The reception area is the first space your clients encounter when visiting your business premises. A welcoming and tasteful space will give your clients a good impression of your company and how you conduct your business.
- Comfortable seating
While the goal is to keep clients waiting as little as possible, making sure that they are comfortable while they wait will go a long way in forming a good impression. Comfortable seating will also help nervous, anxious or timid clients relax, preparing them and putting them at ease for the upcoming appointment.
Avoid hard, sterile seating that make the space feel impersonal and uncaring. Make your clients feel like their comfort is important to you with upholstered chairs or sofas. If your business image is fresh and modern, choose the seating to match. Opt for contemporary designer couches, upcycled wooden pallet seating with a colourful cushion or two, or even a mismatched collection of vintage seats for a unique sitting area that matches the nature and image of your business.
- Warm and inviting space
Warm, natural lighting and complementing colour schemes can make all the difference. The style that you decorate and furnish your reception area with reflects your business image and your ethos.
Make sure the space is clean free of obstacles. Indicate the pathways clients should take from the doorway to the reception desk to the waiting area by arranging furniture and using signage effectively.
- Something engaging to look at
Give your clients some interesting entertainment to keep them occupied until you are ready to welcome them into their appointment. Providing engaging entertainment will demonstrate your concern for their time and enjoyment while they wait.
TV – If you have a television screen in your reception area, use it wisely. Position it in an ideal corner that affords easy viewing from most angles. Make sure it displays something relevant to your business space; if your business has an infomercial or video or slideshow displaying your products, services or history, play it on a loop to provide clients with insight into your company. Alternatively, keep the TV tuned to a relevant channel, such as a news channel. This also promotes the notion that your business is keeping up to date with current trends and developments. The channel you choose doesn’t have to be a generic news site – if you work in the music industry, why not play a music channel, for example?
Artwork – Art displays, chosen with taste, exude a certain level of class and sophistication into a room. This can be anything from a wall hanging, mounted canvas, decorative table piece or even a small sculptural statue. The art you choose should not only reflect good taste, but suit your business image too. By selecting artwork from a local artist, you are communicating to your clients that you are community-orientated and support local entrepreneurs.
Reading material – In addition to, or in lieu of, visually engaging stimulus, including some reading material can help keep clients occupied while they wait. Periodicals relating to your business or industry are a good choice. If your company was featured in a recent publication, offer that as reading material as well. Also include pamphlets or promotional material for your business, as well as business cards for your clients to keep.
Greenery – Add a potted plant or two to liven up the space and keep the air fresh.
- Show off your company’s best assets and accomplishments
As well as any reading material highlighting your business, the reception area is perfect for displaying your business’s certificates and awards. It will impress your clients and give them confidence regarding your capabilities, professionalism and experience in the industry.
- Offer refreshments
Go a step further in creating a comfortable and welcoming reception space by offering refreshments. Fresh water, coffee and tea are staples, and the smell of fresh coffee will add to the atmosphere. For added extravagance, why not include a bowl of breath mints, sweets or other small snacks or treats to make your clients feel like VIPs?
Make a good impression!
First impressions do count. As does the second impression, and the hundredth, and in business, keeping consistent is just as important as that initial ‘wow’ factor. Make sure your clients are equally impressed by your reception with every visit – this will also make them want to return more often, hopefully with more business for you every time!