Working from home can present problems. The first, most common problem is actually finding a dedicated space (check out last week’s blog post on this subject). The second – what to do when you have to meet clients at home.
The client journey
Before your client even sets foot in your door, they’ve already had a glimpse of who you are and how you work. You’ve already had a chance to showcase your working traits – whether you’re organised, have systems in place, the quality you wish to portray etc. How? By the journey your client goes on, from the outset of their journey until they arrive at your door.
Things to consider include:
- Travel information. How easy can they find travel information and the route to your home? Did you send them a map and detailed journey information? Did you let them know about where to park and access security codes for gates etc.? Did you let them know where they should go once they arrive? Do they need the front door, back door or gate? Do you have signage outside or any other means for them to recognise they are at the right house?
- Kerb appeal. How does the outside of your property look? Do you need to deadhead your planters? How clean and tidy is your door and its fitments? Do you have a working doorbell and a welcome mat? The quality and finish of these items all portray you and your business – both in terms of quality, care and cleanliness.
- Your hallway. Now your visitor is in your home, what are they greeted with? Do they see a pile of dirty shoes, dog beds and piles of coats or is it clear and presentable? How does your hallway or porch area reflect your brand?
The walk through
This is especially relevant to those who offer treatments at home (such as therapists, masseuses and practitioners etc.). As your client travels through your home, do they get a feeling of relaxation and calmness? You’re offering them more than a treatment – you’re offering an overall experience, so does the walk from your front door to the treatment room reflect that? Do they have to walk through your messy kitchen? Have you closed off the other rooms in your home, so they have a clear route to your therapy room?
Think of your toilet and cloakroom. Do they continue your brand? For example, do you have brand colours for your toiletries and towels, and does the brand of toiletries you use reflect your brand? Do you set a president for them taking their shoes off in the hallway (enabling them to emotionally begin to relax, as they walk through to the treatment room)?
Finally, you want to be lead your client on the walk through to your office or treatment room, so you can show them where to go – and then you need to step aside and let them enter your workspace first. This enables them to have a few seconds to get an understanding of their surroundings and also (hopefully!) take in the tranquillity and calmness of the room ambience!
Having clients to your home can be quite stressful to you and your clients. However, if you follow these simple tips, you’ll ensure both the journey to your home and the walk through to your workspace is both relaxing and calming for your clients.
How does your home measure up to your branding and image? Do you have work to do, in order to make your home workspace more client friendly? What are your biggest issues, when it comes to having clients in your home? Why not share your thoughts and opinions in the comments box below? You can also get home office space inspiration over on my Pinterest board.
Images © WavebreakmediaMicro & Monkey Business/Dollar Photo club