Do you remember the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Mr. Bucket loses his job at the toothpaste factory because they bring in a robot that can do his job instead? Every time a new piece of technology is developed that automates a process do you find yourself thinking, “I wonder who’s job that machine took?”
We indeed live in a world where technology is being developed at a rapid rate, and naturally, technology is being built to automate processes that a human would typically do. You may have noticed this at the airport where a kiosk takes your information and prints out your boarding pass. You’ve probably realized it at the grocery store when you’re scanning your own items at the self-checkout. Pieces of technology that streamline a process are intermingled with our day-to-day lives. Some people even prefer the self-service route as opposed to speaking with an employee. According to a Harvard Study, “57% of inbound calls come from customers who first attempted to resolve their issue on the company’s website.” People may choose to work with technology because it keeps their day moving, saves time, or because they would simply prefer their interaction with technology rather than talking to a real person.
The misconception behind the technology is that it is meant to replace human interaction when in reality digital technology won’t replace humans- it will help them.
Allow me to tell you a story about the digital age and how technology has transformed the customer service experience in lobbies, as well as benefited the receptionist.
In a pre-digital age, visitors entered a lobby and were greeted with a paper logbook waiting to collect their personal information. The visitor would scribble all their information down while maybe even taking a glance to see who else had visited that day. The visitor would then wait on the receptionist to be off the phone before they could be given an orientation, video to watch, or more forms to sign. After completing the check-in process the visitor would then have to wait for the receptionist to track down the host that they were there to see. This entire process was very time-consuming and if any visitors showed up in the meantime they would all be left waiting on the receptionist.
This outdated experience was not pleasant for anyone and didn’t leave the great first impression of customer service that the visitor would have hoped for. Instead, the visitor spent way longer waiting in the lobby than they would have wanted to, and the flustered receptionist is trying to handle important documents that need to be filed correctly while simultaneously tracking down hosts throughout the building.
There are so many factors in the outdated visitor check-in process that needed improvement. Safety, security, and compliance were all falling through the cracks, and visitors were left unimpressed. Companies began looking for ways to improve their visitor experience as well as the receptionists' quality of life… after all, handling visitors was only one of the many job duties required of the receptionist.
When the receptionist doesn’t speak the same language as the visitor, the language barrier can create hazardous conditions for the safety of both the visitor and your staff. If the visitor is making a delivery and can’t understand the instructions, your entire logistics department is left scrambling to resume order. Job applicants may feel unwelcome. Being prepared to accommodate customers or colleagues, who speak other languages, sets a great first impression for their visit to your facility and solidifies your commitment to their safety.
So to combat the many pain points in the visitor experience companies turned to technology for help and ultimately stumbled upon visitor management systems. These systems, like LobbyFox, took into account that some interactions can afford to be transactional rather than relational– and could optimize the speed and efficiency of the check-in process.
Now in this digital age, a visitor management system automates the check-in process by providing visitor orientation based on the purpose of their visit. Different types of visitors are served the correct legal documents, forms to fill out, and safety videos to watch, which are then stored in the cloud.
Now I bet you’re thinking, Mr. Bucket was good at his job and when the factory decided to modernize his role was eliminated…what happens to the receptionist? Does the kiosk replace the need for the receptionist entirely?
The truth: Unlike Mr. Bucket attaching toothpaste caps, your receptionist isn’t just checking in visitors. Most receptionists serve other office duties and merely check in visitors because of their proximity to the door. The VMS does not replace your receptionist; instead, it works in collaboration with a receptionist to assist them, communicate in 32 languages and free them up to focus on more important tasks or even the actual job they were hired to perform.
With LobbyFox, your receptionist now has better access to visitor reports (that they didn’t have to file) and emergency notification information. They aren’t finding themselves repeating the same phrases all day or being tied up trying to locate a visitors’ host who isn’t at their desk. Your receptionist no longer has to risk contact with a visitor to perform a health screening or have uncomfortable conversations with unwanted solicitors. LobbyFox is a receptionist’s favorite tool.
Utilize a visitor management system to leave your clients, contractors, vendors, colleagues, job applicants, and drivers with that essential great first impression. With a smooth and convenient check-in process, prompt host notification, and text communication, your visitors know they’re a priority. Having office technology that empowers your receptionist to prioritize and plan their day without the unpredictability of visitor orientations, lets him/her know you respect their diligent work.
Check out LobbyFox’s industry-leading capabilities at lobbyfox.com today.