Fresh out of school, Dr. Jockers asked for CrossFields’ help to build out his first practice. The main goal was to build out an office that he could grow into on a budget. Over time, his business grew adding two doctors, additional CAs, as well as adding retail comprised of a supplement line he developed along with meat resourced from local farms.
As growth continued, the space was showing wear and did not represent the quality of care being offered.
With encouragement from his other doctors and staff, Dr. Jockers hired CrossFields once again, this time to help refresh the office. The following is based on an interview I had with the doctors 90 days after the renovation, to see the impact it had on his patients and office culture.
Was a refresh really needed?
From my perspective as a patient (and a designer), the space had been used well, but was in dire need of some TLC and a fresh and professional look. To put it bluntly, the first impression was not good. There was also some inefficiency in the flow of staff that came with the office growth and the changing business. It needed some help for it to function and feel better.
Carolyn: First, what led you to making the decision to go ahead [with the face lift]? Because it was an investment of money to do this, to actually spend some time and money on this.
Dr. Andrew: Well, I’ll speak first, because I remember specifically the day when I asked you in the adjusting bay if you would ever consider looking at this office space again, because I felt we were due for a change.
Carolyn: Which was seven years at that time and it had begun to wear and show age. So, what was driving that feeling of the need for a change?
From Patient’s Perspective – Office not Matching up to Service
Dr Andrew: We are still offering a very amazing service, but it wasn’t matching up with the appearance [of the office]. Some of our patients have reported to me, “We know that you are offering something great here, but it just doesn’t feel like it.” Confidence and leadership are so important in directing staff and being able to manage patient care. Patients are dependent on us.
From the Associate Doctor’s Perspective – Hard to Take Ownership and Wasn’t Efficient
Dr. Andrew: I’ll just speak to how I felt. It was as if I were wearing a suit that was a rental. It wasn’t mine and I didn’t take ownership of it. I noticed that in certain procedures in the office. Our patients really need a confident leader and I felt like I just didn’t have that. Like I said, I felt like I was wearing a tuxedo that was rental, not a custom fit.
Speaking about the functional aspect of the office, Dr. Shannon expressed, “We did a good job of holding back the levy for a little bit.” But she really wanted it to get better.
A Fresh Look Motivated the Staff
I worked with the team to first re-look at the flow and space needs, and their space ideas. Then we developed a fresh look and a plan for execution.
Dr. Jockers: I think everybody (staff) was in favor of it getting done. It re-ignited them to be in the office.
Carolyn: We actually didn’t do a lot of major changes. In the scheme of things, we painted and we mostly did furniture and did some repair to walls. We just gave it a fresh facelift.
Dr. Jockers: And most of it was actually done in a weekend, about 80 or 90 percent.
Carolyn: Since the staff was in favor of this refresh, they went into the ”Spring cleaning” mode.
Dr. Jockers: You would be surprised at just how much stuff one can have.
Carolyn: It’s quite easy to accumulate things. A great deal of what was done was simply getting things off the wall to make it feel less cultured and low-end salesy.
The Place has Impacted the Doctors – Relationship with the Patients More Comfortable
Carolyn: So have you seen an increase in patients signing up?
Dr. Jockers: That’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many facets of our marketing. We are trying to monitor all the different areas where people are coming in, so to speak, and of course there’s attrition factors and logistics. We didn’t see a lot of net growth just within this period, but we know it’s on the cusp. We’re seeing an upward trend.
Dr. Andrew: Absolutely. Our patient retention is better. I’m seeing patients coming back now and they are liking what they see. It has to do with the way the place has impacted the doctors which makes the relationship with the patients more comfortable.
Patients Have a Better First Impression
Dr. Andrew: A lot of what’s driven this office’s success is the Internet and marketing. The online presence of Dr.Jockers.com as well as with ExodusHC.com didn’t match up with the interior appearance of the office. If you go to the website and the store looks completely different from the website, it can be confusing. When it became more congruent and we looked the part instead of just spoke the part, it made a greater impact. When patients walk into this office, they really make a split-second judgment. Patients are having a better impression about us at first, so they’re willing to come back again to see us.
