I visit quite a few clinics as I travel around on my IDD Therapy mission. The standards vary enormously, but the number one thing I notice and differentiate is …. reception.
My general observation is that in the UK there are more receptionists who are are poor at greeting visitors than there are good ones.
And for me it doesn’t create a good impression. The fact that I am writing this shows that it is something I have noticed a lot. I would say that around 50% of my experience in a clinic is affected by how I am received.
A good impression sets the tone for the whole experience of the patient and it really isn’t difficult to do things right.
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and the waiting staff can probably see you (they should see you!), but they don’t even make eye contact and say, hi, I’ll be with you in one moment.
Does it make you feel valued? Of course not.
When I was at school, if anyone walked into a classroom we had to stand up, stop what we were doing and naturally give our attention to the visitor. Then we sat down.
Many times I see reception staff barely acknowledge visitors.
The reception staff have no idea who the person is so why not accord all visitors at least a “hello/welcome, how can I help you/ I’ll be with you in just a moment” or, lock eyes, smile and nod of the head in acknowledgement if they are right in the middle of something.
I know some coaches who work with clinics. On one occasion recently I commented on clinics where the whole reception experience was really positive and I found out that these were their clients … and they were very successful. Coincidence? I think not.
For a bonus point, I think staff walking past reception can say hello to people in waiting chairs when there isn’t a huge crowd already. They might not be their patient, but such an action is a fantastic illustrator of the team culture of the clinic.
My view, make eye contact and greet people as you would wish to be greeted. It’s good for business.
Author: Stephen Small leads the IDD Therapy Disc Clinic network #changingspinecare