Lets face it. No one likes waiting. In the busy world in which we live, we find ourselves spending so much time waiting; in queues, for parking spaces, for appointments – and do we have the time? The resounding answer is most likely to me a no!
So when it comes to your waiting room, how can you ensure first impressions last and that your customers enjoy a painless (no pun intended) wait for their appointment? A happy customer means a loyal customer, and it’s the special touches that will ensure they come back to you for their annual check-up, and not head off to the new dentist that has opened up down the road.
Check out our quick guide to making your waiting room more inviting – and keeping your customers loyal!
- Colours – aim for colours which sooth and relax, rather than stimulate and excite. Think about a cool and sophisticated colour palette including greys and neutral tones to transmit a feeling of comfort and calm. White is of course clinical, but too much can give a harsh and uninviting feel, so consider your colours carefully
- Go for comfort – hard back chairs will perceive the wait to be long, consider smaller sofas, comfy chairs and cushions to enhance the feeling of welcome and relaxation. Bean bags can be great for the younger generation and again add a relaxed and run feel. Also think about the layout, rows of furniture won’t do anything to add to the feeling of comfort, yet a more relaxed and less regimented layout will! Leave as much room as possible between seats to aid patient comfort even more
- Materials – Glass and chrome can be cold to the eye and also touch, dark panelling can be sombre and formal and ultra modern furniture lines can come across as too clinical. Consider natural materials such as stone and wood to give off a feeling of natural warmth
- Keep it personal – inject some personality and familiarity with a noticeboard displaying customer thank you letters and testimonials, or introduce the team through a series of happy photographs or prints. This will not only give your patients something to look at whilst they wait, but also enhance the feeling of care between the practice and its staff and patients
- Flooring – remember the purpose of your waiting room: to make your patients comfortable. Parquet flooring, for example, can convey richness, but may not be as inviting as carpeting or warm rugs. Consider zoning areas to add interest and variety, depending on the space you have
- Introduce flowers and plants – not only do flower arrangements look elegant, they really do help a waiting room feel more like home. Do of course consider patient allergies when choosing your blooms and ensure they are well looked after as there is nothing worse than unkempt, drooping arrangements!
- Smell – a clinical smell will make already anxious patients feel even more anxious, and as for bleach, forget it! Keep waiting rooms smelling fresh and inviting by the use of relaxing diffusers dotted around for a subtle scent that doesn’t overpower
- Background music – no one wants to hear drills but background music needs to be carefully considered. Think about quiet, unobtrusive music which will relax and not annoy. Classical or ambient music is a great choice and should be easy on the ears!
Do you have any top tips on creating a welcoming and relaxing ambience in your waiting room? We would love to hear them! For carefully considered dental and medical interiors, contact Apollo