The first impression a visitor has of your business isn’t when they’re shaking your hand, and you’re exchanging pleasantries: it happens in the reception before they’ve even stepped foot into your office space. It’s here where you can make a strong impact on your customers or business partners, and what’s more, it couldn’t be easier to do. There’s only so much you can do with a small space, but get it right, and it’ll be a tick for your company before you’ve even begun talking numbers.
It seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised just how confusing it is to enter some offices. You go there every day and know it inside out, but your visitors? It’s their first time, so help them out. Make sure your offices are well signposted, so people don’t need to walk up and down the road multiple times, and also ensure it’s accessible for less mobile people too. It’s worth making the reception easy to get into; you don’t want people you’re trying to impress wasting time pushing and pulling doors, pushing complicated intercom speakers, and so on.
Setting the Scene
If your offices are in a busy city, then you won’t be able to control the chaos of the streets outside your offices, but the inside is your domain. It’s up to you to set the scene, to make people feel instantly comfortable and relaxed, away from the rush of the outdoors. Have a cold air diffuser spread soothing scents through the reception, and install lighting that is calming and atmospheric. You’ll be creating an inviting ambiance in your lobby, which will make your visitors all the more patient when it comes waiting to get clearance and be seen.
Everyone knows that in this day and age, active business men and women are never really not working. If they have a five minute before your meeting, then there’ll want to be connected and getting down to work. You can facilitate this by having wifi available in your lobby, and having all the necessary login information readily noted. Small touches, such as having pens and paper (branded with your company logo, of course) available on the tables will also be warmly received by your visitors.
The Fun Factor
If you’re claiming to be a fun, forward-thinking company, then make sure these ideals are represented in your reception. Colorful walls, televisions, low volume music, and magazines will give your office reception a vibrancy, and make it enjoyable to be in. Of course, make sure all media – such as the television channel and magazines – are relevant to your company.
Finally, never forget that people love to eat and drink, so make refreshments available or make sure your visitors are offered them by your receptionist. It doesn’t have to anything grand (though feel free); a coffee machine serving high-quality coffee and a few pastries on a plate will do the trick.
With these, plus a friendly receptionist, you’ll be getting off on a good foot with your visitors.