Every patient takes note of the atmosphere of a waiting room. It’s perfectly common for a patient, during the waiting time, to make an assessment of how the room looks, how they feel sitting in it, and how its design represents about the company or practice. A great deal of opinion can tend to be formed based on the attitudes of the front desk staff, the spacing of the room, the choice of furniture, and the presence or lack of artistic detail in the waiting room’s design. Valuable lessons can be learned if you take the time to assess the impression your waiting room has on a patient or customer.
1) Front Desk Staff
When a customer is expected to wait to be called for an appointment, he would like to feel comfortable and cared for by all staff. Those at the front desk provide faces for the entire practice. Even if the rest of the staff are professional and compassionate, a lack of kindness from the front desk personnel is likely to be noted and remembered by a patient. On the other hand, a helpful and professional front desk representative will perhaps provide a good first impression that all other members of the practice will benefit greatly.
A cramped waiting room makes a customer feel she isn’t important or that she’s just a number. While sitting there in the waiting room, she does not want her personal space to be violated simply because the room’s layout is poorly done. A visit to a healthcare office can be unpleasant enough without having to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with other patients. Waiting room spacing is extremely important for ensuring the comfort of patients and customers. By designing your waiting room with guests’ comfort in mind, you can help to make your waiting room one that patients don’t mind, and perhaps even enjoy, visiting.
The warmth of a waiting room’s setup is also greatly dependent on proper furniture selection. Echoing the points covered on spacing, it’s important to note that patients like to have a place to set their coffee, bag, or book without bumping into the person next to them. While seating and table options don’t have to include the most luxurious furniture available, it’s important to design a waiting room with comfortable and up-to-date arrangements.
A waiting room’s design is only complete with keen attention to such things as artwork, reading material, and television channel choice. These nuances are important for customer comfort. While a reality television show and a stack of tabloids might be what’s currently popular at the automotive oil-change joint down the road, a truly professional setting will choose offerings that are more educational or intellectually interesting for its guests.
By being proactive to incorporate professionalism and service into your waiting room design, you will help make your guests comfortable while in your office and perhaps encourage them to refer their friends and family to your business.