How can I improve my reception area?
Creating a friendlier and more inviting reception area can have a major impact on your client’s or patient’s experience. It can help calm anxiety while also giving your brand or business a boost. And, it can even strengthen patient/provider relationships.
You don’t need an entire office redesign to obtain this, you just need to step into the shoes of your patients. Follow these 5 ways to improve your reception area and you’ll have a waiting room that patients will be happy to wait in.
Why is the reception area important?
The reception area is arguably the most important space in your office. This is where customers get the first impression of how you do business and what to expect. If your office staff is friendly, and the space was obviously designed with their comfort in mind, they’re going to expect a much better experience. Ultimately, this first interaction will set the tone for the rest of the appointment.
5 Ways to Improve Your Reception Area
Avoid calling it a waiting room.
Recent studies in psychology as brought to light the importance of language. By calling your reception area a “waiting room” you’re immediately implying that they’re going to have to wait. This can feel insulting to a patient. Instead, try to use positive language that sounds a bit more inviting. Try calling it a “reception area” or a “guest lounge”. Whatever you choose, be consistent and make sure your staff is too.
Name one person who doesn’t love plants as décor. You can’t, can you? House plants are both aesthetically pleasing and add a host of health benefits. According to a study done by the New York Times, patients placed in a room with plants tend to feel less stress, anxiety, and fatigue and felt more positively towards their doctors than when in a room without plants.
Opt for natural, warm-toned lighting.
There is nothing inviting or relaxing about fluorescent lighting. If you are lucky enough to have windows in your reception area, make use of that natural lighting. If you have to rely on artificial lighting, aim to fill the space with a nice blend of blog-white fluorescents and warm “yellowish” light. This may mean buying some floor or table lamps. This might take some trial and error, but the lighter moods of your patients will make it worth it.
Offer free Wi-Fi.
It’s 2019 – keeping up with the design trends isn’t enough. If you aren’t already, it’s time to start offering free Wi-Fi in your reception area. Patients or customers will appreciate the gesture. Plus, if you’re able to keep them distracted by their phones, they won’t be as negatively affected by longer wait times. They’ll get to play or work from their mobile devices, and you won’t be as stressed about running behind. It’s a win for everyone!
Try out your furniture.
As obvious as they may seem, it’s important to make sure your office furniture is just as comfortable and ergonomic as it is attractive. Remember, some of your patients or clients will be sitting in these chairs for upwards of 20-30 minutes.
Make sure you also have accommodations for those who have specific needs such as armchairs for the elderly or longer benches for those who may be uncomfortable sitting in armed chairs.
How do you maintain a reception area?
It’s one thing to put the effort into designing a welcoming reception area, but you’re going to have to put effort into keeping it that way. Here are iSpace Office Interior’s tips to maintaining a pleasant lobby:
- Keep your reception space visually clean. No magazines laying array on the tables!
- Maintain organization on the reception desk.
- Keep a clear pathway for foot traffic.
- Offer beverages of some kind. And yes, a Keurig will do!
- Keep televisions muted and music to background level volume.
- Avoid strong room fresheners as not everyone enjoys these scents.
Office Furniture from iSpace Office Interiors
iSpace Office Interiors is an Indianapolis based office furniture provider. If you are looking to improve your reception area, we would love to help! We offer interior design, space planning, and sound management services. We also sell reception desks, waiting room chairs, and other office reception furniture both new and used!