Every day, especially for a busy person, we find ourselves waiting. Waiting on coffee, waiting on public transportation — waiting, waiting, waiting. We even wait to see our beautician, doctor, lawyer, or anyone who requires an appointment. Oftentimes, we do that waiting in a lobby or an aptly named “waiting room,” and these rooms or spaces have to make a good impression, or else it will set a tone for the rest of the appointment. So what is it that a company or individual needs to craft a pleasant waiting room experience? Here are a few tips:
- Comfortable seating. This is probably one of the biggest and easily fixed problems that can be found in a waiting area; if you’re sitting in a cold, hard metal chair, then you’re going to find yourself getting irritable. At the very least, find yourself some seating that conforms to a body and gives the person sitting at least a small amount of support. The longer the wait-time in your lobby, the more comfortable the seats ought to be.
- Noise. There needs to be some balance between it being too quiet and too loud, because both can drive anyone insane. If it’s so quiet in your waiting area that you could hear a pin drop, then maybe consider some music. If the office is very keen on confidentiality — like in a psychiatrist or lawyer’s office — then music or a television is really your only go-to, but keep the topic of music or TV light and casual. Otherwise, there’s no harm in letting people in the lobby know that other human beings work and go there — laughter isn’t a bad thing, nor are conversations.
- The decor is also something that will greatly affect the people in your waiting area. Try using warm or happy tones, like yellow. If you cannot repaint your waiting area’s walls, then be sure to get plenty of decorations in those happy colors. Even a poster or painting can give someone something to look at.
- Reading material and entertainment is another big deal, because walking into an area where you may or may not have to wait half an hour with nothing but a white wall to look at is astoundingly horrible. Even with everyone owning a smart phone, it is simply bad business. Keep a variety of magazines on tables and in racks — easy to reach for adults. A handful of toys meant for toddlers and children will also be greatly appreciated from all parents everywhere.
The main goal of your waiting room — aside from the obvious waiting — is to keep your client or patient happy, or at least content. It’s the first thing they see and it leaves an impression on them as to who you are and what your business or practice stands for. A happy waiting room means a happy business!