Ever walked into a business and knew exactly how you were going to be treated based on the lobby or reception? The reception area is the first chance to make a great impression without saying a word. When customers or clients enter your office, they will decide within seconds what they think about your company. They will be able to see if you value customers and employees, are doing well financially, and are trustworthy to do business with. You can’t control what everyone thinks, but there are some things you can do to ensure that your reception area shows off your success and professionalism.
Always make sure your reception area is clean. Just like guests coming over to your home, you want to make sure there is no trash laying around and that surfaces are wiped and dusted. Desks and workstations in the area should be clean and organized. No papers should be left out and all confidential documents should be kept out of the reception area entirely.
Make your area comfortable. Use natural lighting when possible and if you do not have any windows, use soft light bulbs. Use greenery for decoration and not fake plants. Living plants provide a calming atmosphere and show that you can take care of things. If you have wall space, display art from local artists. This will show that you care about the community and provide visual stimuli. Make sure your furniture is comfortable as well as durable and provide enough seating for your average client flow.
Pay attention to the details. Have a clear traffic flow for the reception area so that first time visitors know exactly where to go to check in, use the restroom, and to relax. Provide a coat rack and/or umbrella stand so that customers can shed their outerwear upon entering. Set up a drink station that provides cold and hot beverages. This can easily be done with a mini fridge and Keurig. Let your reading materials be focused on your company or topics that your customers would be interested in and keep these up to date. Music can be calming, but play it low enough so that customers can hold a conversation. Avoid artificial odors as some customers may have allergies and aversions. If you have coffee brewing, this will be enough to entice most people.
Highlight your company. Display your logo and add some elegance by using spotlights. You can also spruce up your logo by using branding manifestations on doors. Display awards so that customers can see tangible accomplishments you have made. Highlight a charity your company sponsors and provide information in reading material or brochures. Have pens, water bottles, even candy with your logo on the wrappers to give away. Customers will grab things that are free without thinking about it. This will not only provide advertising for you but give them a little treat as well.
Lastly, if you have an employee manning the reception area, ensure that they are friendly in disposition. Do not hire a receptionist that does not enjoy serving customers. People who have degrees in hospitality are great for these roles.