7 Common Mistakes Online Shoppers Make Buying a Modern Reception Desk

Reception Area Mistakes

Tell me if this is something that sounds vaguely familiar…

You want to buy a nice modern reception desk for your business lobby.

You don’t have an exact fix on what it is you want to buy, but you tell yourself, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

You then go from one website to another looking for that perfect reception desk, one that will jump off the screen and say “I’m it, buy me now.”

Unfortunately, the task is more labor intensive than you had ever imagined. You stick with it.

Hooray, you find one that’s really nice, but the price is twice what you want to spend. You keep looking.

“Joy to the world,” you find another, but it is way too big and will never fit into your reception space.

You find another that might work, but there is not enough information to make an intelligent decision. You don’t want to call to inquire because you don’t want to be hounded by relentless sales people.

If you are like me, particular, chances are you are going to put some mental legwork into finding that right modern reception desk, the one that will make the perfect statement for your business. And you know how important that is.

Because that’s true, by now, you are mentally exhausted, you don’t want to settle, but you don’t have a lifetime to buy the darn thing, so you slap down your credit card and keep your fingers crossed that you’ve made the right choice.  

If that’s not you; “Hats off to you.” Most of the people that find us online tell us tales of frustration, and literally breathe a sigh of relief that they found us.

Reception Area Solutions

So for all you frustrated people, I have put together a tool to help you take the frustration out of your search for that perfect reception desk.

Here is a list of seven common mistakes people make when buying a reception desk online… 

Knowing these will help you zero in with less mental aggravation. 

1. Not Knowing Construction Material

Websites that sell modern reception desks will often show you a bunch of pretty pictures (which is a great start), but they will leave it up to you to only imagine what the stupid thing is made out of (or offer a vague description). Why do you need to know that, you ask?

Because if you know the difference, it will tell you how long you have before you need to buy a new one. It will tell you what it’s going to look like a few months down the road after someone has beaten the crap out of the thing (or gently use it). It will tell you the type of impression (visually) it will make in your reception area. It will tell you if you have to move it, (because you are a growing company), if you have a prayer of it surviving in one piece, and if it will be able to go back together again successfully. Most importantly it will tell you what you should pay for it.

And from what I can tell, most online shoppers don’t know construction material of a receptionist desk is a big factor in the price to value equation. On the other hand, even if they were told what material the product is made from, most shoppers would not know the difference anyway. After all if it looks good online, it must be good, right?

Online reception furniture is a price competitive arena. Two of the biggest ways to stay competitive in this arena is to build furniture with lower cost labor and out of materials whereby the price is lower than the next product that you, the customer will see.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have your reception desk built out of cost competitive materials, as long as you understand what you are buying, and as long as it fits the needs that you are trying to match i.e.; wear ability, price, life expectancy, image presentation etc.

Let me give you some background information on materials, so you can be prepared to select the best product materials for your business.

Evaluating typical reception desk construction materials 

2. Shopping Solely on Price

Believe it or not, your reception area is one of the most important areas of your business/customer/worker experience. It’s a place where first impressions are formed. It’s a place that sets the pace for what happens next. It’s a place where opinions (about you) are formed (rightfully or wrongfully). It’s a place where visitors actually see work being done. It’s a place where customers often decide if they want to do business with you. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s big.

“In my mind, there is nothing more important in business than customer experience. To cheat your customers out of the best experience you can offer is in reality cheating yourself.”

I’m a person that travels somewhat frequently for business, for me it means having to find local accommodations, most often as an impromptu visitor. On a number of instances I have literally walked out of an institution based solely upon the look and feel of their reception area. History has taught me, in the area where a business ought to shine, if it comes up lacking in generating the warm and fuzzes, than one can only imagine what to expect from the parts of business that are hidden from view. Conversely, if the reception area is modern, clean and well-organized, chances are one would go to the next step. 

Naples Reception Station

Naples Reception Station

3. Reception Commonality 

On a date, what woman wants to be treated like every other woman? What guy wants to date a woman that is just like all the rest, and vice versa? Your customers in many ways resemble that date.

