Debunking 4 Common Misconceptions About Digital Receptions

The landscape of traditional reception services is evolving fast and with the rise of technology-based solutions, digital receptionists are starting to become the norm. However, amid this transformation, several misconceptions have clouded this innovative solution. As businesses explore options to streamline operations and enhance visitor experience, it is important to dispel these misconceptions and fully understand the potential benefits of a digital reception service.

Misconception: It is more expensive than a traditional reception

Technology is often viewed as a huge overhead and whilst in some cases it can be, a digital reception service is quite often a lot cheaper than many people expect. In 2023, we made some quite stark calculations about how much a reception desk might be costing businesses. If you consider that FOH operating costs in Central London are close to £60k per year but the average reception desk is only ‘worked’ 68 minutes a day, that’s a cost of £240 per hour. Even if the overall operating costs were kept to a minimum, facilities managers would be hard-pushed to get the hourly cost lower than £160. However with a digital receptionist, based on the same usage, it would only be £40 per hour. That is certainly a considerable saving to be made.

Misconception: It is just an AI touch-screen system

A common misconception about our service in particular is that digital means AI or even just a touch-screen. This is far from the truth. Our tagline is ‘Digital receptionists with a human touch’ and that last part is the most important – whilst there is no physical receptionist in your building, our technology connects your visitors to a real person every time. The only digital aspect of our product is the interface – all the rest is human interaction, meaning that the service your visitors receive is unique and personal.

Misconception: You have to get rid of your staffed reception desk

For some, this is not a misconception at all – they switch to a digital reception because of cost and replace their physical FoH entirely. But it is certainly not a requirement if you want to use a digital reception. We are often approached by clients who are looking to supplement their existing reception staff, covering lunch breaks or hours not covered by existing shifts. The way you choose to use a digital reception is entirely up to you and what you envisage for your building.

Misconception: It is difficult to integrate into existing systems

Most commercial and residential buildings that require a reception area already have CCTV and access control systems in place and there can be a sense of dread of integrating a new system with existing ones. However, we can easily integrate with many established security system providers and this enables a plug-and-play retrofit of our solution into your premises. This means we can remotely operate secure doors, and access CCTV footage where required and we have also worked with some clients to link up to ANPR systems in car parks to assist delivery drivers with parking. 

Digital receptionists are a testament to how technology and human interaction can be combined and offer cost-effective solutions without compromising on the personal touch. By debunking the misconceptions surrounding digital receptionists, businesses can embrace these solutions with confidence, safe in the knowledge they have the flexibility to complement existing reception setups, integrate seamlessly with current systems and deliver unparalleled visitor experiences. As facilities managers navigate the ever-evolving landscape of reception services, it might be time to embrace the digital world and leverage its potential to redefine how they welcome guests and manage their buildings.

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