Make a good first impression as clients walk through the door

First impressions matter. That doesn’t just go for people but businesses too. A good way to focus on what kind of impression you are making is to think about what you customers or clients would think as soon as they step through the front door. In other words, what does the reception area look like?

Here are some tips to make the most of this crucial area.

Have the right receptionist

The receptionist plays a very important role in the first impression your business make. Everything from his or her appearance to communication skills will influence how others view your business. Think of how you’d feel if you were greeted by someone who was unfriendly, couldn’t be bothered to get your name right, made you wait unnecessarily and dressed sloppily? How your clients and potential associates are made to feel in the waiting room will be a big factor in the impression your business gives them.

A receptionist is the host of your waiting room, and as such should ideally be well-groomed, polite, efficient and professional at all times. A good receptionist will make your clients feel valued and at ease.

Have a comfortable and secure atmosphere

A comfortable atmosphere will not only make your clients feel relaxed and amiable, which is good for business, but also gives the impression that you have everything under control. Some ways to ensure comfort is to provide ample comfortable seating, have your receptionist offer your clients refreshments, and give them something to entertain themselves with while they wait, such as reading material or a television.

It’s also good to show that you think about security. Do you have a  guard at the front door? Is there access control such as speedstiles or even man traps if you’re dealing with expensive goods? Giving thought to your security sends a message that you can be trusted.

Get your brand image across

The waiting area is the perfect opportunity to communicate across what your business is about. Consider what the values, tone and style of your brand are.

For instance, do you define your business as fresh and innovative, hip and modern, refined and elegant, or efficient and dependable?

It’s good to know what your brand stands for, and get that image across in the layout and décor of the reception area. If you’re stuck for how to do this, flip through a magazine, and see what kind of décor you identify with for your business.

Finally, just a few more tips: make sure that your waiting room is neat and clean at all times, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, open the windows if it gets stuffy, and maybe have a vase of fresh cut flowers out. It’s the small details that make all the difference.