When visitors arrive at your business, are they greeted with smiles or frustration? Your visitor check-in process can set the tone for not only the meeting but also for the way that your visitor feels about your organization. To guarantee a positive sentiment, you must completely manage the visitor’s experience, from arrival to departure.
In this post, we’ll look at common mistakes that organizations make during the visitor check-in process. While these mistakes may be unintentional, they can still lead to devastating results. You can start gaining the trust of your visitors right from registration. Or you can fumble the ball and lose their trust by the simple mistakes we’ll list below. Let’s get started.To guarantee a positive sentiment, you must completely manage the visitor’s experience, from arrival to departure. Here's how: Click To Tweet
Mistake #1: Not Greeting Your Visitor
When a visitor arrives at your office, they should be greeted with a warm smile and an equally warm hello. This is why we advocate having a human receptionist in addition to having a digital receptionist, i.e the Receptionist for iPad.
When you have a digital receptionist to handle the monotonous part of the check-in process, your human receptionist can handle the human component of the check-in experience. This includes greeting your visitors and making sure that they feel welcomed in your office.
It’s also important to be consistent. Ensure that all of your guests are greeted warmly upon entering your office. Make eye contact, smile, and let your visitor know that you are happy to see them. This can go a long way towards making your visitors feel at ease.
Mistake #2: Not Providing Any Direction
Upon arriving in your office, whether it’s the first time or not, it’s important that your visitor knows where to go. Oftentimes, the visitor may feel uncomfortable when first arriving in a new office. They don’t know where to go, where to sit, or even if they should sit.
Avoid frustration by making it abundantly clear what your visitors should do as soon as they step foot in your doors. Provide signage that points them toward the check-in kiosk, toward the reception desk, and/or toward the waiting area. It may also be helpful to add numbers so that the visitor knows in what order to go to the different stations within your reception area.
Mistake #3: Make the Visitor Wait Too Long
One of the biggest frustrations that visitors have is waiting for a long time to be seen. It’s crucial that you plan the time so that the visitor doesn’t need to wait longer than 10 minutes at most. After this relatively short amount of time, the visitor will likely grow frustrated and they may decide to circle back to the receptionist’s desk more than once while they wait.
To avoid this, minimize wait times by planning your appointment times wisely. Be mindful of your visitors’ time, and don’t ask them to arrive too early if you know that there’s a possibility you won’t be able to see them at the time scheduled. This will minimize frustration on your visitor’s part.
Another consideration is to reduce wait times during the visitor check-in process. Instead of asking visitors to wait in line for a human receptionist to check them in, consider setting up a digital check-in kiosk (or two, depending on your daily flow of visitor traffic). This can help you manage the visitor experience by minimizing their wait.
Mistake #4: Not Offering Privacy
Have you ever checked in manually and felt uncomfortable with sharing your private details on a public blog book? Some log books ask for not only your name but your phone number and the reason for your appointment.
Asking your visitor to spill their private details is a big no-no for several reasons. First, many visitors feel uncomfortable disclosing their information in a public forum. Second, there are nefarious actors who may use your visitors’ private details in negative ways. Third, keeping a manual record of your visitors is an outdated practice that can negatively affect your visitor’s perception of your business.
Mistake #5: A Lack of Professionalism
It’s normal for co-workers to chit-chat throughout the day. No one expects co-workers to sit next to each other in complete silence. However, when co-workers are chatting with each other non-stop, especially in front of visitors, it can cause your visitors to develop a negative impression of your business.
This is especially true if your visitors are waiting while you’re co-workers are casually talking amongst themselves. It gives the impression that no one cares about how long the visitor is waiting, whether or not that’s actually true. Also, talking about their personal lives can make it seem like they’re not prioritizing work.
When visitors are present, be sure that your team keeps chit-chat to a minimum.
Mistake #6: Not Offering a Comfortable Waiting Area
Another huge mistake that many businesses make is not providing a comfortable waiting area for visitors. At a minimum, your waiting area should have comfortable seating and several sources of entertainment. This includes magazines and television. Some offices may also include workspaces complete with cell phone, tablet, and laptop hookups.
Your waiting room should also smell pleasant. However, minimize artificial fragrances that can overwhelm your visitors. Another way to elevate the waiting space is to include refreshments such as coffee, bottled waters, and light snacks.
Mistake #7: Not Providing Guidance on What to Do After Visitor Check-In
After a visitor checks in via the digital kiosk or human receptionist, give the visitor the next steps to take. This often means waiting in your reception area until the time of the appointment. Don’t assume that the visitor will intuitively understand that they should stay in the designated reception area.
Immediately after check-in, provide instructions on where the visitor should do, such as wait or head to a specific meeting area.
Mistake #8: Not Updating Your Visitor on What’s Going On
Once the visitor is waiting in the reception area, give them an estimated wait time. Try your very best to keep to the provided wait time. This will reduce frustration on your visitors’ end. If you must go over the initially provided wait time, make sure that your visitors are updated.
If you use our tool, the Receptionist for iPad, you can keep in contact with your visitors via chat. Your host can send a quick message directly to your visitor’s phone and keep the lines of communication open in case the visitor wants to message back.
Another benefit of using the Receptionist for iPad is that as soon as the visitor checks in, your host can be notified. Simply knowing that their party is waiting for them in the lobby can cause the host to move quicker and reduce wait time.
Mistake #9: Not Identifying Your Visitors
When you anticipate a lot of visitors roaming through your house, it’s essential to use a visitor identification system. With the Receptionist for Ipad, you can print visitor badges upon check-in.
This offers two major benefits.
First, it offers a security benefit. You can require your visitors to wear badges to ensure proper access to restricted areas.
Second, asking visitors to wear badges gives your staff the ability to address visitors by name. This can improve casual interactions between your staff and visitors, and create an even better impression of your brand for the visitor.
Mistake #10: Not Giving Guidance on Where to Go Next
One of the final mistakes that many organizations make during the visitor check-in process is not providing directions on how to get from point A to point B. If your house will not come down and personally guide the visitor from the reception area to the meeting area, please include signage that will guide the visitor.
Make sure that the visitor has a very clear understanding of how to get from one place to another within your office. And this doesn’t just point to the meeting area, but also to a few other important destinations, that a visitor may need to get to such as the restroom, the snack machine, or the elevators.
Your check-in process often represents your one-and-only chance to make a great first impression on your visitors. Use the above tips to ensure that you avoid common mistakes during the visitor check-in process.
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