With the rise of the workplace ecosystem where a dynamic and flexible network of spaces and environments is required to retain talents and let people prosper at their jobs, the importance of efficient reception management can be easily overlooked.
How can a digital reception system benefit both your employees and visitors? How to deliver the best reception service? In today’s blog, we will go through different types of reception management approaches and how providing a digital reception service can enhance the visitor experience in:
- An unmanned reception
- A single-person reception
- A reception with multiple receptionists
The covered topics related to reception management are:
- Why is effective reception management important?
- Challenges of managing a reception
- What is a digital reception system?
- How can a digital reception system benefit my employees?
Why is effective reception management important
There are four types of forces that play a crucial role in bringing value to organisations and visitors in the post-pandemic world.
- Cost reduction
- Experience will have a major part to play because both the employee and the customer have an online alternative that cuts the travel and associated cost. Organisations are at risk of losing their talents if they don’t put employee experience at the forefront.
- Workplace safety
So, for the workplace to be innovative and impress customers, the environment has to be re-engineered and tailored to those specific goals.
Challenges of Managing a Reception Area
To improve each factor, we have to first look into the challenges a reception area faces before or after the pandemic.
There are several inescapable facts, the process of reception management involves visitor sign-in books (electronic or manual) with a barrier system for secure access control, often with a guard. This kind of reception management is:
- Relying on manual tasks to deliver the first impression
- Disjointed – A siloed system that does not integrate with other building systems to automatically inform your host, security team, and facilities managers
- Constant interruptions such as answering the phone, assisting a delivery, or greeting a guest, which lead to a high cost in overall productivity and employee morale.
1. Managing unmanned receptions
Unmanned reception means there is no front desk in the building, visitors are greeted by the office employee or a security guard.
Take cost, efficiency, experience or safety into your consideration. There is little doubt that unmanned reception management represents a great opportunity for improvement, a lack of reception management might deliver a message to your customers that “we don’t care about you”. Unmanned reception takes an extreme viewpoint that might harm your first impression.
2. Managing a single-person reception
If you only have one person at your reception, the following challenges are often faced by the Front of House team:
- Huge peaks or spikes of traffic leave the reception overwhelmed
- Rely on manual tasks that could lead to a single point of failure
- Rely on shifts and coverage
So, from a single receptionist, we have a single point of failure, with variable reception service delivery due to the varied nature of traffic or worst still a huge additional cost for staff cover/relief and replacement.
3. Managing a reception with multiple receptionists
Here at least you have a fighting chance for some form of economies of scale as:
- Someone has taken the conscious decision to bear the cost of that all-important first impression for visitors and visitors/staff alike.
- It’s highly likely the processes will be more sophisticated and advanced, however often, it is here where manual processes can get completely out of control with people “joining the dots” between one system and another.
The opportunity for re-engineering with a digital reception software here is often advanced with a framework of:
- A huge cost in headcount, still largely conducting a high proportion of manual tasks
- A huge variety of systems for badging, parking, and security some of which might be connected, most of which are siloed required data to be keyed from one system to another.
- If you’ve seen/read our recent blogs, then you’ll know we are ultimately aiming for the meeting host to initiate an “unchanged process of booking a meeting”,(in whatever calendar invite system they use, normally outlook) with visitors and their data populating every system needed to deliver the very pinnacle of a great first impression, from the moment they get their invite through to the time they walk into the meeting.
The bandwidth or scope of re-engineering is huge, with at a basic level just the introduction of a digital reception system cutting costs and adding efficiency to the whole visitor journey. Initially one can start by adding digital capacity to manage huge variations in traffic enabling you to quickly deliver multiple £10,000’s of return on investment, in downstream savings.
Even if you are just looking to introduce “peak traffic efficiency” as an objective, with a help of digital reception software can quickly hit a few home runs on
- Cost control, removing the excess needed for staff shifts to cover peaks in traffic
- Experience, introducing digital processes that transform the manual interaction upgrading it with a host of digital tools delivered right to the guest/visitor’s smart device
- The impact on your brand is huge just thinking through the visitor experience can have a massive impact, let us share an example.
Those that have heard of The Raffles Hotel in Singapore will know how they often confound visitors greeting them at the taxi door with “hello Mr Jefferys” leaving Mr Jefferys stunned, “how did that guy know my name?”
The Raffles Concierge had taken the step to re-engineer that key first impression, paying the drivers to text passenger details and their registration to the hotel in advance.
First impressions matter to us all, how does your reception match up to visitor expectations?
Those that visit the Raffles Hotel quite often never forget it.
What is a digital reception system?
How do you want people visiting your company to feel? A digital reception system is a combination of software and people, delivering a seamless visitor experience and the best customer service.
A digitalised reception automates the visitor management process, providing a digital reception service that drives productivity and efficiency, and enhances workplace and experience while cutting costs.
Benefits of digital reception systems for employees
Employees will expect to see a physical safety presence when they return to the office. Many offices are adopting a safety tape, signs and screens method, which is not the best way to achieve a safe and secure reception. In short: tapes and signs are the paths of least resistance for the Facilities Manager. Quick, easy to order but not a good long-term solution, expensive, inefficient and threatening for the employee. Here’s why:
low employee engagement (or job dissatisfaction) and high turnover.
We’re all aware of the pandemic, and the risks that we take to leave our homes each day or mix with people from another household. Employees need to be trusted to make the right decisions, not told or threatened with orders. Forward-thinking employers who have worked to build trust with their employees send the wrong message with tape and signs; we don’t trust you. Employees who trust their employer will go out of their way to do a good job and will likely be wanting to return; make sure you send the right message on their first day.
The cost of purchasing these items will rise depending on the size and number of buildings that you manage, all for them to be disused in months to come when a vaccine is developed. How happy will your Finance Director be when they realise how much has been spent on a short-term solution?
The labour costs of executing and maintaining this way of working are also costly. If reception staff members spend time delivering the service like making sure employees and visitors are entering and exiting the building safely, there will be less time to complete tasks that matter. In addition to the cost of this method, additional costs in sanitisation will build up. Without a smart way of knowing who has accessed what areas of the building, Facilities Managers will need to arrange for entire office cleaning, individual desk and meeting room cleaning. The cost of this adds up; a smart purchase if used correctly, but if not, expensive. During this uncertain economic climate,
Facilities Managers must be efficient with budget spending.
Front of house to “back of house”
With the right reception management solution, reception staff can be protected, work efficiently and provide excellent customer service. The right method can be cost-effective, efficient and provide Facilities Managers with a high level of building analytics.
The safest way to protect receptionists is to keep them away from the risk and have them work away from front of house. However, they still need to be able to speak with customers, visitors and employees where necessary. Digital reception software can provide an end-to-end solution for your organisation and be the connection between receptionists working in safety and visitors.
Digital reception software and People.
There are many software packages on the market that can provide Facilities Managers with everything they need to keep staff safe and deliver an excellent experience.
Vgreet visitor management system by Vpod provides an end-to-end digital reception system with built-in digital reception software that solves problems for Facilities Managers and their stakeholders.
For those looking for a reception management solution that supports front-of-house staff, minimises Covid-19 risk for employees and provides out-of-hours support, a mask and tape will not cut it.
- The ultimate guide to improving your visitor management
- Calculate the ROI with Vgreet yourself
- How to implement digital reception in 5 steps