The Waiting Room Etiquette

Who waits for who?

Sitting in the waiting room for my solicitor and I start to wonder..

What does your waiting room and your waiting room etiquette say about you and your business? In my case, on this visit it probably doesn’t really matter too much as I am already a customer/client but what about your  prospects?

It’s funny but I pretty much knew that I would be kept waiting so I came prepared!

Who goes to who for meetings is another strange dynamic that varies industry by industry – for some reason with solicitors you always end up going to see them – how did that happen? At what point did that become the norm? I can understand in some industries how it needs to be that way but with solicitors, I’m not sure why?

Ok, you have done the travelling and in nearly every case you end up waiting in the waiting room for a while before they are ready to see you. I guess the solicitor could be on a call, finishing a meeting or maybe having a quick glance over your file before they are ready for you.

The customer coming to see them is definitely a big time saver for them but I’m not sure if they get a good grasp of what you and your business is all about – if they are representing you that should be important? At least some of the time it would be good.

I’m writing this by the way on my iPad while I am waiting! Now I am on a roll and don’t want to be disturbed ..

The carpet is a little worn and the seating area is a bit tired and shabby. The window on the door is cracked a little and the magazines on display are over a year old and there is even a little basket of kids toys! Hmmm..interesting client mix!

Oh, I’m up ..

Well, she apologised for keeping me waiting as she always does and we conducted our business efficiently enough after a little bit of general chit chat.

I wander back to our office and think about who comes to see us, what do they think of our waiting area and if I keep them waiting when they arrive?

Mustn’t do that …. They might start blogging about me!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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6 Responses to “The Waiting Room Etiquette”

  1. Trich Says:

    An interesting blog Greg,
    with lots of questions!

  2. John Farrell Says:

    Greg, I fully agree with your blog but I would go further and say that many solicitor’s have an almost open contempt for the customers which in any other industry or business would see you rapidly going bust.
    I recall a meeting many years ago when I was representing my company as the ‘client’. The legal team began a very technical discussion in my presence which went on for several minutes. When it was over I jokingly said that I had not undertood a word of what they had been talking about. One of the solicitors then took great pleasure in informing me that this was entirely intended and he arrogantly reminded me that this was why we, the poor paying customer, needed legal professionals. Is it any wonder then that they don’t care where you wait or for how long!

  3. Conall Lavery Says:

    I suppose the specific question about who visits who is a matter of which of you has the higher hourly rate. If my hourly rate is say, €150 per hour and the solicitor’s is €250 an hour, I would rather be the one travelling to and from the meeting.

    The solicitor’s hourly rate is not always transparent, but that is another matter.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Conor – a good way of looking at it, but …. If you are half an hour getting there, half an hour coming back, pay for parking and you end up spending a few minutes waiting then maybe it still works out worse for you?!!



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