In his two-part article, “The Secret Sauce,” Dr. Donald Rinchuse discussed the many facets of a customer-oriented orthodontic practice. This excerpt from March/April 2018 Orthodontic Practice US also applies to any dental professional, whether a general or dental specialist. The goal is to create a brand that is distinctly yours so that your signature practice will stand out from the rest. The following is Dr. Rinchuse’s view of marketing through your physical environment.
The physical environment of an office is important for excellent patient service. It is essential for creating a brand. The geographical location of an office is the first consideration for an orthodontic office. The old adage that a doctor can just decide where he and his family want to live and then just set up an office is no longer true. A deliberate evaluation and analysis is needed to establish where, and possibly with whom, a new graduate will associate with, or open an office on his/her own.
Once a practice location is decided, there are some considerations. Can patients easily get to the office? Is there parking? How about the exterior of the office? What about signage and entrance to the office? Also, if an orthodontist decides to open a new practice, some reflection is needed to determine how big the office will be in square footage, number of operatories, décor, and so forth. The office should be clean, neat, and inviting.
Successful orthodontic practices are “branded” according to the amenities and theme of their physical structure. An attractive office lifts the spirits of doctor, staff, and patients. The doctor and staff’s clothing (uniforms) should reflect the practice brand. The layout of the office is important with regard to space for reception, billing, consultation, treatment, private office(s), lab, sterilization, staff lounge, lunch area, and so on. Special attention is needed to the design of the treatment area because this is where the product is delivered and made and, of course, the money produced. A recent feature of the treatment area is a “perch.” This is a discrete location for the orthodontist to access his/her computer, have private conversations with staff, and so on, without going to a private office. It is a satellite to their private office.
Dr. Rinchuse suggests that besides marketing techniques, the secret sauce might be right in front of us every day. He says that the best marketing is the clinicians’ love and passion for patients and families and their ability to respond to patients and families with a kind heart.