Greenwich Reception

Unless you are in a business that is thoroughly unique and you are the only game in town, chances are there are a plethora of business’s looking to attract your very same customers.

What separates you from the business next door are the ways you are better and different. I believe that character and style must be self-evident; requiring no proof or explanation.

Having a reception area that speaks to your difference from the moment your visitors walk through the door is one way of showing lack of commonality.  

Greenwich Reception Desk


4. Reception area Fit and Function

Remember the childhood story of Goldilocks and the three bears? She had to find the right fit and function to be comfortable.

In a crazy sort of way, your reception workspace works the same way. Chances are your space is limited in size and shape. If you are a well-organized person, you have a designated type and amount of work that needs to be done in that space.

To get it right, often requires; the perfect size for the space; too small and you waste real estate, too big and it may not fit properly, wrong shape and you limit function, limit function and you get less work done.

Helpful hints: consider the surface space needed for the work and style of the worker. Consider storage space of all types i.e.; forms, files, samples, guest accoutrements etc. Consider power and data requirements and placements together with monitor space that may impede your surface depth. Consider balancing privacy with open communications with visitors. Consider visitor performance spaces; do they need to write checks, sign forms, sit for discussions, etc.

You want to make your reception workspace as convenient for visitors and functional as possible for workers

It is almost impossible to get the perfect fit and function from ready-made products. It’s for that reason we at 90 Degree Office Concepts build your reception furniture perfectly to fit your needs. 90 Degree Office Furniture

Mimas Reception StationMimas Reception Station

5. Reception Desk Design

Judging from experience, reception area design elements is something few CEO’s seem not to give a hoot about. I would imagine that’s because of being so bottom line focused.

Impressive Reception Areas

Have you ever been walking with your attention so focused on where you were going that you missed the pothole, curbside or obstacle in front of you?  

Not considering design as part of your reception area purchase is a big mistake. That’s because it’s part of being human to be drawn to things that are beautiful; be it people, shoes, cars or even a colorful well-designed plate of food.

Any advertising, packaging design, Hollywood movie all use beauty as a key element of attraction

The same theory holds true with office design. You want to incorporate an appealing visual design into the fit and function of your reception area. If all it takes is a little thought and planning to take function to the next level, why not invest the extra effort to have your visitors automatically attracted to your company.

6. Reception Desk Craftsmanship

When it comes to good old fashion craftsmanship, few of us seem to care anymore. American craftsmanship has given way to overseas mass production.

The problem with that is: in order to make furniture cost effective to ship thousands of miles over water, it has to be shipped as flat panels so as to take up as little cube space as humanly possible. That makes the furniture only as good as the fasteners and materials it adheres.

Palisades Contemporary Reception Desk

Palisades Contemporary Reception Desk

7. Making Reception Furniture a Last Minute Item

You would not leave marketing plans for the last minute then slap something together for the sake of just getting it done, would you?

We, at 90 Degree Office Furniture believe everything you do inside and outside company walls is related to marketing your business. Your reception area is a place where customers, vendors and new hires come to visit. How your reception area looks is a reflection on the brand.

That being true, you need time to put thought into the plan. 

Newport Reception

Newport Contemporary Reception Station

Plan with Purpose

There is no standard way to design a reception space until you define what the main function of the space will be. This means that it’s absolutely essential to plan for people and purpose before you ever begin to think about color schemes or buying furniture. While getting all of those details crossed off your list fast may be a quick approach, however without understanding what a room will be used for, there’s no way to add the right furniture.

Ask yourself how many people will you entertain at any given time? What would you like them to experience while they are there? What would you like them to think and feel about your business while they are there? What tools can you use to promote your business during their wait?

Uses may necessitate really dissimilar results when it comes to layout and reception furniture decisions, and only once you’ve established the purpose can you begin to add the pieces to accommodate the plan.

Planning with a purpose first, will naturally lend itself to the smaller details that need to be attended after the heavy lifting is done.