The Checkup

Hello! We're the IDS team, the people behind the dental office theming giant that is Imagination Dental Solutions. We're not just about cool office decor, we've got news, stories, art, advice about marketing, dentistry and more.

5 Tips for Creating the Experience Parents Really Want (But Won’t Tell You!)

June 10th, 2019

What is it that parents really want when they bring their kids in for treatment? Aside from positive clinical outcomes – which we can assume is the number one priority for both you and them – there is something that every parent secretly hopes they get while bringing their family to your office…

A mini vacation.

Now hear us out. They won’t tell you this, but every parent is thinking the same thing when they enter your office. It goes something like this: “Please let this be easy because I really hope I can relax for a few minutes while my kids are occupied and I have no other demands on my attention.”

It’s akin to being on an airplane – for a block of time you can disconnect and sneak in some ‘me time’ while the demands of everyday life can wait. It’s not the primary purpose of being there, but it sure is an enjoyable perk when it happens.

Understanding this secret wish of parents offers a great opportunity for any healthcare provider who works with young families. It’s an opportunity to deliver a beyond-expectation experience that gets parents talking and helps fuel referral rates. Relaxed parents, cooperative patients, happy staff, growing practice – everyone wins.

 

Here are 5 simple ways to make sure parents feel welcome in your practice:

1. Make their kids feel welcome immediately by engaging with them as soon as they enter your office. Welcome them by name whenever possible and make them feel like the star of the show. This helps reduce appointment anxiety in your younger patients and allows them to feel more comfortable being separated from mom or dad. Also, it’s a great primer for a smooth treatment because appointments are easier for your staff when patients feel at ease.

welcome patients to your office by name

2. Create a special space that is inviting for kids – one that is clearly just for them where they can have fun, be fully engaged in a healthy distraction and not worry about interrupting the adults. This creates the opportunity for mom and dad to relax, instead of adding the pressure of having to entertain a child while in a space that doesn’t feel kid friendly.

3. Think about the experience parents have with the assumption that they will arrive with two kids – the one who has a scheduled appointment and a sibling. Construct your experience around the child that will be spending time in your waiting room beyond simply waiting to be called back. Make sure your space goes the distance to keep them happy and engaged for 30-45 minutes.

4. Encourage parents to fully embrace the small window of relaxation time by offering something indulgent to snack on. Strive for a step above the usual – perhaps gourmet coffee, premium chocolates, fresh fruit some or some other delectable snack that makes their time in your space special. Indulging in an unexpected treat is a great way to initiate the mental shift out of the usual daily grind. You could even take this to the next level with a massage chair or other spa-like touches for mom or dad.

massage chair in waiting room to occupy parents

5. For some, a relaxing time may mean using their mobile device. And that’s ok – embrace it by having common phone charges available and reliable Wi-Fi. (Wi-Fi is especially important for our fellow Canadians, where cellular data is often limited and rationed closely, making Wi-Fi a must.)

 

It’s a simple formula, really. First, make a special space and a welcoming experience for junior patients. This takes the tension out of what can otherwise be a high-stress situation for both the kids and parents alike. That then opens the door for you to easily deliver a beyond-expectation experience for mom and dad – one that is a pleasant surprise, but exactly what every parent has secretly been hoping for all along.

 

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.