Every day we find ourselves waiting. We wait for coffee, we wait for our train to pull in, we wait on hold. We wait, wait, wait. We even wait to see our beautician, doctor, lawyer, or anyone who requires an appointment. Oftentimes, we do that waiting in a lobby, reception area or an aptly-named “waiting room.” These rooms or spaces have to make a good impression; otherwise else it will set a tone for the rest of the appointment. So what is it that a company or individual needs to do in order to create a pleasant waiting room experience?
1. 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.
2. The right ambient sound
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.
3. Inviting decor
Try using warm or neutral tones in your waiting room decor. Colors like light beige and blue are good choices. Hang framed pictures or posters on the walls that depict scenes related to your business or industry.
Waiting in an area where all you can do is stare at a white wall is an astoundingly-horrible experience. Even though most people have smartphones, it is simply bad business to make them wait in a chamber of boredom. Keep a variety of magazines on tables and in racks — easy for adults to reach. A handful of toys meant for toddlers and children. As a result, your customers will greatly appreciate you.
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 since it leaves an impression on them, you need to go the extra mile to make it represent who you are and what your business or practice stands for. A happy waiting room means a happy clientele!