In many companies, the waiting room often plays a secondary role to the rest of the office when it comes to decorating and planning. Because the waiting room may be the first interaction a customer or vendor has with your business, you can turn it into part of your brand experience. Instead of ignoring the room, turn it into an extension of your customer service philosophy and corporate brand.
Use your brand colors and design elements to inspire the decor of your waiting room so that customers recognize the physical space as part of your overall experience. You might use the colors from your logos in the wall colors, furniture or art, for example, or use your signature font on signs. If your visitors have seen your website, brochures or advertisements, the space should feel familiar to them. In doing so, you reinforce the strength of your brand and help increase recognition with vendors and customers.
Because the waiting room is often your only chance to make a first impression, don't be afraid to show off your successes and best projects. Hang awards on the wall, or frame photos that show completed client projects. Put out albums that contain news clippings about your business so customers can flip through them. The waiting room is also an opportunity to educate people about the work you do; to that end, put out trade magazines, show animated models of projects on a computer screen or run a looped video about your company.
Advertise Corporate Responsibility
To give visitors an immediate positive impression of your company, promote your socially and environmentally friendly achievements in your waiting room. If you sponsor a charity or community group, make a bulletin board with photos and articles or a thank-you plaque. Design a poster that explains the eco-friendly features of your office, explain your recycling policies or give details about your commitment to reducing your carbon footprint. Include photos that will draw in visitors.
Let your guests know that you are interested in their well-being by providing a variety of comfort items. Put out pitchers of iced water, coffee, prepackaged snacks and fruit along with a sign inviting visitors to partake. Use comfortable furniture, put in wall outlets so people can plug laptops or phones in while they wait, and advertise if you have wireless Internet; you can also consider putting in a computer for people to use while they wait. By allowing people to eat and work during their down time, you can demonstrate that you respect their time and are attentive to their needs.