One of the most important priorities of front desk staff and office administrators is ensuring that they’re giving their visitors a warm welcome and comfortable experience. Not every company is structured in a manner where visitors’ hosts can immediately come get them, meaning that visitors are necessarily going to end up hanging around the lobby for some period of time. If you’re unable to make your visitors feel comfortable during this period they’re forced to wait, this can have a significant impact on their perception of your company. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the things office administrators often do in order to elevate the experience of their lobby, give their visitors a positive image of their organization, and make people want to come back again and again.
Check-in kiosks can be an instrumental part of your lobby, and the implementation of systems like LobbyFox can completely change the dynamic of visitor management in your facility, overnight. In the modern era, visitors would often rather not interact with a human upon arriving at a facility or office that’s new to them, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Businesses nowadays sometimes employ a hybrid approach to welcoming visitors by maintaining front desk personnel, who are always there to answer questions, but also by directing visitors to check in on the kiosk. Modern check-in kiosks also capture vital information about the guest, like their name and the company they’re with, which is not only useful from an administrative perspective, it also enables your staff to more easily greet visitors by their name which can result in a more positive experience for the guest.
Need we say more? Managing a snack and drink inventory in your lobby can be a hassle, we’ve all been there, but there are real, tangible benefits to doing so. In fact, some inquiries have shown that this is the single most impactful decision you can make when it comes to improving your guests’ perception of your company. What’s even better is that a snack and drink stockpile in the lobby doesn’t always have to be restricted only to your guests; they can be offered to employees as well, which can go a long way to improving morale and productivity around the office.
One of the easiest ways to improve your guests’ experiences at your office is to ensure that your staff refers to them by name. However, this can be a challenge for everyone outside of the visitor’s host and your reception staff, which is why many companies offer guests name badges. Having a stack of badges alongside a marker can be a bit crude and unprofessional, so a great deal of companies use their check-in kiosk to automatically print name badges instead. Badge printers often use rolls of hundreds of labels, so there’s no need to change them out frequently.
For experienced and talented reception or office administrative staff, this one may seem simple, but for those just getting started with visitor management, greeting every visitor that comes into your office can go a long way to making them feel comfortable. Consistency is also key. Develop some standardized greetings, and distribute them to your front desk staff so that no matter what, all your visitors are being treated with care and greeted upon arrival.
Maybe the single most important thing office administrators the world over try to prevent is a long line in their lobby. Lengthy lines can be not only demoralizing for your staff, but can very quickly give your guests a negative perception of your company. Long waits can make it seem like your business is disorganized or that you make it tough on visitors to check in, and can also give your customers the impression that you’re unable to get things done quickly. Check-in kiosks are generally a great solution for getting visitors checked in rapidly, and your front desk staff can always field other more unique inquiries simultaneously, which goes a long way to improving the efficiency of your lobby.
A quick and easy way to speed up the visitor flow in your lobby is to use a visitor management system that enables to you “pre-register” your visitors. What this means is that your visitors are able to complete the more basic aspects of check-in prior to their arrival at your facility, and this can be especially useful if you require visitors to complete lengthy orientations. Visitors can complete their pre-registration perhaps the day before, and when they arrive, all they do is check in on the kiosk, and the system is already aware that they’ve–for example–watched your orientation video on safety policies, and they’ve already signed the visitor agreement. Visitor management systems like LobbyFox come with pre-registration functionality at no additional cost.
Consider that, when you visit any establishment or facility, the last thing you want is to have no where to sit if there’s going to be a wait. Guess what? Your visitors are no different! Providing adequate seating can be a challenge for some office administrators that are limited by the dimensions of their lobby, but approaching your seating layout creatively can almost always allow you to squeeze more seating into your space. Increasing the speed of visitor check-in should always be viewed as the higher priority, but in the event you inevitably still have visitor accumulation in your lobby, your goal should be to have an adequate amount of seating for every guest that’s waiting, even at your peak hours.
No one wants to be stuck in a drab lobby for 10-20 minutes as they wait to meet their host. Do your best to let in as much natural light as possible to brighten up the space. You can also bring some potted plants into your lobby to make the room feel more organic and less clinical. Give your guests something to watch by installing a TV on the wall in an easy to view location (ideally on the wall in which visitors would generally face, if seated) and keep a non-controversial channel on for them to watch. The aesthetic of your lobby is one of the very first heuristics your visitors will judge you by, so make sure to make a good impression!
Lastly, it is always important to give your visitors updates if they often have long wait times. People grow increasingly frustrated if they feel like they’re missing crucial information, especially if that information is the reason why they’re sitting around, waiting for something to happen. You really don’t want your guests feeling like your wasting their time, so if a wait is unfortunately dragging on, tell your front desk staff to periodically let the visitor know 1) when they can expect their meeting or appointment to happen, and 2) the reason for the delay.
Office administrators have a crucial role, which can often be summed up as the reason your visitors either have a great or poor experience when visiting your office. As previously alluded to, your lobby is almost always going to be the first physical impression you give your guests, and doing things like providing comfortable seating, improving the aesthetics of the space, and offering snacks and drinks can go a long way to ensuring your visitors have a great experience with your company. Furthermore, using a check-in kiosk can reliably automate and improve the more grueling aspects of visitor check-in, and also make your company feel more modern and technologically advanced for guests. Systems like LobbyFox solve many of these problems for companies all over the world. Check out LobbyFox’s industry leading capabilities at lobbyfox.com today.