Does your waiting room bring a welcoming experience to clients? Imagine you arrive at your medical appointment after a long day at work. You are restless and understand you may spend some time in the waiting room before meeting with your physician or medical professional. As you sit down, you quickly come to realize the chairs are uncomfortable, poorly structured, and close to one another. The room is small, hot, and assembled carelessly. As a client, how would this type of environment influence your experience and opinions? Believe it or not, your waiting room has a huge influence on your patients’ experience while visiting your medical facility, and plays a role in marketing your medical practice. Almost every decision you make in terms of your waiting room greatly matters in the eyes of the public.
While thinking back at attending your medical appointments, can you remember the waiting room, and what you felt while waiting? If you can remember, chances are you were reminded of a good experience or a bad one. These experiences most likely determined whether you were going to be returning to this medical facility or not. The start of each medical facility visit can and will dictate how the remainder of the visit will go. Setting the environment for your patients is important and is typically done in the waiting room. To avoid losing clients, and acquiring bad reviews, continue to read this article about waiting room tips that can help the reputation of your medical facility. These waiting room tips and advice can apply to any medical professional, such as doctors, chiropractors, fertility clinics, ENT doctors, dentists, and even medical spas. If you are researching how to begin the structure of your waiting room, or even if you are looking to upgrade your waiting room area, this article is perfect for ensuring your waiting room provides clients with a good patient experience.
Provide a Welcoming Experience
There is nothing more off-putting than entering a facility without being acknowledged. Even if there is a line, or if the receptionist is currently with a patient, clients and patients should be recognized and greeted upon their arrival as soon as possible. This lets the patient know they have been seen and your front desk receptionist is doing her best to assist them. Furthermore, this immediately sets the tone of the environment, allows the patient to feel they are important, and distinguishes how your medical facility services its patients.
Hiring the right front-desk receptionists is very important. Your receptionists should be friendly, patient, understanding, and compassionate. They are the first person your clients see and interact with. Clients can easily become displeased with your medical facility after a bad interaction with the receptionist. Upon entering your medical facility, your front desk receptionists should:
- Welcome and greet patients
- Have a friendly and positive attitude
- Take their time with patients
- Ask patients if there are any updates with their medical record
- Provide them with the correct information regarding their appointment
- Keep track of the amount of time each patient has been waiting
Layout and space of the waiting room
With the state that the world is currently in, it is crucial to consider the arrangement and layout of your medical office waiting room. No one wants to be elbow-to-elbow in a medical facility waiting room. Ensure your waiting room is large enough for the number of clients who will be in your medical facility within one day. Consider the age groups that make up your clients and designate specific areas for these age groups. Dedicate an area for children, young adults, and the elderly if necessary. Always make sure disabled clients can easily and freely move around in the waiting room. This allows clients to pick which area would be most comfortable while waiting for their turn at your medical facility.
The lighting in your waiting room matters. As waiting can easily result in agitated patients and clients, it is important to invest in the lighting of your waiting room. Lighting can improve the mood of individuals. Dull and gloomy lighting could decrease clients’ moods. Additionally, your lighting choice should not be taken lightly as you may not be aware of the sensitivities and triggers of specific clients.
Clients want to feel comfortable while waiting for their service. How many times have you left an appointment and thought: It was really cold in there. Make sure clients are not freezing cold or sweating while sitting in the waiting room of your medical facility.
Keep Patients Informed
After a certain amount of time, patients will begin to wonder if you have forgotten about them. Inform your staff and receptionist about any time delays for them to notify patients who are waiting on their appointment. Communication is key when it comes to customer service and your patients will appreciate it when you give them updates regarding their appointment and how much more time they will be waiting.
Easily Accessible Lavatory
You don’t want it to be inconvenient for your patients to access the restroom while waiting. Make sure it is evident where clients can access a restroom and don’t make it difficult for them to use the restroom. When patients have to ask for a key or ask to walk to the back it turns into a time-consuming event and can be unsanitary.
Furniture and Decor
Think back on your most recent visit to a company or business that provided you with their services. What did their waiting room look like? Did it match the expertise of the facility? Did it provide you with a sense of how well their customer service is? Furniture and decor are important pieces of your waiting room. The furniture in the waiting room of your medical facility should be inviting and comfortable. Your choice of furniture can easily set the tone of the environment and let clients and patients know you care about them. It provides a sense of professionalism. Make sure the decor and furniture match, and are simple and safe. The decorations and furniture you choose for your medical facility waiting room reflect the brand of your healthcare facility.
The best way to make time move along quickly is by providing clients with entertainment resources. Offering entertainment during a busy day can go a long way. One late patient can ruin the entire schedule of the day. Clients will become impatient after so long waiting. Incorporate up-to-date magazines, newspapers, and have a stack of books lying around that you change out every so often. Purchase a tv and play family-friendly shows and movies. If you are an overachiever and want to win the hearts of all clients, offer free Wi-Fi that is efficient. This will allow students and professionals to work while waiting, or give them access to apps that will entertain them for the duration of their wait.
Keep up-to-date with the community and its news and events. Put up a poster board where you can pin events, news, and interesting stories regarding the community you are in. Clients will find it interesting to read about and may consider attending events or checking out local hikes and businesses. This idea creates trust with clients as it shows you care about the community and are involved.
Offer Complimentary Refreshments
Good client customer service goes a long way and can be as easy as implementing a water dispenser. Creating a small basket with healthy snacks or providing clients with a coffee dispenser is a great way to keep clients patient, happy, and busy. Make sure you include a sign that informs your clients that these are complimentary, and they can help themselves.
How Does My Waiting Room Play a Role in Marketing My Medical Facility?
Similar to your medical website, the waiting room of your medical facility will give visitors a first impression while entering your location. Your waiting room is used as a tool to market your medical business. There are so many small components of a great waiting room that will largely contribute to a great experience for clients, leaving them feeling comfortable and confident to return to your facility. Your medical website will not increase traffic and generate leads if users are not provided with a user-friendly experience. Similarly, your facility will not increase clientele and generate leads if their first experience in your waiting room is unpleasant.