Most people hate the thought of spending hours in a waiting room and when it does happen, what sticks is the memory of uncomfortable chairs, stuffy and noisy environment and an endless waiting line.
However, waiting rooms can offer a pleasant ambience and evoke positive emotions if you only invest a bit more effort and follow these three principles: it should be useful and meet the needs of your customer, its design should be simple and practical so it facilitates your business interaction and it should be a fun place that provides an enjoyable experience.
Here are several ways on how you can achieve this and have a waiting room that is fun and relaxing.
Pick the furniture carefully
On average, clients and patients spend around two hours in the waiting rooms which is why it’s important to pick furniture that is comfortable and high-quality. What visitors want the most is to get over with the visit as soon as possible and return to their daily responsibilities so they’re often nervous and anxious. With a warm colour palette and soft, comfy sofas and chairs, you’ll be able to ease their impatience and allow them to relax.
Also, plan the seating arrangement so that when family members come as well, everyone can sit together whereas the others who prefer privacy, can have a single seat.
Make it fun and relaxing
From six-year-olds to seniors, everyone has a smartphone today so providing the internet goes without saying. A Wi-Fi connection nowadays isn’t even considered as an added value. What is more, clients expect it as it allows them to catch up on some work online as they wait or simply kill time having fun on social media or playing games.
For a truly impressive waiting room, provide charger boxes and several outlets but don’t forget the good old entertainment from television. Consider TV wall mounts in the waiting area as it could be the right distraction not just from the waiting but from text messages and business phone calls.
Finally, your clients will certainly feel appreciated if you offer some sort of refreshments such as coffee, tea and cold water in summer. Such details are a great gesture that shows your appreciation.
Make it useful and versatile
Your clients consider the time spent in a waiting room as time wasted that could have been used for other, more useful activities, especially work. The trick is making your clients feel as if they’re not losing time and the best way to do that besides providing a free Wi-Fi connection is by installing a few portable computers that they can use to search for news, answer their e-mails and simply be productive. Providing this kind of service will also show your business as the one that understands the needs of your clients and makes the extra effort to enable all the necessary conditions and amenities. It might even help you learn about your customers’ behaviour and engagement.
Even though it’s not a part of your waiting area per se, free parking is something that will surely lower the stress of your clients and lift off another burden off their shoulders as they will no longer waste 10 minutes looking for a free parking space.
Make your customers feel welcome
As your clients enter your premises for the first time, most of them feel confused and wonder if they should register or sit immediately, if they should approach the front desk if there is one and ask for information. This could also be very off-putting as it may feel again as wasting time and feel quite awkward.
A way around this is by providing a greeter in the waiting room who will welcome them, help them register, instruct them where to sit and explain the whole waiting procedure. This could be done by your front desk officer and it will save everyone a lot of time and make the wait much more pleasant.
Whatever you choose to do in your waiting room, the most important part is to make your clients feel welcome, appreciated and relaxed. Start with small steps and ensure there are comfortable furniture and nice refreshments and then you can progress other things that can make the waiting more pleasant and relaxed.