8 Jun 2017 8:49 AM
First impressions don’t start in your reception area. Rather, your clients will start forming impressions of your practice from the moment they pull up at your front door. That’s why it’s important to not neglect the outdoor areas that surround your practice.
Following these landscaping tips to make the most of your practice exterior and surprise and delight your clients with some unexpected outdoor flourishes.
Create an outdoor waiting area
Many of your clients will prefer getting some fresh air while waiting for their appointment. If you have the space, consider creating an outdoor waiting area. Install some bench seating and create privacy from the parking area or street with some strategic hedging or timber screens. Adding a water feature can help to ease patient anxiety, and make sure you keep any public areas paved to prevent clients walking dirt into the practice. If your outdoor waiting area is exposed to the sun, create some protection with a shade sail, pergola or shade trees, and installing an intercom or speaker system is a crate way to call in your clients without having to send staff outside. But keep in mind that your outdoor waiting area will need to be located directly off your indoor reception area, otherwise you may create annoying traffic flow issues.
Consider your staff
If your practice has an outdoor area that isn’t off the reception area, consider using it to create a staff breakout space. Providing a long banquet-style outdoor table can encourage your team to build better relationships as they eat together, and even consider putting in a barbeque for Friday evening staff bonding sessions. And if your outdoor area has street access, think about putting in a bike rack. This will encourage your employees to cycle to work, which will help to improve their fitness, reduce sick days and boost morale and energy levels in your team.
Every space counts
You don’t need a large outdoor area to create an impact. Simply placing some potted shrubs or trees either side of your door can create an impressive entrance for your clients. Likewise, lining entry pathways with some raised garden beds or neatly manicured grass will lift the appearance of your practice and impress your clients before they even step foot inside.
Just as the design of your practice interior should reinforce your brand values, so your landscaping choices should reflect what your practice is all about. For example, if you’ve created an innovative, high-tech practice, a sleek Zen garden will tell your clients that you’re on the cutting edge. On the other hand, if you run a friendly, family practice, opt for colourful flowering shrubs that will help to soften the exterior of your practice.
Don’t skip the maintenance
You’d never let your reception area become dirty or messy, and the same rule applies to your outdoor areas. Consider employing a maintenance crew to ensure any gardens and lawn areas are neatly groomed, and to ensure any potentially hazardous aspects – such as loose paving, cracked pathways or broken pots – are immediately fixed.
Cassin’s specialises in custom medical fit outs, dental fit outs, radiology fit outs and veterinary fit outs with more than 28 years of experience in the healthcare fit out industry. Call our friendly team on 1300 122 774 to find out what we can do for you.