6 reasons your reactive reception is not working

Updated: 2 hours ago

Is your front of house set up reactive or intuitive? In this blog, I explore the challenges that a reactive front of house is presented with, along with ways that you can create smart visitor management and reactive setup.


What is a reactive front of house?


A reactive front of house involves a lot of manual processes that do not talk to each other. These processes are sometimes forgotten or not completed due to busy reception areas or other tasks that come in that have taken priority. Reactive receptions deal with visitors and contractors as they arrive, are often overwhelmed during busy periods, and often have little to do during quiet periods.


Reactive Reception or a smart visitor management?


Sound familiar?


6 reasons we need a smart visitor management system


1. Fixed reception staff


The idea that a fixed number of people behind reception are and effective way of dealing with a variable number of visitors is simply illogical:

  • At peak times there are queues

  • In lulls, you're over manned

  • Worse, both are transparent situations to the visitors

Instead of having a fixed team monitoring one or multiple receptions, smart visitor management should consider:

  • Relocating reception staff to an alternative location

  • Multiple staff work on their tasks together

  • Single receptionists become part of the wider facilities team

  • Visitors who need assistance can contact reception via video link


2. Visitor awareness


We know which visitors are coming in; they are in Outlook, attached to a meeting invite. However, we think it is a great idea to ignore that and employee people to key visitor details into a visitor management system.


Really? In this day and age?

  • At best you'll miss some visitors or simply forget

  • In current track and trace times, you will give you legal counsel, HR or Health and Safety person sleepless nights.

The importance of an efficient background operation techniques means you do not need extra manual processes for this. An automated visitor management system fixes this problem in your reception by simply connecting your Outlook meeting booking and visitor management systems together. Ensure that when a visitor is booking into a meeting, reception is made aware and have a schedule of who is arriving each day.




3. Reactive when they arrive only


Businesses have a room or desk booking system which contains visitor details, however, they simply use that as a list and check people as they arrive.

  • Why be passive and react to visitors?

  • I've even seen some people pre badge people, wasting paper as if a fewer tree is someone else's problem

A smart visitor management system can simply provide visitors with a first-class experience:

  • Connect your room booking system to your visitor management solution

  • Ensure reception are aware of visitor arrivals

  • Pre-registration allows for a smooth and swift check-in


4. Impersonal check-in


We stick an iPad on reception and say "sign in here": why?

  • So that the receptionist has less to do?

  • So our visitors do the work?

This approach is very impersonal and often leaves the visitor wondering when they'll be met in reception by the host. Read more about why we think signing in with apps or iPad is not efficient.


Improve the experience for your visitors with:

  • Pre-registration options

  • QR codes for express check-in

  • Automated host and reception notifications when a visitor arrives

  • A greeting message when your visitor has checked in


5. Wayfinding


We ask visitors to meet in a huge campus, that they have never been to, and expect them to:

  • Find it

  • Find the right building

  • Not look like someone genuinely lost

  • Give them the job of identifying the best route there

  • Let them get up 30 mins early "just in case" traffic is bad or they can't find it

A smart visitor management system will resolve this with effective wayfinding:

  • Accurate directions to your building

  • Train, tube and bus times

  • Internal building wayfinding

  • Details of local taxi companies

  • Details of local amenities


6. Host communication


The visitor arrives and the receptionist cant get hold of the host: really, in the days of Email, SMS, smartphones and wearables? Come on!


When a visitor is left to wait in reception it gives the impression that you don't care. This can lead to lost partnerships, lost relationships, lost sales.


A smart visitor management system must have host notifications built-in. An automated system will contact a host via SMS as well as email, to ensure that they're notified of their visitor's arrival. Visitors feel like a VIP and meetings start on time; it's a win-win.




Having the mindset of "we have always done things this way", siloed thinking or, worse, "we just don't care that much" is not going to help you in 2021 and beyond.

Features of a smart visitor management system

  • Visitor management process automation to assist visitors, saving manual process at your front desk.

  • Creates a great first impression with visitors and employees

  • Deliver a seamless visitor journey

  • Enhances workplace efficiency, saving manual process for all departments

  • Save costs for all kinds of receptions

  • Integrate with your access control systems to improves building security

  • Delivers transparency in a digital world


The smart visitor management with our partners


At Vpod, we joined forces with responsible partners to deliver a smart visitor management solution. Sure, we have a vested interest, however, in our experience if you think of the customer and solve a few issues for them, they generally appreciate it.


By working closely with our partners, we have created an end-to-end smart visitor management system that has thought of everything you need to have an intuitive front of house; a Connected Workplace.


The partners we work with see similar issues:

  • Microsoft Outlook tackles the invite

  • Some room booking system organises meeting resources, the room, kit, catering and services

  • A team front of house deal with visitors in a reactive way, with and without queues


Why should the Invite + Room + People be dealt with in a disconnected way?


Read other features of a smart visitor management system

Read how to choose the best visitor management solution

Read the full guideline to improve your visitor management



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