When you rent and build out office space for your law firm, that office isn’t just for your employees—it’s also for your clients. Most of your initial consultations will likely be in-person meetings, and you want to make your offices feel as warm and inviting as possible for visitors. However, if you’re like most law firms starting out, chances are you don’t have the budget for luxury finishes and furnishings. The good news is, you don’t have to create a sense of opulence to make clients feel welcome (in fact, for some people, opulence is intimidating). Let’s look at some affordable touches you can add to your law office that will make law firm clients feel right at home.
Designate a Client Lounge
If a prospective client comes to your law office and the entire space is taken up with desks and cubicles, that client will immediately feel like she has no place in your office. A reception area with seating can help, but these can also feel too much like a doctor’s waiting room if you’re not careful. Instead, try to create a designated “client lounge” space in your reception area with furnishings and décor that are inexpensive, yet comfortable. Again, it doesn’t have to convey wealth—just comfort. Make it feel like a living room as much as possible.
Light It Up
Humans are attracted to light, and warm lighting in particular can make visitors feel at ease. Try to offset or replace fluorescent lighting with attractive lamps, incandescent or recessed lighting to create a sense of lightness in the space without being overbearing. Natural light is best for the psyche, so if you have outside windows, use them to your best advantage by opening the blinds and placing strategic mirrors to reflect the light in your space.
Accentuate with Color
Studies have shown that we tend to respond well to colorful environments, and specifically toward certain colors. Yellow, for example, exudes a happy environment, while blues evoke a sense of calm and of trust. If you don’t have the budget to paint the walls with inviting colors, try doing colored accents like artwork on the walls and throw pillows for the furnishings in your client lounge, if you have one.
Offering refreshments to visitors? That’s Hospitality 101. Coffee makers and water coolers are generally not expensive, and offering both to your guests is just good practice. (You don’t want a client distracted with thirst because you didn’t offer him a drink.) If you have room in your budget, place a basket of snack foods in reach, as well.
Your clients are the lifeblood of your law firm. Turn your office into a welcome zone for clients to visit, and you’ll see your law firm thrive.