In the dynamic landscape of front desk management, teams are navigating a multitude of challenges that demand innovative solutions. From the escalating workload faced by front desk staff to the ever-increasing expectations of customers, the need for efficiency, security, and seamless interaction. Companies are now starting to lean on technology to help solve these obstacles, but in what ways?
Top 5 main services provided by a front desk:
- Visitor Sign-In/Registration: Many visitors need to sign in or register their presence at the front desk, especially in office buildings, hotels, or residential complexes.
- Directions and Information: Visitors often seek directions to specific offices, rooms, or facilities within the building. They may also ask for general information about the building, its services, or nearby amenities.
- Meeting Room Reservations: In office buildings or conference centres, visitors may inquire about or request assistance with meeting room reservations.
- Access Control and Security: Visitors may need help with access control, such as obtaining key cards, access badges, or temporary passes to enter certain areas of the building.
- Package or Mail Pickup/Delivery: Visitors may come to the front desk to collect packages, mail, or deliveries that are addressed to them.
These may all be straightforward tasks for skilled reception staff to complete, however at busy periods with limited staff on the desk, visitors can end up feeling unsatisfied and frustrated by a line that has now left them late for their meeting, not the best first impression companies wish to make on their guests.
A major challenge is that front office teams require breaks and changeovers on a day-to-day basis. This combined with staff annual leave, sick days and high turnover rates mean resulting absences are inevitable. Constraints on front desk staff resource combined with fluctuating demand can lead to congestion at reception and the need to turn to innovative technologies for support.
How can front desk service teams alleviate this pressure on resources and provide the best guest front desk experience?
Many have turned to digital self-service kiosk technology to help provide a more automated and efficient front desk experience whilst increasing flexibility amongst staff. The idea being for the visitor to be able to now serve themselves; to check-in or check out or find their way around a building via digital kiosk technology.
So, depending on the support or service a visitor requires at a building’s front desk, a self-service kiosk can act as an extra pair of hands to deal with visitor traffic and streamline front desk operations. In some cases, for example smaller buildings accommodating a handful of SMEs, a digital kiosk can even replace a front desk team to provide a cost-effective digital front desk experience.
Sentry Interactive and Lexington Reception Services (LRS)
The predominant feature provided by digital self-service kiosks for visitor management is digital sign-in and in most use-cases digital communications also feature when the kiosks fall into an idle state, advertising external brand deals or internal enterprise communications to engage and educate visitors.
Sentry Interactive provide a 3rd feature. A remote on-call live digital receptionist. This round the clock interactive service is a solution that provides a digital hand to front desks, whilst retaining that human touch via a live 2-way video feed. Not to be confused with a virtual receptionist, this feature provides reception teams with the flexibility to work remotely, as well as manage multiple front desk locations where it might not be cost effective to deploy staff to.
Lexington Reception Services (LRS), a forward-thinking enterprise, dedicated to providing excellent service to their clients saw the advantage in utilizing Sentry’s 3-in-1 kiosk technology to expand their offering. Sentry Interactive’s digital receptionist technology meant that they could provide their staff the option to work remotely whilst managing more front desk locations at the same capacity, wherever a kiosk is placed. This expanded the potential to deploy their services to sites that before didn’t require a complete front desk team but would be open to a more cost-effective digital solution that never sleeps. Enabling Lexington to uphold a high-quality service, grow their clientele, and save time and money associated with hiring and training new staff.
Working with Lexington meant that Sentry could now utilize the LRS team to provide an all-in-one, ready-to-deploy consistent remote front desk service. Combining traditional service with innovation, face-to-face staff alongside technology, to create the most effective visitor experience.
“Working with Sentry represents LRS’s commitment to utilising the latest technology to provide our clients with the best possible customer service. It has brought a value-add to our service, allowing us to diversify and optimise resource via a remote working solution. In this way, we are creating new opportunities to welcome less-abled bodied employees, who may face challenges with movement between stations, and thereby enhancing the inclusivity of our workforce. We are also now able to streamline operations across multiple sites with our on-site staff working alongside the 3-in-1 kiosk technology to help automate repetitive tasks that were taking up staff time.”Jane Streat, Head of LRS.
The future of front desk management and technology
Looking ahead, the continued synergy between front desk teams and technology promises to redefine the landscape of hospitality, security, and service industries. As organizations strive to provide the most effective visitor experiences in an ever-changing landscape, the Sentry Interactive and Lexington Reception Services partnership stands as a beacon of innovation and efficiency, pointing the way forward for the future of front desk management.