Following the thought that “Everything is Marketing”, let me suggest that your office “stinks”. Every person that enters your office for the first time is “five sensing” your practice. They are subconsciously comparing what they see, feel, hear, taste, and SMELL to any and every other practice they have ever visited. Let’s think of other small consumer driven businesses that use smell to influence buying patterns. Cinnabon, the bakery chain, places ovens near the front of its stores so the enticing smell of warm cinnamon rolls escapes when oven doors open. The bakeries are intentionally located inside malls or airports, not outside, so smells can linger. Over time, the company has recognized that aroma is a huge part of its formula. Putting ovens in the back of stores at a test location “significantly” lowered sales. So for Cinnabon, they “stink” good.
How about your office? Smells and aromas work both ways. If your office is musty, smells like oil of clove or eugenol, or methyl-methacrolate, you will elicit a negative reaction as patients subconsciously flash back to bad experiences from the past. It is so subtle that most patients won’t mention the smell, but will end up feeling uncomfortable in the office. Everything matters. ScentAir Technologies Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., (www.scentair.com) is a company providing a product we have used for decades. In an effort to eliminate negative sights, sounds, and smells, we have added ScentAir units to our offices. These are subtle, tea-derived aromas that make patients think of comforting, relaxing spa smells.
Don’t overlook one of the strongest influencers we have, our sense of smell. Use the science of the olfactory brain connection to improve sales and satisfaction. Many of our clients bake cookies every couple of hours or popcorn to place a slight aroma in the office that people normally associate with celebration or good times.
Simple but powerful. Aromas are an idea that makes “scents”.
Michael Abernathy, DDS