How to make a good first impression

first-impressionsI was in a doctor’s waiting room recently waiting to have my appointment. As an observer of all things system based and picking holes in business systems, I had time to kill. I’ve recently moved to the area so my first impression of the clinic was not fantastic, my observations included the following, poor signage to the clinic, cold waiting room, rude receptionist who looked like she’d been dragged through a bush to get to work and an attitude to match. She told me to talk a seat and the doctor will be with you shortly, I asked how long will he be and she snapped when he’s finished with the other patients! Now I don’t want to bash all GP clinics but I wasn’t holding out much hope for the doctor who called me in 20 mins later to tell me how busy his morning was. He turned out to be a nice doctor but I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t ever going to set foot inside the practice again. My point is that regardless of how professional you are, it’s your whole system that makes the first impression. Here are my tips for first impressions.

Signage: Make sure your website uses google maps and gives clear instructions on how to get to your clinic. Invest in signage for outside your clinic with clear logo, website and phone number on the boarding. There is no point in having a fantastic clinic inside if no one outside can see you.

Booking: Making a booking online or via a receptionist needs to be user friendly. If a potential client comes to your website and clicks the “book online” link and it doesn’t work then they will get frustrated and go else where. If your voicemail or receptionist is of poor quality then they will just hang up and go else where. Invest in a decent answering service and online booking service.

Waiting room: Your waiting room represents the first part of the business your client sees. If it’s cold or has a receptionist taking a personal call to her friends for the weekend party, then they are going to notice. Make sure it’s clean, warm, easy music, something to read and show your qualifications from University and postgraduate programs (not your U10 football picture – I’ve seen this in one clinic!).

Treatment Room: Make sure you clean your room in between clients, nothing shows disorganisation more than when you are bringing a client into the room whilst cleaning up after the previous client. Make sure it’s warm, tidy and comfortable, clients need to feel relaxed when they come and see you.

The Therapist: When the client gets to see you or your employee, at this stage they should be really impressed. It would be a shame to ruin it with any of the following, running late, bad breath, smelly body odour, not dressing appropriately for the clinic you work in, complaining about your personal problems or complaining about other therapist in the area. So if you get all the above right then all you have to do is amaze the client with your fantastic skills.

Remember first impressions for your business and start well before you start treating your client, you only get one chance. If you get it right from the outset it’s easier to get your client onboard as they will be more comfortable with your services. At PracticeNav we can review your first impressions and improve them. Take our Online Audit which gives you instant results. Contact PracticeNav via email on or take our Free business audit to find how we can help. Feel free to ask any questions in relation to this.

Colin Phillips
Business Consultant


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