The Risks of Poor Wayfinding
Wayfinding is a crucial aspect of any public or private space as it helps people navigate and find their way to their desired location. Poor wayfinding brings risks for organizations that can negatively impact a range of factors, all of which have hidden but very real costs associated with them. Here are 5 of those risks.
Risk #1: Serious Consequences
The first risk of poor wayfinding is serious consequences. This is particularly true in high stress environments, such as healthcare facilities and airports. Poor wayfinding can have serious consequences for patients and for travellers. When patients are unable to easily find their way to their appointment or navigate the hospital environment, it can increase their stress and anxiety levels. This can also lead to increased wait times, which can cause patients to miss their appointments and result in a decreased level of satisfaction with the healthcare services they receive. More importantly, it could aggravate a condition or cause delays in receiving critical care.
Though the ramifications for travellers may not be as serious, when travellers are unable to easily navigate through an airport, they risk missing flights or connections and their stress levels and agitation increase.
Risk #2: Customer Satisfaction & Brand Reputation
Another risk of poor wayfinding is decrease in customer satisfaction and damage to brand reputation. When people are unable to find what they are looking for or become frustrated and confused while navigating a space, their overall satisfaction with the environment is likely to decrease. This can lead to decreased loyalty, a decrease in repeat business, and negative word of mouth, all of which damage the reputation of the organization. People who are unable to easily find what they are looking for or navigate the space are more likely to view the organization as poorly organized and unprofessional. This can lead to negative word of mouth and decreased reputation, which can be difficult to recover from.
Risk #3: Employee Productivity
Poor wayfinding can also negatively impact employee productivity. When employees are unable to easily find what they need or navigate the space efficiently, their productivity is likely to decrease. This can lead to longer wait times for customers and decreased efficiency in completing tasks. This can also lead to increased frustration and stress among employees, which can have a detrimental impact on their mental health and overall job satisfaction.
Risk #4: Increased Maintenance & Repair Costs
Another risk of poor wayfinding is increased maintenance and repair costs. When people become frustrated and confused while navigating a space, they are more likely to cause damage to the environment. For example, people may take down signs or damage walls while trying to find their way. This can lead to increased maintenance and repair costs for organizations, as they will need to replace or repair damaged signs and walls.
Risk #5: Decreased Sales
In retail environments, poor wayfinding can also lead to decreased sales. People who are unable to find what they are looking for are more likely to leave without making a purchase, reducing the overall revenue of the business. Additionally, when customers become frustrated, they are less likely to be in the mood to make a purchase, further reducing the chances of a sale.
Minimize your risk through better wayfinding management
Poor wayfinding can have serious and far-reaching consequences for organizations. The hidden costs of poor wayfinding can add up quickly. It is therefore essential for organizations to invest in effective wayfinding systems to ensure that people can easily navigate their spaces and find what they are looking for. By doing so, they can ensure that they are providing a positive customer experience, maximizing productivity and sales, and protecting their reputation.
Take the Wayfinding System Checkup!
With SignAgent’s Wayfinding System Checkup you can evaluate your current physical wayfinding system, identify gaps for improvement, and reduce your risks. And it will just take about 5 minutes.