10 Ways To Create A Great Visitor Experience

Client relationships directly reflect on the success of a business and on-site visits are paramount in showcasing what you have to offer. This gives the opportunity for external individuals to get a feel for the business, its culture and capabilities. Whether in person or virtually, every touch point and communication is an opportunity to nurture these significant relationships.

  • Make an entrance

    Your reception or entrance lobby is likely to be where your visitor’s first impressions are formed and studies indicate opinions are made quicker than they can be undone. Catering to the senses, welcome spaces should be a comfortable temperature, well-lit and odour free. Consider homely facilities such as coat stands, charger points and desks for devices to meet your visitor’s needs.

    Whether overtly or subtly, utilise the space to express your company branding through logos or accents of colour. The standards of the business should be reflected through visual cues like high-quality finishes and thoughtful furniture inclusions. Functional attributes like matting to remove dirt and debris from shoes on entering will improve the appearance and longevity of flooring throughout.

    Ensure the upkeep of this initial investment is consistent to give the wow-factor time and time again.

  • Utilise Technology

    Implement technology where possible to streamline necessary tasks, freeing up time to focus on true hospitality. Digital registrations reduce the need for loose paperwork, minimise data storage concerns and remove the need for bulky desking. To purposely minimise greeting delays, most systems will send a notification to the host when their visitor has arrived.

    Avoid clashing appointments and interruptions with room booking software and interfaces. Where possible, pre-register your visitor’s details into the portal to reduce administrative time on the day.

  • Courtesy Contact

    Ahead of the day, ensure visitors have all relevant information such as directions to the premises, who to request on entry and details of health and safety protocols. Where digital registration is utilised, highlight how this works as this may be a novel process. This thoughtful point of contact will hopefully help to minimise any journey stresses, create a great impression and provide an opportunity for any further questions.

  • Clear Signage

    To prevent unnecessary confusion, clear signage should indicate prime locations such as the carpark, visitor entrance and restrooms. This should detail safety and hygiene measures like one-way routes, hand sanitising stations or out of bound areas. Similarly, the carpark and external signage should be clearly visible to aid locating the site.

  • Dedicated Visitor Zone

    Show visitors their presence within the company is not an afterthought by incorporating a dedicated waiting zone into the office layout. The size of this space will be dependent on size of both the overall site and the business. Enough room should be allocated to accommodate the maximum number of guests at any given time with consideration given to accessibility and manoeuvrability.

    Provide a relevant distraction of industry magazines or business-related screen visuals, ensuring these are kept up to date. This is also an ideal location to showcase the products or services your business offers so it’s immediately obvious how your company can benefit them.

  • The Right Furnishings

    A welcoming space is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable whilst remaining practical. Lounge furniture should be soft, but not too soft so adequate support is given whilst simultaneously increasing longevity and preventing unsightly ‘sagging’. It is likely this will be a high traffic area where high-quality furnishings, flooring and decoration will benefit.

    Colourways should reflect the overall feel you’d like to give, whether that’s a sense of calm through soft blues and greens or bold feature walls to provoke intrigue. Accents of colour can give a subtle nod to company branding. Keep in mind that this should be an easily serviceable zone to keep everything fresh.

  • Suitable Meeting Spaces

    Client-facing meeting rooms are professional zones and need to provide acoustic privacy, necessary technology and space for manoeuvrability. If users may be required to rotate between screen viewing and desk use, provide ergonomically-sound chairs to cater to these movements. Similarly, enough space should be allocated to allow for distancing measures.

    The meeting table is likely to be the centrepiece and should reflect the purpose of the business such as whether space is required for large planning materials or access points for device connectivity. Flexible lighting is recommended to provide varying intensities and positions to mirror whether display screens are in use or to mimic natural lighting. Harshly bright or underlit spaces can tire the eyes leading to a loss in concentration so focal points should be optimally lit.

    Meeting rooms are often multi-purpose with audio and video equipment allowing for virtual conferencing. To avoid excessive and unpleasant sound reverberation, acoustic elements such as freestanding or fixed absorption panels, ceiling baffles or noise control glass could be integrated. Alongside improving sound clarity, this provides visitors assurance their conversations remain private to the outside office.

  • Site Space Logistics

    As noted above, planning interiors should correlate with access to natural light or lack thereof. Should a visitor zone or meeting space have the latter then it’s beneficial to bring elements of the outdoors in. Natural finishes, fresh tones, biophilic elements and suitable lighting are all elements proven to positively impact wellbeing.

    The location of coffee stations and restrooms in relation to visitor spaces and meeting rooms can make a big difference in creating a seamless hosting experience. Design elements such as differing carpet tiles or light strips can create pathways to certain areas, guiding your guests throughout the space.

  • Keeping It Clean

    Appearance plays a big role in how people are perceived, and this extends to how well-kept an office is. An untidy or unclean space can reflect poorly on the company’s image and make visitors feel uncomfortable, particularly following recent events.

    Employing a regular commercial cleaning service ensures consistent readiness for pre-arranged or walk in clients. Be sure to present legally required signage alongside additional guidance on the location of hand sanitizer stations, for example. For greater peace of mind, consider asking cleaning staff to leave small notices confirming areas have been recently sanitised.

  • Preparation

    Provide relevant training so all staff are well-versed in expected client relations and company guidelines. Being polite, friendly and attentive to visitors as soon as they arrive prevents any uncomfortable waiting time. Where digital screening is present, consider creating a warm, personalised greeting to show you’ve consciously thought about them before their arrival.

    Ahead of time, prepare the meeting space so presentations are ready to start and all necessary paperwork and materials are present. Check coffee machines and supplies are full and surfaces are clean and clutter free. Where room booking systems are in place, be sure to pre-book the required space to avoid last minute clashes.

    Making a conscious effort to implement each of these stages will positively reinforce your visitor’s perception of your company’s brand, capabilities and relevance to their needs.