Maintaining a Good Office Image
A good office image is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of branding and marketing. If a store looks rundown to you, if the staff there are surly, or if you can't find anything, you're unlikely to visit that store again. In the same way, you want to make a good impression on those who come to your office.
Your office makes a first impression on visitors. It may help to go through your office and see what impression you would have as a visitor, then work on solving the problems you see.
Next, invite a totally new person or group of people to visit your office. Tell them to be honest about their first impressions. Here are some checklists of things to look for in your office.
When visitors approach your office site, make sure they can:
- Find the office easily.
- Identify Purdue Extension as a part of Purdue University - post clearly visible signs.
- Find a parking space.
- See a well-maintained lawn and landscape.
- Find staff who are aware of the needs of those with various types of disabilities.
When visitors reach the office entrances, make sure they can find:
- Directions to each office.
- Meeting rooms.
- When and where events are scheduled.
- Where to go for information.
Throughout the building, make sure visitors can:
- See the mission of Purdue Extension.
- See information about program accomplishments - consider posting awards and news clippings on bulletin boards or wall hangings.
- Learn about upcoming events.
- Enjoy clean, orderly facilities that are in good repair.
- Enjoy clean, neat, organized desks and offices.
- See indicators that you practice what you preach: healthy plants, nutritious snacks, paper recycling, etc.
In reception areas and information centers, make sure visitors can find:
- The area close to the main entrance.
- Clues about what is available - such as listings of programs or news publications.
Make sure your fact sheet and bulletins:
- Are accessible and displayed in fully stocked information racks.
- Present consistent information in all publications.
Make sure your:
- Loan-out materials are in working order.
- Staff are pleasant, with a positive attitude and professional appearance.
- Your staff are alerted to people coming in for specific materials promised by agents.
- The office has a place to meet people to answer quick questions and handle business transactions.
Your office image begins with a first contact, either face-to-face or on the telephone. A consistent way to build your office image is to answer the phone with enthusiasm and to serve politely and with a smile. A smile can be heard through the phone.
When it comes to answering phones, it is Purdue Extension policy to identify your office as "Purdue Extension-_________County/Department." Remember, "Department" only applies to campus departments that have Extension appointments.
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