A waiting room is a place that is often highly disputed, hated by some and put up with by others. Most customers and clients feel that a waiting room is only a place designed to waste their time and is often an uncomfortable one at that. While you may not be able to knock out all of the time that your customers have to wait for you, you can at least make your waiting areas comfortable, pleasant and customer-friendly. You may even find that your customers look forward to returning to your business.

Complementary Food and Drink

Food can drink provide a way for your customers to pass the time pleasantly and also help to fill hungry bellies that may be missing lunch or a snack to come to your office. Consider a customizable coffee maker that accepts one-time-use pods. A popcorn machine from a company like New England Pretzel & Popcorn CO. Inc. is a great investment that can be easily worked by customers without much effort on your part. Keep favorite toppings nearby to let customers customize their bowls of popcorn.

Fun Spots for Children

Whether or not your business specifically caters to children, you will want to have a designated area for them in your waiting rooms. Many adults are forced to bring their children with them to appointments. Your kid zone should contain games and toys that can be easily wiped down at the end of the day to reduce germs. Board books, magazines and even interactive tablets can create a fun space for your youngest customers.

Work Zones

Because many of your customers are missing work to be at your business, help bring their work to them. Provide complimentary Internet access, and set up workstations throughout your waiting room complete with desks and charging stations.

Comfortable, High-Style Areas

Stay away from the sterile waiting areas of decades past. Style is in today and can help make your customers feel more relaxed. Choose plush chairs with good back support that are comfortable enough for at least 20 to 30 minutes of sitting. Use soft, engineered fabrics that are easy to wipe clean. Integrate coffee tables, plants, hanging lights and plenty of natural light to keep your space cheery yet relaxing.

Retail Space

Your business may have certain products that it recommends routinely to customers. For example, if you own a salon, consider offering hair products and tools. A doctor’s office could sell recommended vitamins while a chiropractor could sell foam rollers or heat packs. Not only can you push the products that you like, but this will help make waiting an active rather than a passive experience.

Waiting rooms today cannot merely be barren areas with hard-backed chairs and a large pile of magazines. Instead, they must cater to the needs of your customers who live in a fast-paced tech-based world. Keep in mind that your customers are taking precious time out of their days to visit you, and make their waiting time as well worth their while as you possibly can.