Posts Tagged ‘helpful tips’

What’s Holding You Back? 10 Concerns We Have Heard from New IDS Clients.

December 2nd, 2019

There’s no doubt that an IDS-themed office makes appointments more fun for your young patients, creates an environment in which your team will enjoy working, and fast-tracks the growth of your practice… so, what’s holding you back?

We get it – you likely have some questions around what to expect and how it all works. Fear not – here are answers to the ten most common questions and reservations we hear from new clients.

 

1. How much will it cost?

All of our themed elements are custom built, therefore prices vary depending on design, scope, and complexity. The size and position a 3D character is sculpted in will change the price, so if you see an example of two hippo characters in two different offices in our portfolio, they could differ slightly in price. It is much more effective for us to work with you and find out your specific needs in order to give you your custom pricing. We have created themed spaces at all levels from $5,000 to over $800,000. At Imagination Design Studios, there is something for everyone, and we happily work within your budget.

When considering the cost remember that the price of the theming is an investment into your business that will pay off with happier patients that will keep coming back. These dentists and office staff have experienced it first hand:

 

“We were a brand new office – when we opened and had a full schedule within 6 months.”

– Amy, Office Manager

 

“When we first moved in, I had a goal of achieving $1.2m in revenue and we met that. This year, we are on target to achieve $2m in revenue and I credit the theming with bringing in that additional $800,000.”

– Dr. Jenni Burkitt, Owner

 

“In one year we’ve gone from a startup, to full-on busy. I’m sure we’ll have too many patients within 2 to 3 years.”

– Dr. Jed Snatic, Owner

 

2. How long does the build process take and will theming with IDS extend my build schedule?

Each office is unique and depending on the design, scope, and complexity of a project, the timeline can vary. That said, a typical office theming project with IDS takes 6 to 9 months from beginning to end – concept drawings to installation. (Much shorter if you are selecting pre-designed items from our catalog as we can bypass the design process and go straight into production.)

If you are building from the ground up, we will be one of the last teams to enter your space, after all the walls are up and painted, flooring is down, cabinets are in and finishes are complete.

In your build schedule, our installation typically accounts for less than a week.

 

3. Will I be kept in the loop on progress?

We call the process The Five Steps from Mundane to Magical, and it includes regular updates from our team. Often, these will include photos of your custom theming props being produced on our shop floor, allowing you to follow along as your project comes to life.

“I felt like I really had a sense of what I was doing in my office. From the online meetings and the markups that explained everything from colors and foliage, to the 3D models of my characters, IDS really created a complete picture. I didn’t realize I was going to see my whole office before it was built. I was so excited to see every new email you sent.”

– Dr. Tim Verwest, Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers

 

4. Will the product hold up?

We love this question. IDS products are handmade by our experienced craftspeople and made with the care and materials required to meet our “kid-proof” standards.

Everything we create is built to the highest standards for quality and durability – something that is truly unmatched in the industry. In fact, we build our indoor props to the exact same standards as our exterior pieces which have – literally – endured tornados and hurricanes, and survived looking just as good as ever!

 

5. Can you work with my architect and interior designer?

The roles of your architect and interior designer remain unchanged – theming is more like the icing on the cake. Our job is to collaborate with your team to ensure that what we produce compliments and enhance the layout, finishes, colors, and other design decisions that have been made. Members of our staff – from sales, to CAD, to production – have backgrounds in interior design and can understand and communicate with your existing team.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth in the design of multiple dental facilities over a number of years. She represents IDS in both a comfortable and professional manner – and most importantly, we’ve had successful projects together! I highly recommend working with Elizabeth and the entire team at IDS (and look forward to doing so again.)”

– Tim Kuhlman, Architect at TkDesign Architecture

 

6. Do you have a rep come to visit my office?

Technology has enabled us to be very effective at working with our clients remotely, so a site visit is not necessary. We make sure to stay connected through online meetings, phone calls, e-mails, and plenty of in-progress photos and videos.

 

7. How do we know it will fit?

To make sure our pieces will fit in your space, one of our first orders of business is to convert your permitted plans into a digital 3D model of your office (we’ll be asking for the ‘reflected ceiling plans’ for this reason). From there, everything we design is done so in that 3D environment. This process not only ensures everything will fit perfectly but also gives you a great preview for how your theming elements will come together in your space.

If necessary, we will send a member of our team to measure your walls and get precise dimensions of your space. We call this a “dim check”. We may also ask that a member of your team confirm measurements for us.

 

8. Who does the install?

For custom themed offices, our team arrives on-site the same day the product does. They manage everything from off-loading your props from the truck through to the final details of installation. You and your contractor don’t need to lift a finger.

If you are selecting pre-designed decor from our catalog instead of a custom office, these items are all designed to be easily installed by your general contractor or facilities manager.

 

9. How much extra space do I need for theming?

Ultimately, none. Theming with murals uses existing wall surfaces and requires no footprint at all. From there, many of our products, such as themed benches, bay dividers and kid-friendly brushing mirrors simply take the place of other essential furniture and decor items.

If you have space set aside for some extra fun, we can get even more creative. With as little as 25 dedicated square feet, we can add gaming, education stations ,or a hand-sculpted character to your office that makes the perfect photo op for social media!

 

10. How much input do I have into the design?

Custom themed offices are exactly that – custom! We work closely with you to understand what you’d like the finished product to look like and how you want it to function. From there, our talented artists will begin by sketching concepts, allowing you to see your unique vision come life.

“I was pleased that IDS helped me right from day one and that the designers could take my ideas and run with them. They built a theme based on my own storybook and really brought my characters to life! The transformation of my practice has been wonderful. The kids love it, my staff loves it, and I absolutely love it! Thank you so much IDS!”

– Dr. Leslie Jacobs, DDS

 

Still have some questions? Check out our FAQs, or schedule a no-obligation consultation today!

 

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Photo Op

August 28th, 2019

With social media playing an ever more critical role in marketing, it’s no surprise that photo ops are becoming a trend in clinic waiting rooms the world over. It’s a great strategy for using your physical office space to drive social media activity (like posts and shares) and can really help a practice gain organic traction in the online parent community.
 
Here are 5 tips to ensure you are getting maximum value out your photo op:
 
1. Make Sure It’s ‘Share-Worthy’.

Parents are always on the lookout for the next moment that will produce an eye-catching, adorable photo of their little ones. Make sure that your photo op features vibrant colors and something that will really make kids smile. It’s all about curating that perfect social media moment.

 


2. It’s Also a Subtle Brag.

Beyond the adorable moment, parents are secretly looking for the opportunity for a subtle brag. For example, “Look at how much fun my kid had at the dentist… Oh, and no cavities!”

To play into this desire, add some props to the scene that allow kids to proudly advertise ‘Cavity-Free Today!’, ‘Had a Great Appointment!’, or ‘I was Brave Today!’.

If you’re an optometrist, try a sign that says ‘New Glasses Day!’ or ‘My First Pair of Glasses!’.

If you’re a doctor, ‘I Was Vaccinated Today!’, ‘I Got a Shot Today!’, or ‘I’m All Better!

 


3. Make Sure Your Brand is Along for the Ride.

You get the most marketing value from a photo being posted to social media if those who see it know where it was taken. We suggest a combination of three things: your logo subtly included in the scene somewhere – it can be incorporated in the background scene, on a signpost that’s in the shot, or perhaps on the t-shirt of the photo op character. Next, utilize hashtags and encourage parents to tag your office when they post the picture. Make this easy on them by ensuring your hashtags and social media handles are easy to find and are included on any take-home paperwork they may receive.

 


4. Run a Contest.

One of the best ways to nurture parent-driven activity online is to run a contest. Weave this together with your photo op by allowing the posting of the photo as entry into the contest. Use a unique hashtag to easily identify entries online and make your prize something family-focused such as passes to a local amusement park or a family picnic prize pack.

One thing to note here – not every parent will be open to posting photos of their kids on social media, so be sure to supplement the above with an offline entry ballot as well. This way parents have the opportunity to enter without being ‘forced’ to post pics of their kids online.
 

5. Mix it Up!

Parents don’t want to look like they are posting the same photo more than once, which is why you’ll need to put some thought into keeping your photo op current. It can be as simple as adding some seasonal props like a Santa hat on your character or adding some pumpkins and cobwebs around Halloween. The trick is to make the photo op reflect what’s current now.

