Whether you’re opening a new location or thinking about a redesign, considering the clinic experience from a client’s perspective is essential. As a provider, you doubtlessly have put a lot of thought and effort into the aesthetic treatments and services you offer—don’t let the aesthetics of your office get sidelined. The look and feel of your space can directly impact how your customers experience your business. Here are our design tips to make sure they’re having the best experience possible.
The client experience begins the instant a customer sets foot in the door. Your entry and reception area are the first visual and physical stops on a patient’s journey, so make sure they’re as welcoming as possible. A calming, luxurious, and clean space encourages clients to relax, feel special, and even imparts trust. In contrast, a shabby, disorganized, or unhygienic space will have them walking right back out the door. Spend some time in your waiting area and consider how every nook and cranny of the space looks in the eyes of your clientele. And remember, it’s always a good idea to have your retail offerings on tasteful display where your patients will have time to fully take them in.
The power that scent can have on the senses and mood should not be underestimated. However, in a clinical setting, whatever scent you use should be understated, rather than overwhelming. Consider candles or aromatic diffuses with essential oils like bergamot, lavender, mint, geranium, or a mixture to help your clients relax as soon as they enter your office. Even better, you could work with an aromatherapist or perfumery to create a custom scent for your clinic, and add it to your retail offerings so clients can take the experience of a spa day home with them.
Studies have shown that being in nature benefits our physical and mental wellness. So bring nature into your practice with potted plants, fresh flowers, or a living wall. Aside from their ability to lift spirits, plants also help to beautify a space and act as a design element. Bring some biodiversity into your clinic by mixing sculptural flowers like orchids, leafy palms, or small succulents to break up your retail display. Natural hints of color and greenery are sure to enhance any spa space.
Every Hollywood celebrity knows that lighting is everything. Make your clients look and feel like movie stars by making careful lighting choices for each area of your clinic. Above all, spa lighting should be relaxing and soothing. Look for light fixtures that throw a diffuse glow rather than spotlights, and choose natural, yellow-toned daylight bulbs instead of harsh white. As an extra tip, however, consider having a well-lit area to one side where clients can take before and after pictures.
It’s amazing how a subtle shift in color can change how a space looks and feels. For that reason, you want to choose your clinic’s color palette carefully. Most spas err toward colors that are soothing and inviting for a reason. Bright colors can have a positive effect of course, but they need to be handled with an artist’s eye for detail. Keep in mind that while the waiting and reception areas of your spa are perfect for creative color choices, treatment rooms should be kept as calming as possible by being devoid of too much loud color. When in doubt, stick to neutrals.
The design appeal of recycled materials has really shown up in the last decade. Moreover, pieces made from recycled materials are memorable and make an impression. The options are endless: consider seating or panelling made from recycled paper or wood, apparel made out of recycled plastic bottles for your staff or client robes, refurbished lighting, or incorporate a statement heritage piece into your decor (perhaps as a reception desk or shelving unit for your retail display.) Not only can this be a cost-effective way to decorate, using recycled materials in your design where it makes sense also shows your commitment to sustainability.
Ideally, the client experience lasts beyond just the appointment. Meaning, you want your clients to remember their visit and not only look forward to returning, but to also share the great experience they had with their friends. To that end, put in the extra effort to make your space not only beautiful, but memorable. This could mean incorporating a unique design element like a water feature, getting creative with wall art or decor, or going with an allover, original style that you want to be associated with your brand.
Show us your beautiful spa space by tagging us on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn! We’d love to see or hear your tips on how you use design to elevate the client experience.