Make a powerful impression after visitors sign in
We know how busy your lobby can be with visitors constantly arriving for meetings, interviews, events, and friendly drop-ins. Your team does everything they can to make sure every person who walks through the front door is greeted warmly and guided through the sign-in process.
What happens after that? There are a few ways your front desk team can make sure visitors have a truly memorable experience.
Here are seven ways to make a great impression after visitors sign in:
1. Create a clean, comfortable space
The look and feel of your front desk sets the tone for your visitors. You want to create a space that is welcoming and representative of your brand. Take a few minutes out of your morning to craft an atmosphere that your guests will enjoy as they wait for their host. This may include tidying up and putting on some soothing music.
Allison Hall, Office Coordinator at Envoy, likes to make the lobby as polished as possible for visitors to enjoy after they sign in. “I make sure the reception area is clean, the cushions are fluffed, all of the TVs and monitors are turned on, and the windows are open. I tuck all of the mail and packages into the mailroom. The front desk frames the visitor experience so I make sure that it looks nice.”
Allison Hall, Office Coordinator at Envoy
2. Be available before and after sign-in
The smile your team gives when people arrive, and how they interact with them after they put in their information, is just as important as the sign-in process itself. Make sure your visitors have someone nearby to talk to if they have questions or just want to chat. Making yourself available to your guests puts people at ease and shows your company values their well-being.
3. Lead with a beverage, leave with a snack
One quick way to make people feel at home is to offer them a drink or a snack. A little water could go a long way for a busy executive jumping from meeting to meeting, or a nervous interviewee hoping for their dream job. Plus, people are impressed by small gestures, like being asked if they’d like a glass of water or a cup of coffee.
Allison loves to give visitors a snack after they wrap up their meeting. “I offer snacks on people’s way out of the office. You don’t want wrappers sitting around your lobby.” Plus, she notes, visitors usually don’t want to snack before a big meeting or nerve-racking interview. On the way out, however, it’s both easy and a nice parting touch to have snacks to grab before they go.
Pro tip for busy reception areas: “Have a mini-fridge by the front desk. I often ask people if they’d like something to drink, but by the time I make it back from the kitchen, they are already gone or walking away with their host. Most of the time people just want water, so stocking a small fridge with bottles of water could be super convenient.” ––Allison Hall, Envoy Office Coordinator
4. Help visitors with their coats or bags
People often walk through your office doors juggling items like coats, umbrellas, bags, or luggage. It’s nice to offer to take these items off their hands or show them a safe place to put them during their stay. Chances are you have a mailroom or closet that is a perfect storage spot. Not only do you keep your visitor’s belongings safe, but you also avoid potential fire hazards.
5. Share key office information
After the host has been notified of their guest’s arrival, your visitor may want to know more about the office, especially if it’s their first time. Don’t forget to proactively share helpful bits of information like the location of the bathrooms, Wi-Fi passwords, places to sit and relax, and evacuation routes (if necessary).
Aside from office essentials, you can also disclose fun quirks about the office decor and culture. If your front desk gets really busy, you can create a welcome guide for visitors to look through as they wait. You want your visitors to feel welcome at all times while still maintaining office security.
6. Make genuine ‘short’ talk
If the lobby isn’t too hectic, take time out to ask your guest about themselves. This small step will help them relax and make your front desk more personal. Allison’s advice? Keep it breezy. “I like to ask them simple light-hearted questions. Avoid asking anything too personal that could put interview candidates on edge. I keep topics general; nothing too specific.”
This conversation is often guided by the clock. “It depends on the time of the day. If it’s around noon, I like to let visitors know what we are having for lunch. If it’s later in the day, I may mention our happy hour, and invite them to have a glass of our wine on tap. I also share upcoming company events that are open to the public.”
It’s not all about social events, either. Take the opportunity to convey your vision and values to visitors, such as any charities, partnerships, or donations your organization participates in or contributes to.
7. Give a guided office tour
Your company put a lot of time and money into building a beautiful workspace––and people want to see it! If your visitor arrives early for their appointment, give a brief tour of the office. Taking the time to walk them through your office shows that you take pride in your place of work.
The same goes for when a host needs a few extra minutes, says Allison. “I like to give office tours if the host notifies me that they are running late, especially if they are an interview candidate. A tour is often part of the host’s plan and they lose the opportunity if they are held up, so I have the chance to still give them that great experience.”
Of course, each office is different. Take these words of advice and figure out a way to make them your own. While visitor management services are crucial for modern workplaces, it is the human element that truly sets your company––and your visitor impression––apart.
Learn how to tackle a busy lobby with multiple sign-ins.