19th February, 2018
Nobody likes to wait around, but there’s no reason why it should be such a chore for your clients.
Waiting rooms tend to have a bad reputation. Jerry Seinfeld once joked that there’s no chance of not waiting in a waiting room. After all, that’s what the room is there for.
But there are ways to ensure your clients’ inevitable waiting room experience is a pleasant one.
You can craft an experience that makes sure they won’t be entering a meeting feeling anxious and frustrated, and one that can secure their business even before they’ve shaken your hand.
Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
This is the most important thing to remember when considering the design of your waiting room.
Prospective clients are going to be spending time in here, which makes it a fantastic opportunity to communicate something important about you and your business before they’ve even met you.
Think about it like this: what image would you want your clients to have of your business? Now use your waiting room to communicate that image.
This can be done with something as simple as an inspirational slogan printed on the wall or even the choice of reading material you offer.
Make sure your clients know who you are and what you’re about as soon as they sit down.
It doesn’t matter how well you communicate your vision, if your clients aren’t comfortable, they’re not going to see it.
Make sure you’ve got some temperature control in place, for starters.
If your clients are feeling too hot, it may be a tense negotiation once they enter the boardroom. This is especially important if you work in an industry where wearing suits is customary.
Make sure you have comfortable seating arrangements, too, but once again consider the message you’re sending about your company.
For example, a couch may be a bit too casual if you’re going for a professional feel, but if you want to create a more welcoming, chilled-out vibe, a couch could be perfect.
In addition to taking every opportunity to say something about yourself, you need to consider whether what you’re saying and the kinds of choices you’re making with the décor.
For example, if you were looking for a wealth management team, you probably wouldn’t want to see children’s toys in their waiting room.
But if you were looking for a pediatrician or a family GP, toys that keep the kids engaged are not only expected, they’re a relief.
It’s not just the items you feature in your waiting room that are important to consider.
Have a good think about whether your artwork is right for your business and its clients and even your lighting.
Low-lit and coloured mood lighting is great if you run a recording studio, but would be quite strange if you’re running a criminal law firm.
We know waiting rooms have a bad reputation, but as we’ve seen, they can also be a great branding opportunity for you to leverage.
Take advantage of the opportunity your waiting room presents by making the wait something your clients will remember, something they’ll associate with you and your business in a positive way.
Again, this doesn’t have to be something that costs you an arm and a leg.
It can be something as simple as having a bowl of unique lollies from another country on your coffee table or maybe a chess board set up between chairs.
The key here is to be creative and respectful of your brand and your clients.