 


Ready to learn more? Book a free consultation with our team today and we’ll walk you through the elements that make the perfect ‘share-worthy’ scene in your office!
 

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.

 

How to Theme Your Office – Even on a Budget

March 4th, 2019

Theming an entire office can be a daunting prospect financially, especially if you’re a new grad or if you’ve just opened your first business. But trust us when we say we have something for everyone – and something for all budgets. All of our themed elements are custom built so prices vary depending on design, scope, and complexity. We have created themed spaces from $5,000 to over $800,000. Each design, big or small, serves the same purpose: relaxing your patients and increasing new patient referrals.

 
FINANCING

Not all of our clients just have $100,000 burning a hole in their pocket. The majority finance their theming through local funders. IDS products can be included in your building cost, which makes talking to your bank easy. Bank of America has been a fan of IDS for years and specializes in loans for dentists.

Adding theming into your marketing budget can work as well. After all, theming has proven to be more helpful at gaining new patients than traditional advertising such as newspaper ads, TV commercials, and radio spots.

 
EXPRESS MURALS

If you’re only going to do one thing to transform your space add murals! Those on a budget can check out our pre-designed Express Murals for a more affordable mural option. Murals are a great place to start your theming, and Express Murals make that even easier to do. We are continuing to add to our line of pre-designed murals. Our newest addition is a line of stylish contemporary murals – perfect for offices that see a variety of patients, both young and old.

Dr. Joe Nguyen became a customer of ours many years ago by starting out with a couple of our pre-designed products. He has since expanded into 2 new offices with fully immersive floor to ceiling themes.

“I wanted to start small with my first office so I put a few pieces in certain areas [a mural and 2 brushing mirrors]. For my second office, I went all out with a completely WOW kid’s play area and put murals and some custom 3D in lots of the treatment rooms. Next, I will be expanding the theming in my first office and I plan on doing another fully themed IDS office that will be super cool. I can’t wait. I love IDS. It is so much fun to work with them and I would love to do this all the time!”

– Dr. Joe Nguyen

 

MULTI-STAGE THEMING

You can also consider multi-stage theming – get your favorite pieces now and do a second install later as your budget allows. We have seen a number of clients use this option successfully and theme in stages according to their budget and circumstances. Start in the reception area and add to the treatment area later, or add a gaming tablet before adding a whole play area. Do what works best for you.

If you’re a new grad who wants theming but is just starting out then we recommend theming in stages as well. You can start small with murals, a brushing mirror, and even a photo op to help promote your business. We’ll be ready to add more when you are! We can even draw sketches for your office with a final stage in mind so you know that your early theming will fit your expansion as you continue to theme.

An important aspect to remember about IDS theming is that our murals and 3D sculptures are built to last. Old pieces will stand the test of time and look great next to new additions, allowing you to have a cohesive look as you expand.

Our steel reinforced props are hard coated with the toughest and most durable protective coating in the industry. It flexes with the weight of active kids and stands up to their abuse. Our 3M murals are made of the same material used on graphic vehicle wraps. If it can handle rocks on the highway it can handle kids!

Here are some testimonials from 2 of our clients who did multi-stage theming. Dr. Morgan, who started small on his first office out of school, and Dr. Lateiner, who expanded his office space and his theming along with it.

 

 

“As a relatively new residency graduate, I decided to theme my office in two stages. I had just purchased a long-standing, successful pediatric dental office but was still budget-conscious. Dave and his team at IDS made the entire process from start to finish incredibly easy. He guided me towards what would be most cost-effective but would also give the most dramatic first impression for my patients seeing the office for the first time. Therefore, my new patients were able to experience an exciting office from day one.

My first phase consisted of my reception desk and murals. The murals allowed for maximal coverage while not over-extending my initial budget. Less than one year later we started sketches for my second phase which consisted of a custom tablet game tower, murals, faux windows, Chew on This as well as some custom 3D wall art.

I would recommend IDS and multi-staging their office theming project to any budget-conscious dentist and am very happy with my results. IDS will most definitely theme my second office!”


– Dr. Bryan Morgan

 

 

“I wasn’t planning on opening my second stage for a few more years but things were going so well that when space opened up next door, we jumped on it. We’re not only thrilled with the return we’ve received, but we’ve already booked future projects with IDS. All of our expectations have been exceeded and we can attribute a large amount of our success to our IDS design. Working with IDS has been an amazing experience – the best part of building both of my practices!”


