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6 Strategies to Make Your Business More Comfortable for Clients and Guests

 

Your business’s environment plays an important role in how your employees, your customers, and/or your clients and partners feel when they’re engaging with your business. In some cases, it can help you close more deals. In others, it can shape perceptions of your brand.

Every brand is different, but there are some business models that practically demand you to make your business environment as comfortable as possible. Learning how to maximize and play that comfort to your favor is vital if you want your company to succeed.

The Role of Comfort

Let’s start by exploring the role of comfort because it’s more important for some businesses than others. By comfort, we’re referring to the level of relaxation and ease a person would feel upon entering your storefront or enlisting your services.

There are three main motivations for wanting to maximize the comfort of your environment:

  • Ambiance and experience. Some businesses need to include comfort as part of the overall brand experience. For example, while there are some opponents of the idea, most people agree that movie theaters need comfortable, borderline luxury seating to be successful. Most restaurants also want to ensure their customers are physically comfortable, so they can focus their attention on enjoying their meal (and not dealing with awkward positioning).
  • Bonding and persuasion. Other businesses may benefit from providing comfort as an opening to persuasion; having a client wait on a luxurious couch in a comfortable waiting room might make them warmer toward your brand (making it easier to close an eventual sale).
  • Duration and discomfort mitigation. Some businesses need to provide comfort to people who are forced to wait a long time, or for people who might otherwise be uncomfortable. For example, people in hospital waiting rooms might be stuck patiently waiting for their loved ones to get treatment.

How to Make Your Business More Comfortable

There are several strategies you can use to make your business more comfortable:

  • Fireplaces and ambiance. A well-placed fireplace can make any environment seem warmer and more inviting—though it may feel out of place in certain types of businesses. For example, a fireplace in the middle of a fine dining restaurant can make the meal seem fancier and cozier for diners. A fireplace in the lobby of a hotel can make guests feel at home. If you don’t think a fireplace would work for your business, you can make other upgrades to improve the ambiance; for example, a brick wall or wood paneling can give a different vibe to your main rooms.
  • Furniture. Furniture is a massively important consideration for the comfort of your guests. More expensive, impressively designed furniture isn’t necessarily more comfortable; you might shell out thousands of dollars for a sleek-looking, modern couch, but it might not be as comfortable to sit on as a less expensive option. If comfort is your priority, don’t use price as the mere justification for your decision—sit on it and feel what it’s like for yourself.
  • Space and temperature. People typically feel more comfortable in bigger, more open spaces (though there are some exceptions to this). Make people comfortable by maximizing the amount of space they have to work with. You can also improve comfort by finding the right room temperature; between 68 and 72 degrees F is ideal for most people in most situations, but you might find customers in your industry or seasonal changes leading you to a different conclusion.
  • Lighting and music. Sights and sounds also lend themselves to the comfort of a given environment, so don’t neglect them in your running list of changes. For example, spotlights can be used to highlight key design features of a room in your business, or to help customers achieve a goal. They can also be dimmed and colored to produce a specific ambiance, and the right music can make or break the overall experience.
  • Plants, art, and décor. You can also improve or change the overall “feel” of your environment by including more plants in your business, hanging up the right pieces of art, or including other types of décor. These pieces are somewhat subjective, but have massive power to influence your audience.
  • The human touch. Environments and inanimate objects can only go so far to improve people’s comfort. You may also need to rely on the comfort that other human beings can provide; having warm, attentive employees on standby can make a massive improvement.

Comfort exists in many different forms, and your brand may have different strategies than these for making your customers, employees, and other professional contacts more comfortable. Experiment with different combinations, and be sure to use surveys and other qualitative assessments to learn how your key demographics are interacting with and appreciating the environment.

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