10 Jun 2016 8:44 AM
As the old saying goes, first impressions last – and your reception area is often the first experience your clients will have with your practice.
Whether they’re a returning patient or a new customer, your reception area reveals some key insights into how you run your business and how much you value your clients.
Long waits or awkward check-ins at a poorly designed reception desk shows a lack of foresight; tired old interiors from the 1980s hardly expresses a commitment to cutting-edge innovation; grubby or poorly maintained surfaces demonstrates a lack of care; and uncomfortable or cramped waiting areas suggest that you don’t value your clients as much as you should.
But all is not lost. It’s never too late to renovate your reception area to change the perception of your practice. Here are five key things to consider:
When designing your reception area you need to think about traffic flow. Provide a separate area for outgoing clients to settle their accounts so they don’t hold up clients who are trying to check-in. Even consider using a dedicated room for outgoing clients to keep any bill disputes or sensitive conversations out of earshot of your waiting customers.
The more uncomfortable your waiting area, the longer the wait will feel to your clients. Built-in lounge seating is a much more comfortable option than standard waiting room chairs and will help you to maximise the available space in the room. Also consider providing some up-to-date extras – like free Wi-Fi in place of months-old magazines. And choose easy-to-clean surfaces and materials to keep your waiting area looking fresh.
Cut the Clutter
Even a bit of decluttering will do wonders to refresh a tired reception area. If you’re yet to convert to a digital filing system, now is the time to get it done so you can free your reception area of cumbersome paper files. And ensure any product placements are neatly organised in built-in displays that don’t intrude into traffic areas.
Rethink your Reception Desk
Large, imposing reception desks are on the way out. Many practices are embracing a new approach to using a collection of smaller desks or check-in stations where clients can sit with administration staff for a more private and personalised experience.
Your reception area is also the best place to display your brand values. That might sound like marketing speak, but ensuring your signage is well designed without being overpowering, and matching your interior design and colours to your brand will go a long way to creating a professional environment your customers will respond to.
Get your reception area right and you’ll not only give your clients a positive first impression of your practice, but will also encourage them to keep coming back.
Cassin & Sons specialises in custom healthcare fit outs with more than 27 years experience in the medical industry. Call our friendly team on 1300 122 774 to find out what we can do for you.