December 11, 2018
Holiday lights are twinkling and many aesthetic practices are planning their annual patient holiday events.
If yours is one of them, use these tips to make sure the entire team makes a great first impression.
1. Discuss appropriate attire.
Inform the team what is expected several weeks before the party so they can plan ahead. You can’t assume that everyone has the same understanding of what defines “dressing professionally.” Some may not understand that the hemline for an office event is different than the one they’d choose for a Saturday night out. I’ve also noticed the recent trend of women wearing 4-inch, spiky heels to the office, which I’m not sure sends the right message for most aesthetic surgery brands.
Don’t leave anything to chance. During your event planning meetings, discuss the specific clothing, jewelry, and other accessory options that are appropriate, and suggest options for where employees can find these items at affordable prices.
2. Be sensible about perfume and makeup.
Overdone makeup appears unprofessional – sometimes even tawdry. Not the impression most aesthetic surgeons are going for when throwing an event. Heavy doses of perfume can be offensive for chemically sensitive guests, not to mention overpower the smell of the delicious food you’ve had catered.
If makeup is an issue with staff and you are uncomfortable addressing the situation, consider hiring a professional makeup artist to do everyone’s makeup for the event or as a team building opportunity. The artist can communicate your message and provide tips in a fun and non-threatening way.
3. Wear professionally designed name tags.
Magnetic (as opposed to pins) name tags are best for protecting finer fabrics. Design and purchase them online at places such as NameTags.com. They typically cost about $10 each, or less, depending on the number purchased. Include each staffer’s name and role.
4. Cheerfully greet and welcome each guest.
You’d be surprised how difficult it is for many people to walk up to someone they don’t know and say: “Hi my name is Sue, and I’m the reception services coordinator.” Ask staff to practice introduction skills in at least one staff meeting prior to the event. Practice will reduce anxiety and increase confidence.
In addition to putting on a smile and a pleasant attitude, make sure you have a fast and simple way to collect demographic information and email addresses for each guest. This can be done on a computer as part of check-in, by handing guests an iPad so they can register themselves into your system, or by asking people to fill out a card that is entered into a drawing for gift certificates or skin care products.
5. Use the FORD method to build rapport with guests.
To enhance existing patient relationships and build new ones with guests, use the rapport-building technique, FORD. The acronym stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.
To fuel conversation and get to know people’s personal stories, staff simply ask questions about one or more of these four areas of the person’s life. Most people like to talk about themselves. FORD gives your team a structured way to have a meaningful conversation that builds trust and relationships.
6. Put away mobile devices.
It’s not good when guests walk into your event to find the majority of staff staring at their screens. Instead your team should look people in the eye, smile, and interact.
Beyond the designated staffer posting to social media during the event and monitoring their phone for last minute requests and family emergencies, no one should be checking their devices until the event is over.