Smarten up visitor experience or risk business reputation

With 40 per cent of people affirming bad front-of-house experiences as brand-damaging, should the visitor experience get smarter in the corporate world?

Visitors can feel the culture the moment they walk through the door to your office. And the latest research from Proxyclick (2018) has revealed that two out of every five people claim their perception of a company or brand has been negatively affected by their experience in the corporate lobby or reception area. Is your organisation prepared to risk leaving a potential 40 per cent of customers with a bad impression? That’s a significant financial implication no business can afford.

Worth £193billion annually to the UK economy (CEBR, 2016), face-to-face business is an intrinsic part of corporate life. And if business meetings take place on your premises, take note – first impressions are vital. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (2016), when a London-based company conducts an in-person meeting with another business or client, it stands to gain an average income boost of £248,100 per year – big business.

Of the 2,000 US and UK office workers surveyed in Proxyclick’s annual “Office Worker Bugbears” survey, over 70 per cent cited unfriendly receptionists, followed by over half naming a lacklustre welcome as top reasons for their bad experience.

In Proxyclick’s latest whitepaper “The Integrated Visitor Experience”, established brands such as Vodafone, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Paxton and EMS Software (acquired by Accruent) divulge the latest thinking surrounding the integrated visitor experience and make a case for how and why integrated building, security and workplace management systems (such as visitor management, access control and meeting room management) solutions will help businesses to deliver the orchestrated, VIP experience customers want, and expect, today.

Not five to ten years ago, the definition of a visitor experience was simply how someone is received in a building or premises and how they’re able to move around. This would typically involve an organisation’s visitor management solution (VMS) or paper logbook to check them in, and various forms of access control/entry systems to securely guide them to their meeting location. Multiple systems used during the visitor’s stay worked disparately, relying on human input to use each system individually. For example, booking a meeting room and any associated AV, emailing a calendar request, ordering refreshments or booking a parking space.

Today, the rise of smart buildings and developments in automation, open application programming interface (API) standards and cloud technology have changed the game. Forward-thinking organisations are implementing fully-integrated solutions, enabling the integrated visitor experience to begin the very moment they connect with their guest.

The integrated visitor experience focuses a smooth and seamless process. For an expected visitor, systems should recognise their arrival, and gates and barriers should automatically open, to ensure they feel welcome and relaxed. Their favourite beverage can even be pre-ordered, adding that special touch much appreciated after a hectic commute.

For those visiting buildings that use more archaic, non-integrated systems, the experience can be the polar opposite. Additional time spent navigating and finding a space in the corporate car park, long queues to check in with the receptionist, multiple security checks for different departments and a long wait for a drink.

People are wired for human contact and no technology can replace that personal touch. In the case of front-of-house support as just one example, by automating the more menial tasks that can consume a receptionist’s time, organisations can free them to focus on true hospitality. Why have a receptionist taking name and number plate details for check-in when they could spend their time providing guests with their favourite beverage or helping them log on to the Wi-Fi?

In 2018 and beyond, the corporate world is starting to join the dots between the technology experience customers expect when they visit corporate premises and the apparent disconnect there has been to date. As smart cities are created, and visitors use the latest technologies such as high-speed rail, driverless cars and smart motorways, the integrated visitor experience will become a true differentiator.

To download your free copy of Proxyclick’s ‘Integrated Visitor Experience’ Whitepaper, please click here. 

by Gregory Blondeau, Founder, Proxyclick


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