got into this I said to myself wow, this is a lot of money. But when I look at the benefits of it, it really is a marketing tool because you don’t have to put up a billboard when you have an office like this. I think undeniably this is the best marketing tool you can possibly use.“
Check out the video below to hear what they had to say:
What’s Next for Your Business?
As previously mentioned, resourcefulness and efficiency are at the core of these organizations’ models. What’s next is asking if your offices are currently working for you in the best way possible to amplify your marketing and business success.
Theming helps add another level of resourcefulness and efficiency to your current business model by working to magnify and engage the added benefits you hold from running a DSO. Are you ready to take the leap?