Shop Talk

The Waiting Room

For one year on Sunday afternoons I volunteered at our children’s hospital emergency room. After a few weeks of making beds, or carrying “this” to this nurse and “that” to that nurse, I began to see that they were more than adequately staffed with excellent professionals and that they were just giving me busy work. So I began looking for where the real need was that I could fill. I didn’t have to look far. It was just on the other side of the doors in the waiting room.

Maybe you’ve had this experience. You’ve checked into the emergency room and you wait and you wait. You wonder how your loved one is going to be and how much this is going to cost. You are the one that has to make the effort to go up to the desk and ask questions. I know I’ve been there many times. So I placed myself in the waiting room and reached out to people. I let them know who I was and how I could help them. Consequently the waiting room experience for many became better as I could guide them to the cafeteria, restrooms, explain their surroundings, go get additional toys and ask how much longer it would be for them.

Waiting at times is inevitable. Sometimes we have to wait for our ‘sick’ vehicle to be repaired. What is it that you offer in your shop to make the wait better? Here are some solutions that could help your customers feel more comfortable while waiting, along with pictures from our client Myers Tire Service in Wilkesboro, NC. They are a great example of a world class waiting room. 

• Well lit room
• Clean, not cluttered
• Wifi
• Obvious access to restrooms and drinks
• Certificates, business licenses and the name of the Owner or Manager
• Expected costs
• Estimated time frame
• Progress updates
• Additional work with associated costs
• Transportation options
• Music or TV playing at comfortable levels


Whether your shop is very small and you offer the basics, or so huge to where you have a totally tricked out reception area, never underestimate the personal touch. This is appreciated more than you may ever realize and could even be the reason someone returns to your shop.

Make the wait as painless as possible. 

Ann Betts (6 Posts)

Ann Betts was happy to join the talented and vibrant team of individuals at Vital Media in 2013. Ann brings with her many years of experience having worked for WordPerfect, Microsoft, and Muzak. In many of those positions she conducted training seminars and provided technical support to end users. She also comes from a family of "car amateurs and professionals" with one brother who has built a strong reputation with his auto body shop work over the past 20 years. Ann has no "spare time" as she fills it with family, friends, faith, and well, Facebook.

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