The Who, What, Where, and How of Electronic Receptionist Software

Want to save more than $3,500 per receptionist per month? Look how an electronic receptionist can help you cut costs while boosting efficiency.


Executive Summary

  • An electronic receptionist can help you deal with the ever-increasing expectations for fast, easy, and customer-centered visitor experiences.
  • Not only does a virtual front desk create brilliant experiences for your guests and employees, but it also improves physical safety, data security, and compliance. Therefore, it’s beneficial for lots of organizations of all sizes and across various industries, such as finances, technology, manufacturing, staffing, and governmental entities.
  • Visitor management software brings a full range of functionalities that streamline the processes in your lobby, create an impeccable brand image, and provide a cost-effective solution to all receptionist challenges.

When it comes to making an outstanding first impression, every second counts. Do you want to create seamless visitor experiences and lasting positive impressions that will keep your guests coming back and doing business with you? Then, you should know that an electronic receptionist can be your best ally.

Did you know that globally, half of the customers will abandon a brand they love after several poor experiences? What’s more, every third customer will do so after just one bad experience. 

With today's stiff competition, the corporate lobby is the new battlefield, and elevating the visitor experience is the ultimate goal. Brands are struggling to streamline front-desk operations and offer time-effectiveness, ease, and security for their visiting customers, partners, suppliers, job candidates, or any other guests. Beating competitors and enhancing visitor experience requires a well-thought-out strategy and the respective technology in place. This is where virtual receptionist software comes on the scene.

Visitor management solutions have been on the rise ever since the pandemic outbreak, and the trend is expected to continue. A virtual front desk offers a great potential to address all receptionist challenges in an efficient and cost-effective way. Besides improving visitor experiences, it helps reduce your staffing needs and costs, saving over $3,500 per front-desk employee, per month.

If you want to learn some more valuable details about the virtual front desk, keep reading. You’ll find out how an electronic receptionist works, who benefits from “hiring” one, and what it can do for you and your visitors.

Let’s get started by answering the first fundamental question.


Jump to: 

What Is an Electronic Receptionist?

How Does an Electronic Receptionist Work? 

Who Uses an Electronic Receptionist? 

What Does an Electronic Receptionist Do?

What Is an Electronic Receptionist?

Employees checking into work using an electronic receptionistAn electronic receptionist is a software solution that provides an alternative to the traditional reception experience. It can deal with all basic receptionist tasks while providing seamless visitor experiences and reducing the staffing requirements for handling front-desk operations as compared with the conventional practice.

In fact, a state-of-the-art visitor management system embraces the whole range of receptionist operations, from managing visiting customers, contractors, vendors, and job candidates to facility tours, to scheduled entries and exits. Modern technology allows for fast and secure self-check-in of visitors, customized greetings, instant host notifications, access control, streamlined evacuation, and a detailed log of all reception activities. 

Implementing an electronic receptionist brings in a lot of benefits like an outstanding first impression, cost-effectiveness, maintaining regulatory compliance, ensuring safety, and much more. 

Now that we’ve discussed the concept of digital receptionist software, let's dig into more practical details and look at its features and operation.

How Does an Electronic Receptionist Work? 

Electronic signatures on NDAs and waivers using an electronic receptionist systemA virtual front desk offers an easy and straightforward process in three steps:

  • A self-service sign-in of the visitor upon arrival
  • Delivering an instant host notification
  • A branded welcoming of the visitor

How does this work in practice?

The visitors and guests to your premises can use a kiosk or their own smartphone to sign in. They should provide all the details of their visit that you specify, such as

  • The reason they are visiting
  • Their name 
  • Their hostname
  • Other information that your office may require

After filling these, they take a picture and electronically sign documents.

Upon completion of the check-in process, the host employee gets a real-time notification. Users can choose from a great variety of options like a phone call, Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, a text message, an email, or a combination of all. 

Having been notified immediately, hosts can promptly greet their visitors, without keeping them waiting unattended at the front-desk area or missing the time of their appointment while dealing with other tasks.

Without any delays or other hassles, your visitor and host employee can proceed with the essential part of their appointment. And you, on the other hand, can be sure that all visitor information is securely stored in your cloud-based logbook. This includes the time of entry and exit, hosts, and any other information you choose to store.

Who Uses an Electronic Receptionist? 

The electronic receptionist is used by companies of all sizes across industries. Let’s take a look at some of the more common users that benefit from adopting a virtual receptionist solution.

Manufacturing Companies

A visitor management solution incorporating digital receptionist software enables manufacturing firms to track visitors and deliveries which contain important and potentially dangerous materials. A solution that is ready to set and adopt allows users to get started by simply logging in. 

Self-service options and mobile access across Android and iOS devices are particularly valuable for manufacturers that feature a complex movement of materials and delivery processes. An electronic receptionist can also help with regulatory compliance issues by tracking product handling across the premises.

Government Agencies 

Virtual receptionist software is particularly useful for government entities that serve the public so they can measure throughput and improve the experience. A visitor management solution allows such organizations to keep an accurate record of visitor traffic on any given day along with additional details like the reasons for visiting (research, voting, etc.) and throughput times. 

