“You had me at hello.” A classic line from the movie Jerry Maguire, but also exactly the response any company wants the moment potential consumers enter their premises.
As the point of first contact, the reception area is like your company’s opening act. If it bombs, the audience may not be interested in seeing the rest, no matter how Tony award winning it may be.
As grossly unfair as it may seem, your clientele will summarily judge your company’s success, as well as the competency, relevance and character of your workforce based on their visceral reaction to your anterooms. Whether you are operating a dentist’s office, heading up a fashion empire, or selling widgets, your reception design has the daunting task of luring clientele into the fold and making them feel confident, comfortable and welcome. A lot to ask of a relatively small space, but with a little thought and creative use of branding, easily accomplished.
The Positive Experience Starts Here
The key to successful reception design is a welcome zone that reinforces your brand and reflects the core concepts of your business. That does not necessarily mean over the top bells and whistles. The branding technique can be understated and elegant, provided it creates an identity that encourages clients to feel a connection with your product or service. It could be something as simple as a hint of corporate color. The idea is to claim the space and send a clear message: The positive experience starts here. Reception influences perception.
When contemplating a new reception design or updating a tired space that is no longer inviting, it’s important to ask questions: Are you highlighting your brand in an appealing way? Does the room serve its intended purpose or multi-purposes efficiently? Is the décor timeless or will it be outdated before it is worn out? And of course, does it have the Wow factor, that je ne sais quoi that makes visitors say, well…, Wow?
Comfort, Style….and Comfort!
When it comes to furniture, a smart and stylish desk will set the tone for the décor. Whether you choose a rectangular, square or semi-circular desk of wood, glass, or steel will depend on the room.
The desk should impress, but of equal importance is the seating arrangement and choice of chairs. To comfortably accommodate clientele, there must be adequate space between chairs and room for guests to move around freely without tripping over each other. Be sure to leave room for any patrons who may be wheelchair bound.
In terms of chair selection, consider your audience carefully; their sizes, ages and mobility. Look for seating that is attractive but don’t forget the three Cs: Comfort, comfort and comfort. A 20-minute wait in an uncomfortable chair can seem like hours. All the positive branding in the world cannot make up for that.
Design is how you make your first impression with your consumers. Make sure it is a lasting one. Jay Samit, author and digital media innovator.
Looking to remodel your reception area to make it more inviting? Contact our design team today!