Sitting in a waiting room can be a horrifyingly boring experience for everyone. While we all like peace and quiet from time to time, there is something about sitting in a room with other people, waiting for your turn that just gives an uneasy feeling, no matter how little time you have to wait. To prevent your clients and customers from feeling uneasy, and then nervous or agitated when their turn comes, you can actually do quite a few things. What would help your clients is to keep their minds active, entertained, and at ease, so follow these few simple steps for some ideas.
Set the right atmosphere
First of all, think about the colors of your waiting room. Choose warm, inviting colors that will at the same time open up your space. If you have windows, decorate them with nice curtains to give the room a more homely feel, and keep the blinds open, as you will need a lot of natural light. One waiting room classic is a fish tank, and it’s a surefire way that your clients will be entertained, both children and adults. Place some bowls with candy on the tables nearby, or at the check-in desk, as they always give a feeling of a warm welcome. There are hundreds of plants you can also choose from, to bring some nature to the room, but make sure to use only those that don’t cause an allergic reaction.
Mind the furniture
After you have decided on the mood, think carefully about the furniture. Just like the room’s colors, it needs to invoke comfort and style. You can include a couch instead of going just for chairs, but don’t go too big, since nobody wants to climb out of the cushions for five minutes, regardless of how comfortable it is. Think about your customers’ personal space, and separate the chairs enough so that each person can have their privacy, but also chat with another, if they want to. Disregard regular wooden chairs, as they will cause discomfort, and backaches.
Perhaps the best thing you can do for the waiting room is to get free Wi-Fi. People spend a good amount of their day online, and it is proven that web content makes the time fly by, which is why so many people decide to whip out their phones and go online while they wait for something. By providing free Wi-Fi, your clients will be able to check social media, read news, or watch whatever content helps the time go by faster. You can also put a sign in a visible place, asking them to use their phones in silence, as loud volume can be disruptive for others in the room.
When your clients do get Wi-Fi at their disposal, you can set it up so that they need to leave their e-mail address or other data to use the complimentary service. This is perhaps the fastest way to create a digital list of contacts, where you can later send notifications on special discounts or offers. As a bonus incentive, if they create user accounts for your website, or check in on your business via social media, your clients can get discounts or additional offers they might not get any other way.
Entertain the children
Sitting in a waiting room can be an absolutely horrid experience. The younger the child, the lesser the chances are that it will sit still next to its parent in silence. To keep them from getting bored there are a few options at your disposal. If you have television in your waiting room, see if you can get another screen to display an alternate, children’s program. Dedicate a small area for them, filled with toys, picture books and coloring books with crayons to keep them occupied. One ingenious idea that can entertain both kids and adults is a small photo booth. The professionals from photo booth hire Sydney emphasize the entertainment value these can bring to your waiting room. While the kids are entertained, the parents will get a chance to unwind.
Occupy the mind
A waiting room favorite has to be light reading. Magazines usually make the dullest waiting go by faster, so make sure to stack your racks and tables only with those that will suit your clients’ tastes. Vary the magazine topics: from fashion and lifestyle, to sports and educational ones. You can also include your company’s brochures and pamphlets as a way to advertize, inform and answer any questions that might arise. Keep all the reading in a visible, easy to reach space, with tempting covers that will invite people to pick them up.
The solutions to the “waiting room problem” don’t have to be expensive. In just a few details, like magazines, picture books and few Wi-Fi, you have already made the waiting process a little less unpleasant. But you can always go the extra mile and include different, subtle things that will invariably fix the clients’ moods, without them even realizing it. Another fish tank, a second screen with a different program on it, or a photo booth, all might seem unimaginable in a waiting room, but they will be very well received, which will do wonders for your office’s reputation.
Homerun Nievera is the publisher of Negosentro.com and WorldExecutivesDigest.com. He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.