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5 Ways to Make Every Office Visitor Feel Welcome

Everyone knows good first impressions are essential to forming long-term relationships, so it's important to welcome visitors with genuine hospitality. Whether you’re hosting clients or greeting interviewees, you need to make sure those first interactions with your company are flawless - from the moment your visitor steps through the door into your reception area to the moment they leave. Office visitor management includes a warm welcome, a tidy reception area, and a streamlined check-in.  

If you’re not doing these already, then you could be giving the wrong message to your visitors about your company. Here at SwipedOn, we know that first impressions are crucial which is why we created a visitor management system that streamlines office efficiencies, create peace of mind at work and facilitate a safe and warm welcome for greeting visitors at your reception. In this blog article, we share five ways to ensure every office visitor feels welcome the moment they walk through the door, whether you have a staffed or unstaffed reception area. 

5 Ways to make every office visitor feel welcome

What Are the Benefits of Making Visitors Feel Welcome?

Why should we trouble ourselves about welcoming visitors to a company? Aside from basic politeness, external relationships are vital to the success of any company. Visitors may be potential business partners, customers, suppliers, or future employees. When you welcome a visitor, earning their goodwill on arrival takes relatively little effort and sets their expectations for the relationship. 

By learning how to make people feel welcome — treating visitors with hospitality and respect — you establish the tone for a productive working relationship, burnish your brand image, and advance the company's long-term interests. Follow these five steps to make a positive impression and welcome visitors with style.

1. Make it Easy for Visitors to Find You by Sending Clear Instructions a Few Days Prior to their Visit 

According to Stanford University researchers, we’re more likely to form a positive first impression if we’re in a good mood to begin with. Nothing makes us cranky like a rushed, stress-inducing journey. 

Things like traffic, rain, and grouchy commuters are out of your control, but what you can influence is your visitor’s route to your workplace. 

A few days before guests are due to arrive, give them clear instructions on how to reach you—from transport tips, possible access codes and procedures, and who to ask for. With SwipedOn you can pre-register visitors and send them an email with all the information they need ahead of their visit, you can even include a link to complete any relevant inductions. This way, admin staff know exactly who to expect, guests have the information they need, and sign-in is sped up for everyone so your team can focus on the human touch when greeting clients at your workplace.

As the Stanford University report reveals, putting someone in a good mood means they’re more likely to recognize positive things about you and your business. So, even if you do slip up, they’re less likely to register it as a problem. 

Make office visitors feel welcome: Make it Easy for Visitors to Find You by Sending Clear Instructions a Few Days Prior to their Visit 


2. Train Your Receptionist to be Professional and Friendly

Your receptionist is the first face your visitor sees when they set foot in your company. From having a tidy appearance to pronouncing your visitor’s name correctly, your receptionist needs to be a true professional. 

Offering visitors a beverage (e.g. tea, coffee or water) is a must, as is being attentive to any other needs they may have. Make sure the receptionist knows how to greet visitors in your company whether that's verbally, or acknowledging visitors with eye contact and a smile if they’re busy talking on the phone and can’t speak to them immediately. 

If you don’t have a full-time receptionist, instruct your employees to welcome visitors and direct them to the sign-in area. For companies with an unstaffed reception area, it’s crucial to use digital sign-in software as part of the office visitor management process to intuitively lead visitors through sign in and notify staff immediately of their visitor's arrival.

Receptionists and employees should also be prepared to use a visitor’s name when greeting them. Salespeople are regularly trained to address their prospects by name to build trust and familiarity—and the same tactic can be applied to make your visitors feel welcome. 

According to leadership expert Joyce E. A. Russell, “A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person.”

Make office visitors feel welcome: Train Your Receptionist to be Professional and Friendly

3. Make Your Reception Area an Oasis of Calm

Your visitor will take in their surroundings the moment they step through the door. Things like outdated interior design and clutter make your office look uncared for. Which means your reception area is a crucial detail when welcoming visitors into your company.

Take as much pride in your reception as you do your own appearance. If your business has any awards, display them on the wall or in a polished, dust-free cabinet. Make sure walls are painted and stain-free and seating is comfortable and not worn out. Other ideas to create a welcoming atmosphere include books and new magazines on a coffee table or shelf, visible wifi details, self-serve beverages and snacks, art and pictures on the walls, natural lighting, and large plants. 

Good lighting and plenty of plants are scientifically proven to improve mood, so this is a good place to start as an ideal way of greeting a visitor in your office. In studying the effects of workplace decor on wellbeing, psychologist Dr. Craig Knight discovered offices devoid of plants, pictures, and souvenirs have a negative psychological effect on people. 

"If you put an ant into a 'lean' jam jar, or a gorilla in a zoo into a 'lean' cage – they're miserable beasties. People in 'lean' offices are no different,” he says.

Make office visitors feel welcome: Make your reception area an oasis of calm

4. Modernize Your Sign-In Process

Are you ready to create the best visitor sign in experience imaginable?

Beginning your welcome to the office with a paper visitor book might seem easy enough, but in this day and age, visitors expect more than an impersonal, insecure, and unprofessional sign-in book. Rather than handing visitors a dog-eared book, the ideal way of greeting a visitor in your office is to offer them a personalized greeting with digital sign-in software. An iPad or tablet at reception not only looks more professional, but it also enhances your security and makes your office visitor management process easier (for visitors, admins and employees alike), more professional, and more comprehensive. 

Using sign-in software such as SwipedOn’s visitor management system will streamline the visitor sign-in process by including visitor policies, agreements, useful documents, and personalized instructions. This way, your staff can focus on creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere and leave the time-consuming admin to the app.  

If ID badges are part of your sign-in process, instead of using an impersonal ID badge that says ‘visitor’, a visitor management system can also be integrated with personalized ID badges to further make your visitors feel taken care of and recognized.

5. Give Visitors Updates

“Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.” — Inuit Saying

There’s nothing more frustrating than forcing visitors to wait for an interminable period with no sense of control over their schedule or knowledge of why they are being delayed. Regular status notifications to waiting visitors can eliminate this unhappy condition. 

Even if you’re delivering bad news like “It’s going to be another 20 minutes,'' it’s far better for visitors to know what they’re in for than to sit there twiddling their thumbs in ignorance. One of the best ways to show you respect people’s time is to provide accurate updates on their wait time and reasons for any delays. 

Creating a welcoming, professional atmosphere for greeting guests in the workplace is a must for all businesses, regardless of size or industry. It helps give visitors a good first impression, which paves the way for a positive relationship with your business or brand. Helping visitors find your business, and welcoming them in a professional, personalized manner into an aesthetically pleasing - and on brand - reception area that allows them to easily sign-in with a digital tool, are key to making every office visitor feel welcome.

Make office visitors feel welcome: Modernize Your Sign In Process


More from the blog

4 Ways to Modernize Your Front Desk 

4 Small Things You Can Do to Make Your Visitors Feel Comfortable 

Brand Love at First Sight: How to Showcase Your Brand at Your Office’s Reception

7 Simple Yet Powerful Reception Area Ideas For Your Business 

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Lou Burton

Lou is our Brand & Content Manager at SwipedOn.


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