The client experience starts long before a client sits down in your office for their first appointment. One piece of the client experience, and possibly the first impression of your firm, is your office lobby. What message does it convey? Think beyond the warm greeting they are hopefully receiving from the receptionist. What is their eye drawn to first? What story do those visuals tell? Step back and walk through those doors as a prospect and determine those messages. Is it what you want to convey? If not, what should it be? Below are some small changes that you can make to your lobby to share the story of your firm.
- Artwork and photographs are a great way to break up blank wall space and provide something that is visually A piece of artwork can send a strong message about who you are and what you do. Consider pieces from local artists to emphasize your commitment to the community. Do you have specialized niches? Abstractly showcase those industries, e.g., a beautiful field of wheat for your agriculture clients or a historical photograph of the city with smokestacks and hardworking laborers to show your deep history in manufacturing. If the firm has a long history, your lobby and conference rooms are great places to highlight photographs of past shareholders, newspaper articles matted in frames and historical pictures of your past offices.
- Brochures and other marketing collateral are nice to have in your lobby but don’t over-do it. Create a nice area to house those materials in a clean and sleek way. If a client or prospect wants to browse your materials, they will, but don’t bombard them with those materials on every surface.
- A flatscreen T.V. is a great addition to any lobby. The capabilities are endless and easy to update. Consider creating a rolling slideshow that showcases current happenings in the firm, new team members, timely service offerings, photos of your staff volunteering in the community and client testimonials. We hope clients aren’t waiting too long for their appointment, but their time in the lobby is better spent learning more about your team and service offerings than browsing the latest celebrity “news” stories.
- This tip may go without saying, but your lobby should be clean and orderly. On the surface, this might seem obvious, but look beyond the neat stacks of magazines and the freshly vacuumed carpet. Look up and look down. Are there stains on your ceiling tiles or small cracks in your floor tiles? Is the lettering coming up from the logo displayed on your door? Maybe coffee rings on the side tables? Every office experiences normal wear and tear, but what message is it sending? Your competitors are recruiting your very best clients every day, and if they just moved into a new property with a cappuccino maker in the lobby, they will superficially impress. While a cappuccino maker is nice, it isn’t necessary. Your best impression boils down to CARING. Be sure your lobby space shows your staff, the community and your clients that you care. Don’t neglect the little things.
If you access your office through an employee entrance it’s easy to forget what your clients see when they visit. Take some time to look around your lobby space before clients start making their year-end planning appointments. What are a few small changes you can make? If your lobby needs a total overhaul, create a goal and recruit others to help make it happen. At the very least, put out a bowl of mints. Fresh breath never hurt anyone.