stairs in lobby

3 tips for providing great visitor experiences at reception


3 minutes read time

March 29, 2015

There is much more to great visitor experiences than a well-designed reception area with soft seating, the morning paper, mints on the counter, and an offer of tea, coffee, or water. Whilst all of these get a tick in the must do’s column the investment is wasted if the visitor has to wait longer than 2 minutes to be issued a pass, and their host notified of their arrival.

A great way to keep your visitors happy (and reduce visitor wait times) is to make the visitor welcoming experience and sign-in process seamless, fast, and easy to do. We know most visitors do not like signing into a visitor book or an electronic sign in system. In fact, our research tells us that over 75% of visitors believe the hosting organization should already have them registered – because the visit was scheduled.

Here are three tips for giving your visitors a great reception experience, regardless of whether you are a small, medium, or large multi-national business.

1: Pre-register Visitors

Empower your employees to pre-register their visitors. Whether they do so themselves or request reception do it for them, nothing beats that feeling when you walk into an organization and the receptionist says: “Welcome Mr/Mrs/Ms xxxxxxx, we have been expecting you”. Pre-registering gives reception teams visibility into who is due on-site, allowing them to plan for large groups, prepare seating, meeting rooms, drinks, passes, and car parks.

2: Pre-print Visitor Passes

Having visitor passes pre-printed is a simple courtesy the visitor will love. It shows you care, you are prepared, and reduces waiting times for signing in multiple visitors and large groups. Reception teams are way too busy to manually create visitor passes after the visitor signs in. Their focus should be on ensuring visitors are aware of site facilities and tending to their specific needs. The issuance of the visitor pass, even for a large group should be something that takes seconds, not minutes.

3: Keep the Visitor informed of their Host’s Arrival

From personal experience, it’s always comforting to know my host has been notified of my arrival and acknowledges they are on their way. I don’t feel a lot of love when the reception team ask me to “take a seat and they’ll let my host know I have arrived” – and then they don’t update me. Ten minutes goes by and still not a peep from the receptionist. A simple “John is aware you have arrived and will be down in 2 minutes” or “Sorry John is running a little late and will be here in 5 minutes. He sends his apologies. May I get you a coffee, tea, water?” – goes a long way to making visitors feel comfortable and at ease in your environment.

If you have some great tips for improving visitor experiences share them with us!