How to Make the Office Lobby Customer Friendly
Christine McDade is an experienced human resources manager.
Lobbies make an impression on visitors.
An office lobby is a place where people often find themselves waiting for the person they are scheduled to meet. Whether it is a place for a business or personal meeting, lobbies become an expression of the office and the people who work there every day. In many instances, a lobby is that place of "limbo" where people must wait for that job interview, the doctor or just a co-worker who is meeting them to discuss an issue. Staring at the tacky pictures on the walls or the outdated magazines can make the wait seem like an eternity. Thankfully, many office managers and administrative staff recognize the need to make this place warm and inviting to visitors. Those "special touches" that add an appeal to the ambience of the room make lasting impressions on the people who must spend time there.
"Special Touches" make a lobby customer friendly.
Warm and inviting lobbies are places where waiting is not a problem for customers because he/she simply do not mind being there. Office managers and staff who are responsible for maintaining the lobby will want to ensure the look of the room is warm and comfortable. The "special touches" that make lobbies nice are:
- Coffee and drinking water - Some offices offer coffee and/or water to visitors who wait for their appointments. While there is certainly a cost to the business to provide these beverages, a visitor will appreciate having a cool drink from a watercooler and a cup of coffee for that boost of caffeine that they need to get through the day. These beverages are a nice perk that will impress the visitor.
- Magazines and periodicals - Lobbies are known for their magazines, newspapers, and flyers that are available to visitors while they wait. Unfortunately, they are often out-dated and worn out from continued reading. No one wants to read about Halloween crafts when Easter is just around the corner. In addition, it is not unusual to have magazines with missing recipes and articles because someone over time has taken them. Office staff should periodically remove old magazines and replace them with current issues that will be of interest to the people who read them.
- Hand sanitizer - Like grocery stores and other public buildings, lobbies are often equipped with hand sanitizers for visitors. Since offices are infamous for handshaking and introductions, visitors appreciate the hand sanitizers that are available for everyone's use.
- Furniture - Because the cost of furniture is certainly a hefty investment for the business, many offices do not spend much money on the furniture that is put in a lobby. While it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to purchase furniture, it should be a priority of the office staff to keep the furniture clean and free of stains. Periodic cleaning of the furniture will keep the furniture presentable.
- Plants and flowers - Lobbies are often decorated with live plants and fresh flowers to add some color and life to an otherwise boring place. Staff should water plants regularly to give them proper care. During the winter holidays, poinsettias make a nice addition to a lobby.
- Telephone - Some lobbies have a telephone available to visitors for their use. While cell phones are common, it is still convenient to have a telephone available on a desk or counter for customers to use for local calls. Some lobbies will have a phonebook available to visitors as well.
- Television - Many lobbies these days also have televisions with cable or satellite to keep customers occupied while they wait. Doctor and dental offices often have TV's in their lobbies to help pass the time for their patients.
Keeping the Lobby Clean
Cleanliness of the lobby is a priority for office staff who maintain its appearance so that it is inviting to visitors. In addition to the furniture mentioned above, floors must be swept and carpet vacuumed regularly. Coffee pots should be emptied and cleaned throughout the day. Dusting of the blinds and furniture should be done consistently. Messy lobbies are a poor reflection on the company as people will not be comfortable in such an untidy place. The overall cleanliness is important to maintain a positive impression on visitors.
Some Closing Thoughts
Lobbies make a great place for businesses to showcase how they care about the customers who visit their office. Expressions of gratitude for the customers' business are made by providing a friendly and inviting place for visitors to wait. Taking a little extra care in how a lobby is decorated and maintained is an expression of how they handle all of their business. Offering beverages in a clean, attractive lobby will make visitors comfortable as they wait for their appointments to start. As a lobby is often the first impression of a business, there is good cause to make it a positive place to visit.