How important is Visitor Management?
Some companies feel that a nice looking greeting environment is not important enough to warrant any kind of effort or money. Others go completely Willy Wonka-overboard and create an alienating space which in no way gives off the intended “vibes”.
Make sure you get the best out of your reception area and visitors by avoiding these, at times obvious, mistakes that some companies make when creating the gateways to their corporate kingdoms.
The Reception Design
Nobody likes walking into claustrophobic, windowless rooms. Give your clients and visitors a view, some sunlight and nice open spaces to keep them happy and comfortable whilst waiting to be attended. “Comfort” is the key word here and it is equally important that the receptionists working at the desk feel at home and radiate the tranquility that you wish your visitors to feel. Comfortable chairs are a must, as well as leg room. Keep things bright and colourful on a white back drop, which always makes an area look more spacious than it actually is.
The reception desk should be designed in such a way that it is devoid of untimely paperwork and typical “behind closed doors” disorganization.
Adequate lighting is also an important factor. Aside from the windows, you should try to use a warm, welcoming tones. No harsh fluorescent lights.
Make them feel special
Some companies can be extremely careless when it comes to their reception areas. Any spare room is good and any old portrait that came with he building is valid to cover the cracks on the wall.
Visitors, unsurprisingly, pick up on this immediately. We know how to tell the difference between a makeshift, uninspired area for visitors and a space that is meant to make you feel at home and welcome.
One of the main offenders is the classic “couch in the corridor” scenario. A couch in a corridor is not a greeting area. Making your visitors and potential clients have have to sit in silence and watch people who ignore them walk by is counter productive to say the least.
Hospitals do this all the time, and whilst the people visiting them don’t really have a choice, your company should always try to make visitors feel as welcome and special as possible. They are guests, treat them as if they were in your house.
Visitor Management & Corporate Image
This still has something to do with design but it also translates to the general feeling that your reception area offers. Surprises can be nice, but usually, people like to get what they expect.
If your company is a sober law firm, mahogany framework and chesterfield couches may be a better way to greet them than multi-coloured bean bags that would look more at home at a trendy software design company.
Everything in your reception area must reflect your brand, from the colours to the choice in reading material and magazines. Simple visitor management software can make a great first impression.
This is also a big one. How many times have you walked into a building only to be greeted by unhelpful, uninterested and downright rude staff. Developing a good visitor management process direct from the initial reception will ensure a nice working environment and make all employees feel like an important part of your business structure.
They are the face of your company for many people who walk through those rotating doors, so they deserve the level of respect and recognition that that kind of responsibility warrants.
Make sure they are capable of using the reception software as well. This is very important, seeing as reception technology is constantly on the move and last year’s software may already be obsolete and costing you money. Nothing looks less professional than seeing a person who is supposed to know what they’re doing have a nervous breakdown in front of a computer screen.
Avoid this descent into chaos and keep your staff trained.
The actual work area, where your employees may be playing basketball with crushed paper cups and the like, should always be hidden from the view of your visitors. This will keep your employees happy, seeing as they will be shielded from the prying eyes of strangers, and will make your business seem more professional and organized.
Work areas tend to look messy. Paperwork, empty cups and people eating out of tuppers are the usual culprits. Put a wall up and let your employees feel comfort and privacy whilst keeping your company’s image tidy and respectable.
Remember, DBC Group offers our very own automated receptionist app for iPads. Check it out here.