How are front desk service companies utilizing technology to provide a streamlined and modern customer experience?

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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meeting Room Reservations: In office buildings or conference centres, visitors may inquire about or request assistance with meeting room reservations.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

William Bainborough

Board of Directors

William is an experienced British entrepreneur, founder, and accomplished board executive and advisor for a number of businesses. He is the CEO and co-founder of Doordeck, the world’s only true cloud-based access control aggregator. He is also the managing director and founder of Group Secure, a leader in providing security, CCTV, and access control solutions, products, and installation for high-net-worth individuals in the UK. 

William established his first business at just seventeen and brings 20-plus years of in-depth experience and industry knowledge. He has a proven track record for building businesses from the ground up—and then leading them to profitability and a successful exit across a myriad of sectors including hospitality, retail, security, telecommunications, and e-commerce. William’s leadership, vision, and experience in creating cutting-edge SaaS-based technology platforms will prove invaluable for Sentry Interactive moving forward.

Denis Hébert

Board of Directors
Hébert began his career at Honeywell International where he held several leadership positions including Managing Director for the Automation and Controls business in France and eventually President of the NexWatch Corporation from 1999-2002. Hébert led HID Global as President & CEO over a transformative 12-year period from 2002-2015, where he provided strategic guidance and grew the business tenfold through a mix of strong organic and acquisitive growth. Most recently, Hébert was President of Feenics Corporation which is a cloud-based access control company that was successfully sold to ACRE LLC at the end of 2021. Hébert also served on the Board of Directors for the Security Industry Association (SIA) from 2009-2020 and was nominated to be Chairman of the Board for SIA from 2016-2018. He is currently Chairman of the Board for Nightingale Security based in Newark, CA.

Stephen Taylor Matthews

Board of Directors
Stephen is a very accomplished attorney, member of the Texas State Bar, licensed commercial real estate broker, and an avid philanthropist. He is an experienced executive board member, serving in leadership positions for more than 20 community councils and corporate boards—ranging from Boy Scouts of America to the ABBA Business Leaders Council, and most recently the American Bank BOD, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and the Marbridge Foundation BOT. With more than 35 years experience, Stephen and his firm, Barrond & Adler, L.L.P. are devoted to eminent domain cases in Texas.

Jon Davis

Board of Directors

Mr. Davis is an Experienced corporate board member, having served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies. Jon possesses deep industry expertise in dairy, food processing, food technology and manufacturing, and food, beverage, and entertainment services. 

During Jon’s tenure of 25 plus years, he’s led operations, research and development, and mergers and acquisitions. He’s served as CEO and has been the founder and active board member for many successful enterprises—from startups to billion-dollar corporations. While COO and CEO of Davisco Foods International, Jon built a state-of-the-art cheese plant which was awarded the United States Dairy processing plant of the year in 2005 by Dairy Foods magazine. Currently, Jon is active with several non-dairy projects, including investments in local real estate, the Wayzata Brewworks, and his latest venture the new CōV restaurant in Edina’s Galleria.

Joe Caldwell

Founder and Chairman of the Board

Joe is an American entrepreneur, investor, and accomplished executive. He has co-founded, founded, and led many successful businesses, including US Internet, a leading fiber internet service provider, Securence, a leading provider of email filtering software, and Ravon, an industry-leading digital voice communications service. 

It was Joe’s venture, Municipal Parking Services (MPS), that inspired him in 2020 to start Sentry Interactive, an advanced touchless and staffless detection platform.

Caldwell currently serves as CEO and Chairman of the Board for Municipal Parking Services (MPS), a global tech company based in Austin, TX responsible for inventing and patenting technologies that assist in parking and security enforcement.

Joe was named one of Minnesota’s 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders for the past two years—and is a seasoned corporate board member. He’s served on boards of public, private equity-backed, and venture-backed companies—and has deep industry expertise in all aspects of digital technology.

Jason Bohrer

Jason Bohrer

President and CEO
Jason Bohrer is one of the visionaries behind our mission to bring people back together safely and securely, in any environment, through Sentry’s advanced digital communications and detection platform. With over two decades of senior leadership experience, Jason’s track record of success spans across sales, operations, product innovation, strategy, and technology for domestic and global companies like Bexar Technology Partners, CPI Card Group, HID Global, and Motorola, Inc. Prior to launching Sentry Interactive, Jason was actively involved with several key technology transitions across multiple industries, including the contact and contactless EMV transitions in the U.S. payments industry and the adoption of smart card and mobile technologies in the global access and identity market. Jason was an inaugural member of the University of Chicago Executive Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as the Executive Director for two industry-leading not-for-profit organizations: the Secure Technology Alliance and the U.S. Payments Forum.
Brent Terry

Brent Terry

Chief Operating Officer
Brent Terry leads the operations and solutions organizations at Sentry. This includes all product innovation, development, and operations management. A veteran in the technology space, Brent has more than 30 years of experience across a myriad of industries, like physical security technology and building automation, SAAS, hardware and software product development, internet, digital TV, interactive TV, digital media, telecommunications, and medical products and services. Prior to Sentry, Brent has spun up successful startups and led high-performing teams for some of the biggest global, Fortune 500 companies, including ARRIS, Conerco, Motive Communications, SeaChange International, and IBM. Brent holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana. He also is the committee Chairman and Program Director for a non-profit organization responsible for the rollout of smart cards for physicians and first responders.