– Dr. Michael Lateiner

 

At Imagination Design Studios, there really is something for everyone, and we happily work within your budget!

 

Marketing Tips – How to Get Online Reviews (and Respond to Negative Ones)

October 15th, 2018

Reviews matter for small business, especially if you cater to the public. Online reviews bring the benefit of social proof, something we have talked about before. Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of other people have on your own behavior and decisions. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as the recommendation of a friend.

So we all know reviews are important, but how do you get them? Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to get ahead of the competition.
 

Claim Your Online Profiles

If you want to have control over your reviews, be sure to claim your online profiles. This means either setting up a profile or claiming the default listing created by review sites. Make sure you have a presence on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any industry-specific sites where your business can get reviewed.

If you must begin small, begin with taking control of your Google Business Page. Google reviews are the most important type of review for a dentist. Unless being referred, the first place a parent is going to go to find a pediatric dentist or doctor is Google to search for dentists in their neighborhood. If there are a number of options in an area, they will begin looking at reviews. For a small business competing against similar establishments in the same area, Google reviews can often be an important tiebreaker.
 

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Review You

Add links to your review pages on your website. Include links with your email correspondence and any e-newsletters. Make it easy by making it accessible.
 

Offer Incentives

Now that you are ready to receive and respond to reviews, how do you get them? Begin by offering incentives. This is helpful especially when you are a new business and do not have a lot of reviews. Offer a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop if they leave a review. Or create a contest where every good review is an entry into a prize draw – make sure you announce the winner on a social media to create excitement.

 
Ask the Right People

When looking for reviews, ask the right people. If you have a referral program set up and are able to track referrers you have a great resource at your disposal. If someone refers someone to your office they are obviously happy with your services. Send them a thank you for the referral, a referral gift, and of course, a link to leave a review.

Once you encourage your customers to leave reviews, make sure their efforts are rewarded with a reply from your business. Reply to every good review with a thank you. And be ready to reply to every negative review as well.

 
Earn Your Reviews

If you want good reviews, then you’ll have to earn them. Have great services, a friendly staff, and an amazing themed office that makes their kids calm and happy! Our clients often have excellent reviews talking about the fun environment created by adding games and themed decor.

“The kids loved playing on the iPads on the wall and in the hot air balloon while we waited. Great experience!”
 
“We also love the play area-lots of things to do while the kids are waiting.”
 
“Super clean and decorated beautifully – it made the kids more excited to be there. Would recommend without hesitation.”
 
“Had a TON of eye candy for the kids (awesome decor and video game screens all over the place!)”

If your clients genuinely like your business, you’ll get the reviews you want.
 

What Happens When You Get a Bad Review?

The majority of review sites will not allow you to delete a bad review, so be prepared to deal with them and use them to your benefit. Handling a bad review in a professional manner can actually be just as helpful as a good review as it can show how you handle negative situations.

Also, consumers trust a 4.5 star review more than 5 stars as they feel an imperfect score to be more truthful and reflective of the business. 5 stars are just too good to be true.

But back to how to handle those reviews. Here’s a quick rundown of points you should remember when you get a bad review:

1. You want to respond as quickly as possible so that others people are not able to read this angry review without your side of the story. But be cautious. Don’t respond in the heat of the moment or you may say something you don’t want out in the public.

2. Do your homework. Make sure you know your employees side of the situation before you craft a response.

3. Take responsibility for your part in the problem and offer a sincere apology. Even if the review is unjustified, be empathetic to the reviewer’s complaint. Let them know you understand their frustration and will help them with their issue. This shows others that you care about your customers’ opinions and feelings and will hopefully calm the anger of this particular reviewer.

4. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to bring this issue to your attention. Let them know you pride yourself on excellent customer service and appreciate the opportunity to make things right.

5. Don’t go into too much detail in your reply. Offer to take the conversation offline. You don’t want to start a debate with an irate customer on your wall of reviews, so offer to have to call or email to further discuss the issue.

If you’re dealing with an online troll, just walk away. That’s a fight you’ll never win. Anyone reading the review of a troll will know when someone is just being a bully compared to leaving a legitimate review.

 

With these tips and tricks, you have the know-how to get you on the right path to gain more reviews.