Your office and waiting room are two important factors that contribute to your client’s experience with you.
Those of us in the software business (i.e. the SimplePractice team) refer to this as the “user experience”. User Experience (aka UX) is the highest priority for us when it comes to building SimplePractice because we want you to have the best possible experience while using our product and services. You, like us, have a fantastic opportunity to control (to a certain degree): the experience your clients will have when they come to see you.
Whether they are conscious of it or not, the environment they are in will have an effect on them, and this is something you may forget about due to your busy schedule. Don’t lose sight of what it’s like for a new or existing client to experience your waiting room and office.
You may walk in and out of your office waiting room a hundred times a month but when was the last time you actually stopped to look at it through the eyes of a client or patient? Sit on the couch or chairs and took a good look around.
Is your office dusty?
Are your couch cushions clean?
Magazines – are they current? Are they appropriate?
How does your office smell?
Clients pick up on a lot of things. What’s the point of working through a session when all they can do is wonder why that same candy wrapper has been under your chair for the past three months?
If you’ve got an honest friend or colleague, invite them in to assess your waiting room and office so that you can get a fresh pair of eyes on your workspace.
Find a decorator or pull ideas from someone else’s office.
What color is the paint on your walls? If it’s something dull and dreary, take some time to think about a palette that will create a calm and safe space. Are your walls clean, or are there scuff marks from shoes or chairs? Once you paint your office, keep some of the extra paint to do a quick touch up once in awhile.
Your clients will notice the scuff marks and that candy wrapper we mentioned earlier, but they won’t be distracted by these things if you’re taking the time to care for your space. Remember, keep things simple! There’s no point in complicating the look and feel of your workspace.
Also, ask yourself, does your office reflect what you want it to? This may vary depending on the type of work that you do. Make sure that everything is in sync.
Ask for help if you think you need it and don’t skimp when it comes to investing in your office! It will pay off when you feel proud of the space you’ve put together, and notice that your clients feel at ease when they come to work with you.