Make Your Consultations More Like a Spa Experience
It was earlier this summer when I went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico for the week. I decided to take one day to enjoy the spa while it was raining on the beach. I entered the lobby and was immediately impressed. The music was settling, the receptionist had a welcoming smile “Ms. Holsinger, would you like a glass of champagne while you fill out our intake form?” From there, it got better. As I pranced around the resort in my robe and slippers holding my cucumber eye mask, I couldn’t help but think how this experience could be applied in many other businesses for a fairly small investment.
Let’s look at the typical law firm initial consultation experience.
Client walks in, sits in a quiet empty lobby with florescent lights and outdated magazines. After the receptionist gets off the phone, she hands over and extremely long intake sheet for the client to fill out. A few minutes pass and the client is then escorted to another room and may or may not be offered a drink. Again, the client waits in an empty quiet room with nothing to do but worry about the upcoming meeting.
You only get one shot at a first impression.
Here are a few ways to change the experience for these potential clients and give them the warm welcoming that will make them want to come back.
Soothing Sounds ($20) – Play calming sounds in the lobby such as ocean waves or nature tunes to create a relaxing ambiance. You can find these online for free, purchase an album or even buy a sound machine or fountain.
Reading Material ($25 each) – Keep the latest copy of only four or five magazines for clients to browse through. Think of inspiring and uplifting magazines like Eating Well, Dwell, Fast Company and Travel + Leisure. If your city has a regional magazine, add that in the mix. You can even make a DIY magazine rack to hold them neatly.
Welcome Sign ($30) – Hang a vintage style chalkboard in the lobby with something uplifting written on it each day. You could write an inspirational quote or even welcome the client before his or her meeting “Welcome Ms. Smith!”
Refreshment Station ($20) – Set up a small table in the lobby as a refreshment station. Fill a large glass pitcher with ice water and sliced lemon. Place a small sign on the table that says “We also have hot tea and coffee if you’d like.” Add a little basket with creamer, sugar, napkins, and stirrers and be sure that they are always stocked. You could even go one step further and learn to make pour-over coffee and purchase this amazing coffee-drip stand for your station.
Decorating ($50) – Throw away that old dark rug; consider a bamboo area rug for a more Feng Shui feel. Be sure to hang artwork or photos that will either create conversation or a peaceful feeling.
Plants ($100) – Add balance and harmony to your office with an Areca Palm or Lucky Bamboo. Both of these plants are perfect office plants because don’t require much light, are air purifying and easy to care for.
With the help of a smiling face to welcome the client into the office and your new zen lobby, your potential client will be sure to remember their experience in a positive light.