by Jennie Crouch
At SR/A our design approach for professional service offices starts with your highest priority – your clients. We want to know what experience you want each client to have in your space, what will make them sign on the dotted line, return for the next need or refer you to their friends.
You walk into the reception area of an office – ready to sign your will, make plans for retirement or close on your new house. You are excited, but also nervous and apprehensive. It’s a big step, a huge decision you are about to embark on. Have you made the right decision on the professional to help you? Will this (insert: lawyer, financial planner, loan officer) have your best interest in mind? How do you know you can trust them? Are they reliable? Will they be worth the value you are paying for their services? You enter the office with these thoughts in mind and are greeted by four drab grey walls (is that old water damage on the ceiling?), two brown chairs that have seen better days, a coffee table with dents in the legs and carpet that was clearly last replaced a decade ago. Worse yet, you aren’t sure where to go to check in, there isn’t any clear signage, and the front desk is a clutter of papers and electronics.
Not a good image, is it? Your trust and faith in that professional probably just took a nosedive. How can you entrust this person with your major life moment when they can’t even keep a presentable-looking and organized office?
As interior designers we know that there is power in the visual. A pleasing (and functional!) experience encourages trust and establishes credibility. A good first impression puts people at ease and sets the tone for building strong relationships. The above paints a bleak picture but is only one example of the issues we see in our clients’ professional offices. Inconsistent branding (yes, interiors ARE an element of your company’s branding), bland or generic spaces and poor function and wayfinding are all ways you could be devaluing yourself and your business, without even realizing it.
A comprehensive and intentional design package tailored to your specific business needs and goals will improve not only your customer experience, but also your business’ bottom line. Curious? Take a look at our industry insight “Designing to Impress: Considerations for Professional Service Providers.” And then give us a call to arrange a consultation with our design team.
We focus on the details so that our clients can focus on closing deals.
Jennifer Crouch is the Vice President of SR/A.