I have a few questions for you about your office. Not just your own personal office but your office in general. Most of the time our offices or workplaces are representative of who we are as people. I bet this is true for you. If you own the company you’re going to want to think a little deeper about what your office represents.
What do you want your office to say?
This is a question every owner should answer. When people walk into your office what feeling do you want them to have?
Have you ever gone into an Apple Store? What’s your feeling when you go in? How about when you go into your doctor’s office? Is that a place that makes you feel comfortable? I don’t know about you, but when I go into my doctor’s office I immediately get nervous. Wouldn’t it make more sense for their office to make us feel comfortable and have less anxiety?
Do you meet with clients or customers in your office?
If you meet with customers in your office the way your office is set up says a lot about you. Do you want to be seen as being approachable? Or, do you want to be seen as being “professional” and formal.
For me, I vote for being approachable. I know that I’m already intimidating enough. I don’t need to add to my personal intimidation by having a formal office.
Do you integrate your physical space with your customer experience?
I learned something by mistake. When I was going through cancer treatment I had to rest a lot during the day. I decided to get rid of my conference table and chairs and replace it with a living room. This way I could take a nap when I needed to. This helped me stay more in contact with my business when I was sick.
I also noticed something else that happened. When clients came to visit me in my office the conversation was more informal and my clients seemed to be more comfortable. I started to pay attention to what the difference was between meeting in my informal office and our conference room. My office led to better conversations. Now, all of the client meetings I have in our office are in my personal office. I hardly ever go in our formal conference room anymore.
What do you think having a comfortable office does for communication?
If you want your customers to open up, think about whether your physical space helps or hurts that goal. For me, the informal office has helped communication in ways I could never have guessed. It’s made it easier for me to talk with people. I don’t feel like I’m talking at clients, instead I feel like I’m talking with my clients.
What about you, do you talk at your clients? Do you meet with people behind your desk? Do you really have a physical space in your office where you’re equal with the person you’re talking with?
Do you want to collaborate with your customers?
For me, this is a big question. I think collaboration is a difficult activity. At the same time I’ve come to the conclusion that if I don’t collaborate with my clients, then I’m not doing a very good job. Having an office that is informal and comfortable helps those who meet with me be more comfortable.
It really is very simple. Thinking about what you want your client experience to be will help you make decisions about the physical space you work in. Think about what you want to communicate and then set up your space to support that.
I’ve put together a mind map on our client experience. You can see what our goals are when we work with people like you. To get a copy of this mind map, click on the button below.