The »Dentists in Buchholz« success story
In 1983 the owners of the “Zahnärzte in Buchholz” (Dentists in Buchholz) practice, Mrs. Bodil Andersen and Mr. Knut Ingemann, founded their first dental practice in Buchholz/Nordheide in the state of Lower Saxony. The first premises were formed by combining a 2-room apartment with a 3-room apartment (130 sqm. in total) that soon proved too small, however. In 1986 the dental practice was expanded by adding the neighboring apartment (70 sqm, for a dental laboratory) and the number of employees also grew steadily.
The married couple addressed two completely different target groups: Mrs. Andersen found it important to be a proper family practice to which the grandmother goes, as does the grandson. Mr. Ingemann succeeded in specifically addressing patients from a wide radius with specialized treatments, such as implants, halitosis, functional diagnostics or sleep apnea. The technical equipment in the dental practice was always state-of-the-art and continued training ensured that all the the staff had a high level of expertise.
The central location close to the main station was a further advantage for many patients. Regular patient surveys as part of a QM system installed early on, confirmed a high level of patient satisfaction that was also expressed in longstanding loyalty.
Nevertheless, after around 20 years Bodil Andersen and Knut Ingemann were no longer satisfied with the situation. The premises were too small, too convoluted. A shift system had to be operated, as there were not enough treatment rooms and the convoluted architecture meant that both the staff and the patients found the atmosphere too hectic.
The corporate design, the website, the patient communication materials were still produced in-house and did not fulfill their own standards of professionalism.
The two dentists therefore decided to fulfill a long-held dream. To build their own new medical center that would also accommodate the dental practice designed according to their own ideals and accommodating their own dental laboratory. Practice marketing was also to be professionalized.
The new beginning
Thanks to over 20 years of experience, precise specifications could be given for the architecture and technical equipment, so the daily workflows could be optimized and the desired calm is perceptible for the staff and patients.
The new dental practice within easy walking distance of the previous dental practice was opened in 2010.
Challenge for STEPPS
Quote from Knut Ingemann: Besides the new premises, we also wanted to have a new dental practice presence, so during the building planning phase we got together with the experts from STEPPS. The holistic approach from STEPPS and the dental knowledge was important for us. We didn't want to be the guinea pigs for service providers who are inexperienced in practice marketing. We wanted to have a partner who rendered and coordinated all services for us and who knew about the German Health Care System Act (HWG) and the German Professional Code of Conduct (BO) and who knew how to address patients.
Regarding timing, it was important for us that the new look was taken into consideration even during planning of the dental practice. The transition was to be as smooth as possible, as our previous presence was long known and we wanted to tell the patients: Our look is new, but of course we still stand for the same values familiar to you.
Quote from Bodil Andersen: The starting point for the design was to be our high quality standard and the solution-oriented style of treatment. Expertise and high tech, but also creative solutions and humanity were to be visualized and transported to the patient through the new look.
It was also important for us that our Scandinavian origin is reflected in our new presence. A succinct practice name also had to be developed.
The next steps
In parallel with the building planning, the STEPPS specialists developed a new name and a new logo. So even the building phase could be used to draw attention to the new dental practice with a building placard on the building site.To accompany this, ads and a flyer were developed such that existing and potential new patients could be informed about the relocation in good time.
During the building period, besides the business stationary and the website, work was carried out on the signage system for the new dental practice and on PowerPoint presentations that are to run on a large screen in the lobby area. Suggestions for the interior furnishings also took the new corporate design into account for the design of the dental practice.
Alongside the umbrella brand for the dental practice, sub-brands for the individual areas were developed to draw attention from the outside to the size and wide range of services.
So the prophylaxis center, the prophylaxis shop, the dental laboratory and implantology all have their own design brands that serve for orientation within the dental practice
Quote from Knut Ingemann: We are aware that the measures for opening the new dental practice (2010) were only the starting shot and we have have to consolidate our position with continuous practice marketing.
Our STEPPS partners support us in all marketing matters. From the job ad for a trainee on Facebook to designing a dental practice wine label for the Christmas gifts, through to flyers or ads for new therapy offerings.
Continuous and professional practice marketing is part of being successful in the long term.
For us, practice marketing is not only a way of acquiring or retaining patients. The image of a dental practice also has effects inwardly: the employees identify more closely with the dental practice, they are motivated and proud to belong and it is easier to recruit new competent employees.
We are very satisfied with the development of the dental practice. Thanks to active and continuous patient communication, the prophylaxis center and the surgical center are working at full capacity, the staff and patients feel happy in the new atmosphere and enjoy coming to the dental practice.
For us it is a complete success, both inwardly and outwardly.