Updated: Jun 24
Is your reception's visitor management reactive or intuitive? In this blog, I explore the challenges that a reactive reception is presented with, along with ways that you can create smart visitor management and intuitive setup.
What is a reactive reception?
A reactive reception, or as we called front of house in the industry, 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.
Sound familiar? An outstanding reception management needs to take 6 perspectives into consideration:
Fixed reception staff: Limited numbers of reception staff to deal with peak traffic
Visitor awareness: Who is coming to the office today?
Wayfinding: What if visitors are lost in the building?
Host Notification: What do you do when visitor has checked in?
6 reasons we need a smart visitor management system with automated processes
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 efficient background operation techniques means your reception visitor management does not need extra manual processes for this. An automated reception fixes this problem by simply connecting your Outlook meeting booking and visitor management systems together. Ensure that when a visitor is booking a meeting, reception is made aware and have a schedule of who is arriving each day.
3. Don't be reactive when visitors 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. Personal check-in
Does your reception visitor management uses iPad saying "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 your visitor's experience at your reception with an automated visitor management system:
Automated host and reception notifications when a visitor arrives
A greeting message when your visitor has checked in
We ask visitors to meet in a huge campus, that they have never been to, and expect them to:
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
At peak times, this leads to visitors queuing at your reception to ask where their meeting room is while your reception team could be dealing with more complicated tasks instead.
To improve your reception's visitor management and leave a good impression to your visitors, a smart visitor management system will resolve this with effective wayfinding:
Accurate directions to your building
Train, tube and bus times
Details of local taxi companies
Details of local amenities
6. Host Notification
Once your visitors have checked in, your reception should notify the host of their arrival. However, your reception visitor management could fail at:
Visitor's long waiting time for hosts to pick them up
Reception team cannot get hold of the hosts, because the host is in a meeting/ simply no signal on their phone
The visitor arrives and the receptionist cant get hold of the host is not ideal before your meeting start, right? In the days of Email, SMS, smartphones and wearables, these problems should not exist.
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: Vgreet
Automated visitor management system to assist visitors, saving manual process for your reception.
Creates a great first impression with visitors and employees
Deliver a seamless visitor journey
Interactive wayfinding tool, visitors will never get lost in your building
Enhances workplace efficiency, saving manual process for all departments
Integrate with your access control systems to improves building security
Delivers transparency in a digital world
Read more about Vgreet smart visitor management system's advanced features.
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.
The partners we work with see similar issues:
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?
Want to learn more about Vgreet automated visitor management system? Get in touch: