A recent family illness sent me to a place where I haven’t been in a while—a doctor’s office waiting room. There I was grouped with many people sitting and patiently waiting their turn to be seen by the physician.
Such a situation gives you plenty of time to think about where else might people be waiting and what can be done to make their waiting time more comfortable.
If you’re a small business where customers—or patients—find themselves waiting for you, here are some suggestions to make things more pleasant as they pass the time.
- A comfortable environment. Please don’t blast the air conditioner in the summer or fire up the furnace in the winter. Be sure to keep a watch on the thermostat, no matter what the season.
- Simple comforts. Our doctor’s office offers a water cooler and a self-serve coffee machine. No need to overextend yourself; just keep things refreshed and surfaces clean.
- Speaking of which… Clean facilities. A frequently-monitored and cleaned restroom is always appreciated.
- Cheerful surroundings. A new coat of paint brightens every room – waiting or otherwise. If you have simple paintings or photos on the wall, even better for visual stimulation. One doctor’s office even had a flat screen TV spotlighting scenic views of the United States.
- Background music. Upbeat and cheerful is the way to go, but be mindful if you cater to an older generation. And please, don’t crank up the volume.
It’s really quite simple: Just a few touches can make your waiting room or area popular with those who visit your establishment. And, since waiting is often the hardest part, comfort is key.