Receptionists, secretaries, executive assistants, front desk staff, however you refer to them, almost all of them have one thing in common: they all deal with visitors at the office. “Visitor check-in” comes in all shapes and sizes, and is often highly dependent on the industry one is in, which means the roles and responsibilities of receptionists as it pertains to processing a new visitor can vary to a great degree. For a consulting firm, visitor check-in may be nothing more than front desk staff giving the visitor a name badge. However, for an industrial manufacturing facility, visitor check-in may entail security or safety orientations, signing insurance waivers or NDAs, or even collecting information about an inbound shipment the visitor is delivering. While highly variable from facility to facility or office to office, one thing remains true in 100% of cases: visitor check-in can be an enormous drain on front desk staff, especially when these staff members are repeating the same actions over and over, day in and day out. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a check-in kiosk can improve the quality of life for receptionists, and all the reasons why receptionists love them.
Most modern visitor management systems (the software that lives behind the scenes of the check-in kiosk) retain information about each guest that visits your office. Systems like LobbyFox, for instance, will collect and retain information like visitor name, phone number, the company they’re with, survey/form answers, signed copies of visitor agreements or NDAs you require, and a record of whether the visitor watched any orientation videos. In the past, a comprehensive set of data about each visitor either 1) had to be recorded on paper, or 2) was never collected in the first place. Additionally, the individual on the proverbial “front lines” of this initiative to collect visitor information is and/or almost always was the receptionist. Piles of paperwork, filing cabinets for outdated visitor logs, transcription of handwritten notes or logs into a spreadsheet, the legacy approach is–in a word–messy. Visitor management systems offload all this information into the cloud, and make it easy to access indefinitely.
Anyone who has worked as a receptionist can tell you that the inability to leave their desk, for whatever reason, is an issue they have to contend with on an almost daily basis. Check-in kiosks, however, are a complete game changer as it pertains to the autonomy of a receptionist and their freedom to be able to simply leave their desk, if even for a moment. For front desk staff that do get away from their desks, they often find themselves running around their facility, trying to track down other staff members to let them know a visitor has arrived or that they have a delivery. Visitor management systems like LobbyFox solve this problem in two ways: 1) any time a visitor arrives, their host receives a text message, email, or a notification on another messaging application, and 2) if office administrators need to ping any staff member, department, or visitor, they can simply send them a text directly. So ultimately, a visitor management system can prevent receptionists from being required to chase others around the office all day, but at the same time, empower them to be able to leave their desk and know that visitors will still be checked in, even in their absence.
One of the most unwanted responsibilities for receptionists is to be the “gatekeeper” of the office. What this can entail is being the person that turns away unwanted guests, which can be awkward, and has the potential to lead to a nasty interaction which can negatively affect the mood of both individuals. Thankfully, modern check-in systems can check certain aspects of a guest’s visit to determine if they should be permitted entry into your facility, and can politely and professional automatically dismiss the visitor if something is flagged. In practice–with LobbyFox–this can take the form of a failed health screening, a visitor refusing to agree to certain conditions of their visit, someone trying to check in as a “walk-in visitor”, or much more. Shifting the responsibility for turning people away to a check-in kiosk can dramatically improve the day-to-day experience of receptionists.
Receptionists often have a whole host of responsibilities, and usually function more as an office administrator than someone who just answers the phone. The most valuable thing to receptionists when they’re on the job is their time, because they must wear many different hats on a day-to-day basis, and checking in, processing, and even turning away visitors can become a massive bandwidth sync. Automating visitor management with a system like LobbyFox offloads all of these duties, and frees up receptionists’ time to focus on other, far more important work.
Check out LobbyFox’s industry leading capabilities at lobbyfox.com today.