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6 Ways to Make Your Practice Waiting Room Welcoming

November 7, 2017

For most veterinary practices, the waiting room is an afterthought. Whether you built, purchased or lease your building, the waiting room is behind in importance to the building’s location, parking availability, practice rooms, surgery, and kennel area.

However, your waiting rocliniom is frequently the first thing your clients see. Most clients hate sitting with their pet in the waiting room, because most consist of a few chairs or a bench and little else.

Why not make your veterinary waiting room a relaxing place where clients and their pets can wait in comfort?

6 Steps to Improve the Comfort and Safety of Your Veterinary Waiting Room

#1 Separate animals.

You’d never place a cat’s cage next to a dog’s so why would you make a client make the choice between standing in a corner far away from another or sitting? The situation becomes even more problematic when you consider the growing number of older or disabled adults who find it difficult to stand for extended periods. Consider dividers that are opaque at the bottom and clear at the top. Not only will they separate animals without cluttering up the room, they provide additional seating areas.

Consider offering several areas that will hold just one animal to quarantine those that are sick.

#2 Make it easy for clients to secure their animals.

Your clients do their part by putting their animals on a leash or in a cage when they come in, but when they pay, how do they write a check or get their money while holding their animal? Put an inexpensive leash clip on the payment desk. And while you’re at it, add one near the scale.

If your clients have to wait, they’re likely to pull out their smartphones. Add a few leash clips near their chairs or benches, and they’ll be grateful.

#3 Don’t slip.

Most veterinary waiting rooms are tile to minimize clean-up if an animal has an accident. However, we’ve all probably seen animals slip on the polished floors. Some dogs are terrified of smooth floors, too. Consider placing small rubber-backed mats that can be easily hosed off. If they get dirtied, simply pick them up, throw them in the exercise or kennel area and hose them off.

#4 Clean the air.

Hopefully, your practice's HVAC system can handle most odors. However, if you rent or bought an older building, it may not do the job. It’s important not only to cover up typical pet odors, but also to make sure the perhaps-apocryphal smell of fear doesn’t set off an incoming pet. One cheap solution is plug-in air fresheners.

#5 Help them learn.

Your practice waiting room provides an excellent opportunity to educate your clients. Hang informational posters on the wall. Put informational flyers with your logo on the table. Inform them what your practice is doing and of any additional services you offer, such as grooming, training or boarding.

Henry Schein offers information you can pass on to pet owners in our blog here. Below are a couple of examples:

Safety Tips for Taking a Pup to the Dog Park

Talking to Clients about Adopting a Senior Pet

#6 Help them buy.

Place impulse purchases and new items near the front desk so the receptionist can upsell. Treats, hypoallergenic food, toys, and seasonal items are always good items for this display. And clients will appreciate you making it easy for them to buy.

Your Henry Schein representative can provide other tips and suggestions of value to you and your clients! Contact us at: 855.SCHEIN.1 (724-3461).


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