Our Overall Capacity has Improved
Dr. Shannon: The biggest thing that I saw from this whole renovation was that we have better customer service because we have structured the office in an appropriate way. The CA’s can do their job better and that has made them happier. It has made the front desk flow nicer which has made customer service better, which is the biggest thing.
Carolyn: You really need to re-look at the way the office functions and the flow of the office on a two or three year basis, because there are things that may shift in your business structure, or you may grow to a point that you need to adjust.
Dr. Shannon: Now it is just a better flowing and functional office. Anything that increases the productivity of my staff so that I can take care of my patients better is always a win for me.
Dr. Jockers: I have a few thoughts: Number one, we actually realized that we have extra capacity in our office and we are actually using it in a much more efficient manner. We were only using one door, even though we have two suites, so we are able to open up the second door. Now we have an “In” door and an “Out” door, so our traffic flow is different and it doesn’t get overly crowded in the Waiting Room area; therefore, our newer patients get better overall service because they are not competing with people who are trying to purchase product at the front desk. Our overall capacity has improved. So overall capacity is a big aspect, feeling like we’ve got better traffic flow which makes our minds open to more possibilities as far as seeing more patient visits and selling more products. I think the patients really enjoy having shorter lines and better, quicker service.
More Interest in Retail Products
Carolyn: When you first started I remember we had a small shelf of product. As your practice has developed you added product and now you have your own line of product, which is really valuable. That began to overtake the small waiting room that was only planned for small retail, so by moving it to the other side of the office, which was originally planned for adjusting bays that aren’t needed, it now became a profit center instead of a storage area. Have you seen any more interest in product because it’s more accessible?
Dr. Jockers: I don’t know if the sales have gone up, but I feel like it’s trending in that direction. I think that will be a continual rise, in part because of the fact that it’s a lot more accessible.
Dr. Andrew: I feel that when the product was in the front because of the traffic coming in and out of that one door, nobody felt like they had the time to really absorb what was really on the shelves. So now that we’ve got it in a new location, I’ve noticed that our patients are reading more and trying new things. They are looking at what’s available rather than being overwhelmed by the process and looking for one thing and getting out of there. I’ve noticed that there are more people actually hanging around that area, which I know will make a big difference in our profits.
Our Staff is More Comfortable and We are Seeing More Retention
Dr. Andrew: I think I remember saying after the work that you did I felt like I was finally wearing a custom suit. I feel that my confidence level went up. I could feel it with my interactions with patients. I grew as an individual from this change.
Carolyn: So how about the exam room? Now it looks great, as before it looked a little like leftovers, right? So have you seen any difference in the patients?
Dr. Andrew: Absolutely. I think when the doctor feels more comfortable and confident in the space then they exude that confidence. This is something that has been proven. When confidence is up in what you’re doing and you’re in the zone, so to speak, you’re 50% more effective.
Dr. Jockers: It’s easier to have that positive self-talk when you feel really comfortable and the room is very new and the lighting is good, all different components.
Dr. Andrew: Along with what Dr. Jockers is saying about the new front desk flow dynamic, we have staff appropriated for each side, and it makes their jobs a lot easier. They aren’t feeling as stressed out or as worn out. I see the difference in the staff. It’s amazing. So they say that the patients come because of the doctor and they stay because of the staff. Our staff is more comfortable and we are seeing more retention now. Our patients are sticking around a bit longer.
It’s Very Well Worth the Money
Angel Jockers: It’s very well worth the money. If I were to refer someone to you, it would definitely be worth the price.
Carolyn: The goal for us is to elevate your success. Do you feel like you’ve been elevated?
Dr. Jockers: Absolutely
Dr. Jockers and his wife talk about their refreshed office space:
As your practice continues to grow, take some time to look at your office with fresh eyes. Enlist the help of your staff and patients and see if they have any comments or suggestions for the way your office works or how it’s presented.
And as always, Contact Us to see how we can help!
In case you missed it, Click Here to learn about seeing your office as part of the “package” of your services, and how that package communicates value to your patients.