No one likes to wait. Whether you own a DMV or you run a dentist’s office, the inevitability of waiting in a small room for an hour or more can give your line of business a bad reputation. We aren’t suggesting you can make the wait go away, but by investing in some alternatives to the standard magazine subscriptions you can make the waiting room a (dare we say) fun place to be.
If a customer actually looks forward to spending time in your waiting area, suddenly scheduling becomes less of a headache and you can go about your business while fielding fewer and fewer complaints. Don’t confine your customers to a dungeon – try these strategies to vastly improve the customer or patient experience in your waiting room.
Tear Down the Walls
Most places of business or doctor’s offices logically create a holding area in the first room of their establishment, so customers or patients can check in and remain confined to one area until they’re called. But when business is booming and seats fill up, people that are stuck waiting can get restless and cranky. This kind of energy only grows in a small space with multiple impatient people.
Some businesses completely scrap the waiting room entirely and implement seating areas throughout their business where families can wait. In this manner, you can segment off your customers and provide a few fun, inexpensive distractions. Installing a few televisions is ideal if the various seating areas are far enough away from your offices.
This arrangement works best in a place like a DMV or a car dealership, but with a little inventiveness it can be integrated nearly anywhere. If customers aren’t kept in one room, give them a buzzer to indicate when it’s their turn or install a speaker system so they can hear their name when needed.
Appeal to the Kids
Most often, parents and adults can find ways to occupy their time, whether they end up browsing the magazine selection or logging onto various social media accounts on their smartphone. The real issues come into play when young children have to wait for extended periods of time without a toy or game to occupy them.
Some doctor’s offices have toys for toddlers, but you can go above and beyond by investing in some arcade games, board games, or even a few iPads loaded with games to keep children fully engaged instead of counting down the clock. If you energize your waiting room with fun activities and games, kids might actually look forward to an otherwise dreaded visit to the doctor.
Encourage Some Competition
If you have some televisions installed in your waiting room, sometimes it frustrates customers when it’s on a different channel than they’d prefer, or when it’s muted and they’d like to hear what’s happening. One way to solve both of these problems simultaneously is to install the Buzztime BEOND platform in your waiting room.
Sound isn’t required to tap into the addictive fun of the trivia, poker, and arcade games included with Buzztime, and participants play via a handy touchscreen tablet. By getting customers and patients to engage with each other via trivia, more conversations flow and the wait time seems considerably shorter.
Don’t settle for a bland waiting room – do your customers a favor and create an exciting waiting room experience.