It's time to see if your waiting room seating is comfortable for your clients. Are your clients all squished together in your waiting room seats like a can of sardines or are they spaced comfortably? Since the busiest times in your office are probably the most productive and financially lucrative, those are the times on which you want to capitalize by assuring your clients are comfortable and relaxed.
Consider your client's children as well. If your client's children aren't happy about sitting on the floor or on their parent's lap when they are in your office at its busiest, they will act up and embarrass their parents into never returning to your office again! Imagine losing clients because you didn't have some seats for their kids.
Now, consider if you are forcing your clients into uncomfortable situations when they are waiting. Do they need to sit next to that "weird" person on the dirty couch or do you have other options? Do your clients have enough privacy to occupy themselves sending private text messages or will everyone in the waiting room be able to read their them?
Feel free to ask your staff if your clients seem to have a favorite seat in your waiting room. You know the one that almost every client chooses to sit in if it is open. If you do have one of those seats, find out why your clients are drawn to it. If it is the seat itself and you can get more, then get more! If it is because of its position, such as a lone seat, then try to duplicate that more in your waiting room.
Take in all aspects of your waiting room when arranging the seating. For instance, if the wintery cold air blows in on your clients every time the door is opened, those chairs will go unused when it is cold outside. If possible, put up a partition or add heat near those chairs so they are used once again and your clients aren't frozen solid when it is time to see you.
Check out the cleanliness of your furniture as well. How many people feel comfortable sitting in a dirty chair? If any of your furniture pieces look dirty, get them cleaned or get them out of your office. If you choose to purchase new furniture pieces, purchase ones that will not stain when anything falls on them and will clean up easily.
Another important, but often overlooked, point to consider with your waiting room seating is the integrity of each piece. Is each piece safe for even the most obese client to sit in comfortably? Even if your practice caters to small people, consider the fact that one of your clients may bring in someone who is quite large. Just look at your furniture with its integrity in mind. If your chairs look weak, then you are limiting the comfort of your clientele. Even if your chairs look sturdy, but there are no wide chairs, then you may still be limiting the comfort of your clientele.
Providing your clients with different types of seats in your waiting room will give them the most options for their own personal comfort while they wait. Having only one type of chair in your waiting room may cause those clients who think those seats are uncomfortable to go to your competitor to do their business. If they don't like to stand, but are not comfortable when they sit in your office, you leave them with no other choice.
When your clients are comfortable when they are waiting to see you, they will likely have a better visit than if they were squished on a dirty couch next to a parent holding their rambunctious young child. Comfortable seating in a waiting room can positively influence your practice over time. Through your seating and how it is arranged, you can show your clients how much you pay attention to their needs before they even meet you.