Improving Your Customer’s Waiting Room Experience
Let’s face it: nobody has time to wait these days. Waiting rooms are the bane of appointments and meetings, as most waiting rooms are flat-out boring. Typically, there’s a TV stuck on one channel. Visitors don’t know each other, and nobody communicates. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say some waiting rooms resemble morgues.
You could repaint the lobby’s walls a warmer colour, such as egg white or dark blue. Blue is often associated with professionals and success. (Look at Facebook and Microsoft’s colour scheme for proof.) Green, however, is not a smart choice as it is overused in many offices. When you’re choosing colours, choose an “inviting” colour that you’d have in your own home.
That’s just one tip to reconsider. Aside from purchasing plush chairs with movable armrests, join me in several useful ways for inspiring content and comfort in your customers’ lives.
Get Rid Of Boring Floors
Do you have the same, cheap-looking carpets in your reception area that line elementary schools and work offices? Reconsider remodeling your floors to breathe humanity into your office.
These types of floors are uninspiring and are painful reminders that customers are waiting. One dramatic way to improve the happiness of customers is to have handmade floors that actually look professional.
If you don’t have a plain-jane carpet or rug, any number of problems in your floor is just as detrimental. Horrible workmanship in construction portrays your business as shoddy and second-hand. Do you want customers who think your business is ugly? Businesses that don’t spend the money in quality flooring, lighting or other décor give off the air of “sloppy.” This is bad for business.
Upgrade your floors immediately if cracks are present, or if any tiles are chipped. Replace broken or flickering light-bulbs with high-quality, low-cost LEDs.
Without WiFi? Why?
It’s reported that 5 billion people worldwide will own smartphones this year. Nearly everybody has their own Smartphone with Wifi capabilities. Take a look at local cafes and libraries: Wifi. Even Walmart and local grocery stores have Wifi!
If my local hospital has Wifi, there is no excuse for businesses not to have available internet connection. In fact, a business without Wifi may as well be done for.
This is because people who are able to browse at their own leisure are a lot happier. Most internet service providers (ISPs) have personal and business packages which typically allow 10+ people use Wifi connections at once without slowing down. This prevents signals from randomly cutting out – ensuring your customers pass the time smoothly.
You can protect leechers and lurkers from stealing your Wifi by putting up a SSID and password sign, with the details listed, in the office.
Do you have a plasma-screen/SmartTV hanging on one of your walls? (If not - it’s 2017… Make the upgrade already!)
Almost every waiting room out there has a TV hanging from the wall. Typically, it’s glued to a channel that’s a repeat of talk shows and news broadcasts. I’m willing to bet eight to five that people zone out watching the screen, since they have nothing to do.
It isn’t a lively atmosphere, is it?
Both consumers and staff can “upgrade their life” the moment you hook up a video game console to the TV (usually through an HDMI cable).
Don’t worry about the entertainment system being a distraction. According to PCMag, many companies found that video games increased worker morale and productivity. Many sources report the same results: video games in the workplace help performance and increase positive moods.
I’m sure many of your staff and customers have played the N64 before. Have you thought about bringing this console in? Here are some fun multiplayer games people can game out on while they wait:
- Super Smash Bros
- Mortal Kombat 4
- Wave Race
- Mario Kart 64
Why Filling Their Belly Is Good For Business
When was the last time you were personally in a waiting room? Were free fresh sandwiches and snacks available?
It’s no secret that many of us forgo breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sometimes the chaos of daily life means we sacrifice these crucial mealtimes. Sandwiches such as egg salad, tuna, or bologna sandwiches (with hot sauce to spice things up) are a perfect way to feed your customers.
Who doesn’t love a free sandwich? Making a platter of bologna and turkey sandwiches isn’t hard to do. Simply making a sandwich and cutting it up into four equal slices cuts down on the cost of making them. It’s important not to stuff your customers’ faces; merely give them something to snack on.
Other healthy snacks to consider putting in your reception include
- Bottles of water
- Prepackaged walnuts (these are full of Omega-3 fats, which is an amino acid our bodies need to function)
- Kool-aid (in an ice-cold pitcher)
- Bananas (considered a “super-food” for their many health qualities)
You can opt for pre-packaged store bought sandwiches, although these are less fresh than making them yourself (or asking a non-busy assistant to – just let them know they can have some too as a reward for their efforts.)
How To Help Them Learn
Not everybody likes to read the boring, usual, go-to waiting room national magazines People Magazine and Oprah. While those particular magazines may benefit a small number of people, it’s wiser to pick out several magazines that are more likely to interest every group of customers that don most waiting rooms.
People, Oprah and other nation-wide magazines line the desks of almost every other business. While these general mags may be “passable” for general audiences, your customers are there for one thing.
Consider choosing magazines that are connected to your business. Encourage relationships with your customers by choosing mags that are in the field of your business. (The local hospital here has reams of health-inspired back issues.)
You can also opt for other magazines such as:
- Entrepreneur and Forbes
- National Enquirer
- PC Mag
The National Geographic and Wired are also excellent educational choices for general interest. Not to mention that they’re loaded with useful information and knowledge. This means your customers gain something useful from waiting.
While these selections are a bit more specific and geared towards selective markets, they wide variety is loads more interesting than 5-9 back issues of the same magazine.
Implementing these various ways of spicing up your waiting room will make customers much happier to do business with you in the future. Doing everything possible to reduce wait times helps them better their own lives, faster.