5 Ways To Better Manage Client Wait Time

A busy waiting room is great news for any office, but for clients waiting patiently for their appointment, the experience can be anything but frustrating. Unfortunately, a client’s waiting experience is often overlooked by firms, which can leave clients agitated before they step into their attorney’s office.

With a proper strategy and the right setup, you can improve the waiting experience at your law firm. Here are five ways:

1. Greet and Direct Clients When They Arrive

Clients want to be greeted with a smiling face when they walk through your firm’s door, especially if there is a wait time.

Along with a greeting, it’s important to direct and instruct clients so that they know what to do and what to expect. If they are waiting for a consultation appointment and need to fill out paperwork, ensure that they fill out these forms while they wait. Not only will this help pass the time, it will also save the attorney time during the meeting.

It’s worth the time investment to hire a receptionist who is truly friendly and happy to help clients entering your firm’s office. Excellent customer service can go a long way in keeping clients in the waiting room and coming back in the future.

2. Give Clients Something to Do While They Wait

An empty waiting room gives clients even more of a reason to head for the exit. Make sure that your waiting area is equipped with things to keep clients occupied.

Reading material is a must. Vary your magazine subscriptions to cater to a wide range of different interests. If you know your client base very well, you can use this to your advantage to find niche magazines that will catch their interest.

Along with magazines, you can also provide educational material. The Law Office of David E. Gordon wrote a helpful post on the top 50 questions injured people ask, which could easily be turned into an educational pamphlet clients can read while waiting for their appointment. In this case, many of the client’s questions may be answered before the meeting, or they may come up with new important questions to ask.

If your office is particularly busy or you specialize in family law, you might consider also having a television in your waiting area or a kid-friendly space to keep children occupied while waiting.

3. Focus on Comfort

Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort when designing or renovating your waiting area. True, you may be working on a budget, but an uncomfortable space will give clients a reason to run for the exit after a few minutes of waiting.

When shopping for furniture for your waiting area, take each piece you consider for a test drive. If you don’t think you could sit comfortably for 30 minutes on the chair or sofa, cross it off your list.

Comfort also goes beyond furniture. Creating a warm and welcoming space through great design can also go a long way in making clients feel right at home in your office. Comfort also means ensuring that you have more than enough seating for potential clients.

Creating a welcoming environment will make the wait more pleasurable.

4. Keep Clients Connected

In today’s digital world, having a good selection of magazines is the bare minimum requirement for waiting areas. Your clients are connected 24/7, and that shouldn’t change when they visit your office.

Offer free Wi-Fi, and if you can, create a work-friendly area with desk space to allow professional clients to continue their work flow while they wait. Also, make sure that your waiting area is equipped with outlets, so clients can plug in and use their devices while waiting.

5. Offer Refreshments

Clients should be offered refreshments while waiting for their appointment and they should be told that these refreshments are available. In the very least, clients should be offered water. But many firms take it a step further by placing a mini refrigerator in the waiting area, stocked with water bottles and other refreshments.

Coffee should also be available, especially if you cater to business professionals who typically run on coffee. While not necessary, snacks are a welcomed offering as well.

Waiting is a necessary evil, but you can at least make it a pleasurable experience for clients. Use the tips above to keep your clients patient and occupied.