7 Creative Ways to Design Your Reception Area for Visitors to Align with your Brand

A well-planned reception area will help you attract more customers. These tips will get office visitors to unwind and find interest in your brand.

The average person who visits a business is in an out without any recollection of ever having been there. There are many reasons that creates that kind of apathy, and alternatively, plenty of reasons why the memory lingers on and a preference to return.

If you are one to take office design into your own hands, there is one question your reception area should answer upon immediate encounter, and that is: Why should I do business with you?

Over the past several years, I have witnessed the same mistakes made, when it comes to designing a reception area workspace that almost everybody makes. Regardless of the industry, the same pitfalls will

leave potential customers with less than a memorable experience of your brand.

Here are seven tips for making a visitor-attracted to your brand:

1. Create a visually appealing design. First impressions are everything. No matter how talented or customer service focused your company is, if your workplace isn't aesthetically pleasing, people will not remember you.

"The main reason we see poorly-designed reception workplaces is a lack of main concern and/or resources. Although information is available on how to create effective workplace designs, reaching out and getting it is quite another story. "Even those who work in office design can still be deficient in the basic skills to make a reception area successful because they don't zero in on top concerns of the business’s customers."

Visually, your reception area needs to impress upon your guests that you are a quality company, you care about your business and your customers. Visually, your reception area needs to tell your customers why they should do business with you.

2. The design should emulate the industry: Having a great workplace design isn't the end all. Your reception area design should match your business, the products you sell, the services you provide and the philosophy of the company that makes you different.

"If the business is about aircraft parts, you'd be able to get away with a rouged mechanical design, parts on display, latest industry information etc., if the business is about high fashion, your reception area needs to be about personal image, "You'd need slick, elegant, creative, design with a bold statement."

3. Put it all up-front: People come to your workplace generally for a planned reason. It should not be an arduous mission to find information that supports the reason they are there, and if this is the case, you'll lose an opportunity to WOW your customer. Your reception area navigation should be planned, structured, simple, and available to find without a search party.

"Business people are often spoiled and impatient," They want to know instantly, who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer that benefits them. Why not use this wait time to capture their interest.

4. Go for the welcoming effect: Visitors that feel welcome are most likely going to remember the experience. It’s all about the details, the things you do and provide for your guests that are unexpected accoutrements and service.

  • Create a welcoming culture with your business
  • Train your greeters. Everyone does not come naturally imbued with the talent to be an effective greeter
  • Design traffic flow. Point people in a way to make it easy for them to navigate your reception area so as to learn how your company can benefit them
  • Mark areas of possible interest
  • Have an area for refreshments or snack offerings
  • Treat visitors like VIP’s
  • Create ways to establish trust and credibility; letters, testimonials, community participations, colors, shapes and exercises that inspire customer contribution

5. Take notes on areas of interest: Notes on areas of interest will help you understand your customers better. Tracking areas of customer interest will give you the tools to expand and embellish areas of your business and/or reception area information that you know will be attractive. Providing relevant product and service reading material (books, magazines, brochures) together with videos right in your reception area that offer more insight about your company and how your product and service benefit them is a great way to promote these areas of interest.

Tracking notes gives insight as to what content visitors like and don't like. For example, on a recent reception area we designed, we used an area for product displays, customer samples with a voice-activated computer station that educated the customer on how to, problem solving, how the products were developed and customer benefits. By understanding your customer’s hot buttons, gives you the keys to greater sales.

6. Omit auto registration: Requiring visitors to register (unless it is for some high security reason) before they can enter your business is less welcoming than a display of efficiency. There are other alternatives to registration that are less obtrusive.

You can add an opt-in to register somewhere in your reception area. One way to get visitors to opt-in to the registration program is to offer something to your guests that they couldn't get somewhere else, Groupon.com, is an example of letting visitors view their deals if you click their logo.

7. Make an FAQ available: No matter how welcoming good you think you've made your reception area, people will still have questions and the best businesses anticipate this in advance.

It's important for any business to have an FAQ available for visitors for a few main reasons, 1) Everyone will have questions about what you do and are looking for ways to tie that into ways they can benefit; 2) Even on the most popular websites have an FAQ page where clients can go to get questions answered; 3) It clearly demonstrates that you are concerned about your customer’s wellbeing and that you have anticipated them in advance, and thought to address them.