On Sunday evening we went for dinner at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer for a grad celebration for my daughter.
I haven’t been there in awhile and had forgotten how charming, cozy and delicious this spot is. When you sit and have a good look around, this place smacks you in the face with atmosphere.
This can be something that many businesses and homes lack; an inviting and comforting atmosphere.
I feel that places that are dealing with people in vulnerable situations (lawyers, doctors, therapists, dentists) should offer an inviting and relaxing space for their clients.
The hospitality industry gets the concept, but many other businesses do not understand the need for comfort while conducting business at their establishment.
When people are arriving and having to spend time in your office, what is their first impression? Is it warm and inviting or are the chairs uncomfortable and the magazines out of date? What impression does your business leave on your clients?
Design can be used for a variety of purposes and one of the most satisfying results is making a space inviting for yourself or someone else.
I have told the story of re-vamping family lounges at the Medicine Hat Hospital years ago and the rewarding results that came out of that initiative and it still holds true today! When you have to visit a lawyer, it is generally not a positive reason and if you are left out in some vacant waiting room, it can have a harsh impact on what you are about to have to deal with.
These kinds of visits are expensive and emotionally charged and it should be up to that business owner/partner to try to engage and comfort their clients during their time there.
I have recently started volunteering at our local library doing a reading program with my therapy dog.
It is my way of giving back to my community and I really enjoy spending time with the kids as they read to my dog. What I wasn’t prepared for was my first visit to the library; it wasn’t cold or institutional but warm and inviting with a stone fireplace and generously comfortable wing back chairs.
It is a place you want to spend time in while you read a favorite book.
When we arrived for our first session of volunteering, we were ushered into a private room so the kids could have quiet while they read and I was so touched to see that the library had set up a fluffy dog bed, silver water bowl and treats for my pup – all that was missing was my latte and a massage chair!
Joking, but it was a delightful touch and their way of saying, ‘Thank you for coming, we really appreciate you’.
The extra mile you take will go hundreds for your clients; every person who crosses your threshold should have an executive experience.
These things don’t cost much – you need comfortable chairs and some privacy and possibly an offer of a coffee or tea (in a real mug please, make them feel like family).
Those who take the time to do business with you are your lifeblood and will tell everyone they know about how good (or bad) the experience was at your establishment – so put some personal touches out and about!
Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Kim Wyse Associate Royal Lepage Tamarack Trail Realty’.