Many government organizations are constantly trying to improve customer service by measuring throughput times, analyzing customer feedback surveys, and more. They can use an electronic receptionist for comprehensive analysis of their operations and make improvements in real-time.

Financial Institutions

Financial services companies need to know their customers and guests for regulatory reasons and to grow their business. They also need to protect customers’ data and employees’ records to stay compliant.

An electronic receptionist helps ensure regulatory compliance and audit readiness of financial institutions. It captures visitor names, scans government-issued IDs, takes guest photos, and collects electronic signatures of legal documents. All visitor and employee data are securely stored in the cloud and ready to access, which facilitates preparing for and passing audits

Staffing Agencies

Electronic receptionist checking visitors into a cannabis dispensaryAn electronic receptionist enables staffing agencies to digitally capture candidate information. The staffing industry faces the challenge of building relationships with both hiring managers and potential employees. 

Virtual receptionist software can go a long way in planning and coordinating visits. It streamlines the process by providing self-service sign-in, reducing visitor wait times, and ensuring seamless experiences for employers and candidates alike. In addition, a visitor management system keeps track of all interactions and collects candidate data, which is then securely stored and easy to locate and use. 

Tech Companies

Ensuring workplace security and the safety of intellectual property can be challenging for technology companies. This makes a virtual front desk particularly effective for the tech industry. 

Not only does a digital receptionist ensure fast and secure check-in, but it also captures electronic signatures on NDAs, which is a vital step in protecting sensitive data and intellectual property. 

Having highlighted the most relevant features and benefits of virtual receptionist software for various industries, let's consider how it can facilitate your lobby operations.

What Does an Electronic Receptionist Do?

Why should you adopt a digital receptionist? Here are some of the essential functionalities and advantages it can bring to your business. 

Checks Visitors in and Out in a Way That Represents Your Brand

A top-notch visitor management solution, such as Greetly, comes with extensive customization options. 

Custom Branding

You can showcase your brand and create a greeting experience that represents your company’s image. An electronic receptionist offers customizable features like caller types, greetings messages, and ringtone selection.

Custom Check-in Workflows Based on Your Needs

Virtual receptionist software enables you to tailor your approach to visitors in line with your needs. You can edit or create new check-in workflows to make sure all calls are handled efficiently. 

Customization helps you increase customer satisfaction and build a consistent brand image at all touchpoints of your visitor journey. 

Maintains Security and Compliance

An electronic receptionist helps maintain the security and compliance of your office. Here are five ways an electronic receptionist can help your business:

Scanning Government-Issued ID

A visitor management system enables you to authenticate every visitor to your premises by scanning driver’s licenses and other legal identification. This allows companies to comply with government regulations and reduce the chances of a security breach.

For instance, Greetly can scan the driver’s license barcode and capture the visitor’s first and last name, date of birth, and address along with the driver’s license number and expiration date. The data is then organized and stored in the cloud and is readily retrieved when the need arises. 

Capturing Visitor Photos

With a virtual front desk, you can capture visitor photos as guests enter your office. This provides a visual record of who has visited your premises, attaching an image to the other data like time and duration of the visit, host employee name, the reason for visiting, etc. 

The photo capturing function helps precisely verify visitor identity and prevent identity theft by eliminating the risk of guests using fake IDs or disguising themselves as someone else. 

Issuing Visitor Badges

An electronic receptionist can issue visitor badges that allow guests access to specific areas within a building or complex without having to check them back in again once they leave those areas. 

This is an effective way to ensure security and maintain access control preventing unauthorized access to your premises and spaces. 

Checking Visitors Against a Watchlist

Lobby tracking software enables companies to enforce their “Be on the lookout for” lists by checking visitors against a database of known criminals or people who have been banned from entering the premises.

With your watchlist integrated into your visitor management system, an electronic receptionist immediately alerts security or law enforcement to take appropriate action in case of an attempt for unauthorized entry into your premises. This reduces the security risk and makes your business safer for you, your visitors, and your data.

Emergency Notifications

The emergency notification feature of a sign-in system is especially important for businesses that operate in dangerous industries or that have offices in locations where there are frequent natural disasters. The alerts can be sent through any web-enabled device inside and outside the building. 

A visitor management system can improve emergency preparedness and response by providing a detailed and reliable visitor log, instant evacuation notifications and tracking, and onsite transparency. Also, it ensures accounting for visitors and employees on-site, enhancing the efficiency of emergency response services.

Logs Everything So You Can Run Analytics

A cloud-based visitor management solution enables you to have easy access to all your data, logging all reception activities and keeping a detailed visitor log. This helps you stay compliant and provides real-time and historical data about your front-desk events, visitors, and their whereabouts on your premises.

Conclusion - The Time to Shine and Impress With Seamless Reception Is Now

A virtual front desk is not optional. This is a way to stay abreast with the latest receptionist trends and technologies and build your brand reputation. 

An electronic receptionist can save the day for you, your employees, and your visitors. Leave the overflowing lobby with annoyed visitors waiting in queues forever and stressed receptionists juggling between answering calls, attending guests, and sending notifications. 

With a cloud-based visitor management system, the day at your reception can be much brighter and hassle-free.

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