Not all organizations have visitors on a regular basis, but if yours does, it's important that you create an atmosphere that is professional and has a welcoming effect on anyone who walks through the front doors.
You will most likely be coming into contact with a number of different people who have different needs. However, there is one thing that they will all appreciate as they interact with your company and your team: a welcoming environment that makes them feel welcome.
What they experience when they first enter your building functions as their first impression on what you have to offer and the general essence maintained by your staff. These impressions are crucial to your success because they become a standstill in the visitor’s mind that can influence decisions later on.
Whether it be a potential hire who is ready for their interview, an executive that is visiting for an important meeting, or any other person who would come to your company, you must be able to welcome them properly. Their first introduction sets the tone for whatever is to follow which is why being intentional about creating a positive first impression on your visitors is so important.
Here are 5 simple techniques that are very effective for making visitors to your office feel welcome:
1. Provide Clear Directions
The perception of your company from the office visitor’s point of view will be immediately thrown off before they even enter your building if they are not able to locate the entrance to your office with ease. This is something that may seem simple, however, it makes a big difference when it comes to the experience that your guests end up having while visiting your office.
This is an especially important gesture that needs to be taken by you if the entrance to your office is within an area that may be hard to find or recognize due to an unusual area, a lack of proper signage, or any other negative feature that would decrease its visibility as a whole.
Giving your guests detailed directions before they arrive allows you to ensure clarity and assist in maintaining their comfort right off the bat. When this is not properly accomplished, your visitors will be confused, frustrated, and overall in a negative state of mind that establishes a jaded perception of the day that is to come — a mindset that you as a manager definitely do not want to be responsible for.
Guarantee that you will be successful with the meeting or interaction you are planned to have with the guests that come to your company by giving them accurate descriptions so that they can easily get to your office and initiate the plans that have been set for the day.
2. Have Someone to Greet Your Guests
In the modern business age, there are many instances in which technology serves us with exceptional advantages that enable us to expand our opportunities and increase our overall success. Because of this recent consensus by those within business, the presence of real people in regards to a variety of jobs has become something that is fairly uncommon.
Although these advanced systems are great for many of our responsibilities, no machine can replicate the warmth and welcoming tone that is set by an in-person receptionist that is there to greet your visitors as soon as they enter the premises.
By way of these employees, your office immediately becomes a more inviting place due to the many abilities of a permanent receptionist. They are able to greet visitors clearly as soon as they walk in which instantly establishes a friendly connection, speak directly with them so that they can be easily sent to where they are to meet with you for the meeting, and project an overall sense of professionalism that increases the reputability of your company and you yourself.
Even if you do not employ such a person to deal with these instances, you can still have the same effect on your workplace visitors by carrying out these services by yourself as you first interact with your guests.
Make sure that you arrive five to ten minutes before their specified arrival so that you can greet them properly on time. If you can not personally be there, then ask another employee to do this on your behalf.
3. Maintain a Welcoming Entrance
As many managers know, layout and the specific location of features of your office can create different reactions that alter the way in which people interact with your space. You should apply the same philosophy when discussing how to set up an entrance to your office that is beneficial in regards to properly welcoming your guests.
Rather than designing the opening area of your office to be mundane and repetitive, make creative decisions that work to enhance the overall feel of the area to improve the workplace visitor experience.
This can be done by way of unique features that you can implement into the overall layout. From warm colors that set a positive mood throughout the office to comfortable furniture such as lounge chairs that can be used if your visitors would like to relax, these individual aspects of your layout can help you create a transformation that turns something average into something exceptional for anyone that visits.
Another way that this can be done is by setting out a variety of amenities that can be taken while they are waiting or any other time that they find themselves at the entrance. It is always a nice touch to set up a self serve refreshments station where basic drinks such as coffee and water can be made by visitors.
Complimentary newspapers can be placed within the entrance so that this, along with all the other previously mentioned gestures, can be utilized to help create an enjoyable experience for office guests.
4. Develop a Guide for Your Staff
In order to maximize the impact you are able to have on those that visit your company, it is important that you include everyone on your staff so that the overall effect can be furthered in the long run.
Although you as a manager will be generally leading the efforts that must be taken to welcome your guests efficiently, it is really a team responsibility that must be committed to by each individual so that a successful outcome can be reached regardless of who you’re meeting with.
One of the best ways to ensure that your team has all of the knowledge and resources required to accomplish this goal is by developing an office visitor policy that can be used by your employees so that they know how to respond to any situation and how they should go about interacting with guests. When everyone is working together in a unified manner, you will have the ability to easily create a welcoming atmosphere that any office visitor will love and feel comfortable in.
Within these guidelines, tips and tricks that describe how to approach visitors as well as more technical information that outlines how to keep them safe and secure in your office are given to your staff so that they are fully informed on how to go about operating in a way that maintains a welcoming workplace at all times.
5. Be Prepared for Your Workplace Visitors
Above all else, you need to make sure that you are prepared for the visitors arrival and what their visit will entail once you all have begun to meet. A welcoming office is nothing if the manager who is running it is not able to plan beforehand so that everything that occurs is done smoothly and with minimal errors.
Before any meeting with a guest, you should check to make sure that you have everything you need to run a successful meeting. Review the meeting agenda or presentation in advance so that you can see any issues that may be present early on and fix them so that they don’t show up during your actual interaction with the guest. From double-checking that all projectors needed are within the meeting room to looking to see if the computer you will utilize has the right USB ports, a number of preemptive checks can be performed to eliminate any negative situations from occurring.
Being fully prepared for a meeting helps to demonstrate respect for your guest and their time. When you proactively plan your meetings rather than improvising on the spot, you are setting a standard that will be noticed by your visitor that represents your professionalism.
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