We're in a world full of workplace technology choices. Still, no amount of automation can do what a receptionist does. Walking into a business and seeing a friendly, helpful person waiting to greet you and help you find your way is both reassuring and creates a highly-favorable first impression.
The front office team is the first and last point of contact for everyone who visits the company, and they should set the tone for the entire visit. With a position as necessary as that, they should have receptionist software that makes them even more helpful and efficient.
Receptionist software 101: Match the tech to your real-time needs
The market is flooded with software designed to help receptionists with their busy day. How do you know which to choose? Take a good look at the front office, and ask your front desk staff the following questions:
- What are the most important parts of your day-to-day work?
- What tasks take more time than you feel is needed?
- What do you think we could do to offer visitors a more pleasant experience?
- What do you think we could do to make our reception area set the tone for our business?
- If there were three areas of your work experience in your role that you could improve or change, what would they be?
Workplace productivity tips like these that employees share will provide a good starting place. The most important rule of thumb is: choose workplace technology that won’t cause the staff to take extra time or go through more steps than necessary. If it creates more work than it saves, it’s probably not a good choice for your company.
Must-have workplace technology: visitor management software for efficiency and hospitality
Reception staff often seem to need more than one set of hands to get everything done at once. A good bet when evaluating receptionist software is to look at something that helps them either multi-task or perform multiple tasks with a keystroke or two. When it comes to balancing the need for speed and efficiency without losing the all-important human connection, you can’t beat visitor management software.
Guests come in and out of the building all day, and the company must record each person’s name, affiliation, entrance and exit, the purpose of visit, and who they’re there to see. They also need a visitor badge to let everyone know at a glance that they’re a visitor. And wouldn’t it be nice to offer a much-appreciated bit of hospitality right off the bat? How about a secure guest WiFi password?
In the past, managing all of these tasks simultaneously has been something of a Herculean effort. With visitor management software, you can do more than get all that done in a fraction of the time. The system will also take the visitor’s picture, register them in the visitor database, and automatically alert the person who’s expecting a guest that their visitor has arrived. Your guests can be comfortably seated with a cup of coffee or water and happily online even before the host arrives to welcome them.
And then there’s that incredibly necessary, but slightly awkward moment when receptionists might have to ask visitors to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). A visitor management software can handle that, too. As guests register on the front-desk iPad, the NDA appears as well, pre-marked with the spots they’ll need to sign. It’s a friendly way to get the necessary obligations out of the way with style.
Need to have: receptionist software for deliveries
It’s not just people who are continuously parading in and out of the office. It’s packages, too. Deliveries encompass as much of a receptionist’s day as people management. More and more, receptionists are taking on the duties of a shipping clerk for the office.
While the mailroom or shipping and receiving department may ship out the company’s product, deliveries for employees are becoming increasingly popular, especially around the holidays. Why? Online shopping is the most disruptive thing that’s happened to retail since the invention of malls. And when the packages arrive, more often than not, they arrive at the shopper’s workplace, where they can be there to receive it.
Package delivery at work is a benefit that employees genuinely appreciate, and workplaces are finding there is digital workplace technology out there to address it.
Automation for package delivery is a breeze when you have a delivery app. Receptionists simply snap a picture of the shipping label, and the software takes care of the rest. It notifies the recipient via email or text that their package is ready for pick-up. When workplace technology reduces an hour worth of work to a few seconds, it’s hard for companies to object.
Ambiance and atmosphere — know where you are the second you arrive
Corporate lobbies could take a page from hotel and restaurant playbooks. After all, it’s their job to make us feel not only instantly welcome but to immerse us in the kind of comforting atmosphere they wish to convey. Shouldn’t it be the same with companies? For example, if you had a toy company, would there be no references to fun in the lobby? Probably not.
You’d want visitors to have an explicit understanding that your company is in the business of creating fun. Yet, would you have toys music, and flashing lights in an accounting or law firm?
The atmosphere of the lobby puts visitors in the right setting for the company, and that includes elements like furniture, lighting, decor, and even music. With the software that’s right for your office, the reception area can be even more efficient. And that gives receptionists more time to do what they do best — create a welcoming and helpful experience, person to person.