At the turn of the twentieth century, a mere four years before the Wright Brothers’ famous first flight, Charles Duell then-Commissioner of the US Patent Office remarked: “everything that can be invented has been invented.” As we all know that isn’t quite how it turned out.
The market today is constantly being shaped by technological change. Consumers are changing their habits based on the technology they have access to, and corporations are changing the way they do business as a result. More and more we’re seeing technologies that were once the stuff of science fiction being integrated into our daily lives – the handheld communicator from Star Trek? The average smartphone today is leaps and bounds ahead in functionality. Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey? Alexa’s got him beat, heck she’ll even open the pod bay doors for me if they have a Smart Lock installed.
My broader point here is just to say that as consumers become increasingly comfortable with – and reliant on – technology, businesses should always strive to be one step ahead to take full advantage. One simple, but often neglected area in which modern technology can be integrated into day-to-day workplace interactions is in visitor management. Allow me to explain…
First Impressions Last
When you visit the typical office today, you’re likely to be greeted by a receptionist who asks for your name, the name of the employee you’re visiting, and that you sign some sort of a notebook or visitor log book. Seems simple and straight-forward, right?
However, consider some of the following scenarios that we’ve all (myself included) likely encountered when walking into the reception area of a business office:
- The receptionist is nowhere to be seen, so you decide to wait until someone shows up.
- The receptionist is nowhere to be seen, so you decide to call the employee you are visiting.
- The receptionist is nowhere to be seen, so you decide to leave.
- The receptionist is available, but you’re then asked to manually sign your name, write down the name of the person you’re visiting, etc.
In the first three of these scenarios, the state of the reception area has a direct negative impact on the perception of your business. The process is inefficient, unfriendly, and the first thing a visitor notices about your office is how poorly organized it is – a bad first impression to say the least. The fourth scenario, although better than the first three, still leaves visitors with the sense that your office is technologically backward.
“Anything you can do, I can do better”
An easy way to avoid a poor first impression at your office is through the use of a virtual receptionist system – otherwise known as a visitor management solution. Virtual receptionist systems combine software and hardware into an interactive technology platform which, when deployed effectively, carries out the following functions:
- Greets visitors when they arrive at the business’ reception area;
- Registers the visitor’s information such as name, email address, the person he/she is visiting, and time and date of the visit;
- Notifies the host of the guest’s arrival by either a phone call, video call, email, or text message;
- Informs the visitor of their rights, obligations, and responsibilities when stepping onto the premises of the business;
- Provides additional information to the visitor as needed/requested;
- Reports on visitor activities electronically and can refer to the e-log when needed.
In addition to the functions outlined above, a virtual receptionist system also offers a number of added benefits to a business, including:
- Cost savings/efficiencies;
- Automated and streamlined visitor management;
- Live remote receptionist communications for visitors and employees;
- Induction process compliance;
- Enforces & complies with corporate or industry standards and regulations.
Konica Minolta’s state-of-the-art virtual receptionist system is called ALICE Receptionist. If you’ve stopped by Konica Minolta’s offices in either Toronto, Montreal or Calgary you may already have met her at the front desk. ALICE’s functionality, affordability, and ease-of-use for both employees and visitors has proven an invaluable asset to our three large branches, and we’re now planning on further installations at more Canadian branches. Check out the video below to learn more about ALICE and what she can do: