Creating a Welcoming Reception and Improving the Visitor Experience

One cannot overstate the significance of a welcoming reception area. The zone is responsible for shaping any visitor’s first impression of your office’s space and culture. And after all, most research suggests that first impressions do last.

Even for an employee, the reception area can be a mood booster and a perfect way to kick-start their day. Creating a truly welcoming environment requires a willingness to go above and beyond. 

In today’s business landscape, every guest encounter builds your reputation. This blog post will take you through innovative solutions for transforming your reception into a warm, inviting, and memorable place.

Why is a “Good” Reception So Important?

Imagine a young, enthusiastic individual has arrived in your office building for an interview. The least he expects is:

  1. A nice, organized reception area
  2. A simple cordial greeting from the receptionist.
  3. A decent waiting space
  4. Clear instructions and directions for the person to go ahead with the interview.

Now, instead of the aforementioned experience, the person is subject to an unkempt reception, where the receptionist is utterly confused with her admission register entries. Moreover, she is not pleasant to talk to and does not help the interviewee with anything extra. 

Why would they feel excited anymore to join your company? They won’t be. This could result in your company losing a talented candidate and harming its reputation.

To avoid such outcomes, it is crucial to prioritize the design and functionality of the reception area. It should instantly put an incoming visitor at ease. 

Designing Your Welcoming Area

First things first. The layout should be intuitive, with a clear path leading them to a friendly face at the reception desk. No more awkward shuffling or wondering where to go. The visitor should find everything arranged before them, akin to a meticulously planned journey.

Let them soak up the scenery and notice the comfortable seating area. It should not just be a few hard plastic chairs haphazardly thrown together. Rather, it should be an invitation for them to sit back, relax, and take a breath. 

The seating in your waiting area must be plush. There must be plenty of room to stretch out and make them feel at home. They should almost feel the stress melting away as they settle in.

However, what distinguishes any reception area is how it brings the outside in. If possible, the area should have natural ventilation with fresh sunlight beaming in. Indoor plants can bring a touch of nature’s calming presence. Anyone crossing the reception area should feel their spirits lift as they take it all in.

Make It Accessible for the Differently-Abled 

The number of wheelchair users in America is increasing at a rampant rate—nearly 2 million new wheelchair users every year! However, being reliant on a wheelchair should not be an estimate of a person’s cognitive and mental abilities.

These individuals can integrate into the mainstream workforce with minimal assistance, starting at the reception. Your reception design needs to incorporate the needs of differently-abled people and be in sync with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations

For starters, the reception area should have ample clear floor space. Individuals using wheelchairs or other assistive devices should be able to navigate easily. For example, your reception should provide a minimum of 60 inches of turning space for wheelchairs. 

Furthermore, you should not neglect individuals with sensory disabilities. Even if you don’t employ them, you can always have visitors who are blind or deaf. An employee’s brother should not have to think twice before meeting him at your reception just because he is differently abled. You can always have braille signage or tactile maps added to your reception area to make everyone feel included.

However, all the infrastructural changes and inclusions will go to waste if the reception staff is untrained to handle them. Conduct extensive training to sensitize your workforce in offering professional assistance to people with disabilities. 

Streamlining the Check-In Process

This is the actual deal, the make-or-break situation. The post-COVID-19 population has aged digitally at an exponential rate. Everything in this era revolves around convenience and the optimization of time. 

Today, even a 3-second delay in webpage loading can leave an online visitor restless. Imagine the consequences of a 10-second delay at the reception, where a human has made an effort to be present physically but is made to wait without clear instructions. That person ought to be frustrated. 

Manual check-ins are a thing of the past. Today, even the simplest of offices have visitor management systems (VMS) in place that take care of all the overhead and mundane tasks. This system is centralized, where the visitor details, entered once at the entrance, are stored and used for a variety of other operations.

The most important are access control and regulatory permissions. So, there is a client who visits once every month to meet an executive at your firm for some audit-related work. Your firm provides them with an ID that electronically activates all permissions and grants through a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled QR code.

Since the power to grant accessibility lies with you, they do not need to engage in conversations at the front desk. They just need to scan the ID card at the designated entrance to meet the executive. Moreover, the ID card might not let the client visit any other floor but allow them to enjoy the cafeteria for lunch.

Even in this situation, the client does not need to pay at the cafeteria during each visit. With just one tap, the accountant can add the bill for this visit to their ID card. The client can clear their dues quarterly, and their unique QR-enabled ID card has the details of all their purchases!

Provide a Personalized Experience

People naturally desire attention, and this holds for individuals visiting your office space. They desire to experience a sense of importance from the moment they step onto your property. Integrating VMS with customer relationship management (CRM) systems can revolutionize the way you create personalized visitor experiences.

According to Greetly, with the synchronization of visitor data across these systems, your business can gain a complete understanding of each visitor’s profile. This data can be used to start personalized email communications, targeted content recommendations, and customized check-in processes.

For instance, when a VIP visitor arrives, the VMS can quickly identify their status and begin a customized welcome procedure. This may involve notifying relevant parties and showcasing customized greetings on digital displays. 

You cannot take any chances with your customers. One negative tweet and you might see a significant drop in sales. Give them what they expect. This does not mean that you spend a fortune on making their experience amazing. What we mean here is that you need to give them the bare minimum that is prevalent everywhere. 

Even if you do not want to give them a state-of-the-art journey, they at least deserve a nice, efficient, and actionable reception.