As more and more business activities get automated, the dark and gloomy vision of people being put out of jobs by robots is becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore.
But automation doesn’t necessarily have to mean mass unemployment and the inevitable downfall of humanity. In fact, most industries are starting to implement solutions that allow for the gradual takeover of menial tasks by computers, which frees up the time for human workers to take care of more intellectually demanding assignments. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of front desk work and the introduction of visitor management software.
It is becoming increasingly popular in offices and hotels across the world, with the software being praised by management and receptionist staff alike, proving that humans and machines can cooperate in the workplace.
A good cloud-based visitor management solution will allow your front desk employees to assist customers more attentively and help them out without the distractions posed by confirming email reservations, answering late-night phone calls, and many other tasks that computers were literally made to perform.
How much does a virtual receptionist cost? What tasks can the best software of this kind perform? You’ll find the answers to these questions (and more) in this article.
The Money Question
Running a business is all about the cash flow. Obviously, there is no such thing as a free visitor management system, but that doesn’t mean that receptionist software won’t save you any money in the long run. Quite the contrary – it presents an opportunity to cut costs on virtually every single aspect of front office work.
First of all, thanks to the 24/7 call-answering feature, you won’t need to man the reception desk around the clock, reducing the number of shifts that have to be covered from three to just one. That means a reduction of 16 hourly wages per day, helping boost your profits.
Moreover, reception management software can perform other jobs, like filling out the visitor log in real-time or replying to your customers’ inquiries on social media. Receptionists traditionally performed these tasks after their shifts. Utilizing cloud-based software for these purposes will let your employees go home as soon as they’re done with their shift, and you won’t have to ask them to perform expensive overtime.
As for the actual cost of the software, most top companies that develop visitor management solutions have a wide range of subscription options ranging from $80 to $270 per month. The cheaper options are almost fully reliant on computerized receptionists to handle the day-to-day tasks, whereas the more costly ones employ remote workers who can answer your clients’ calls.
The choice depends on the nature of your business. For example, if you’re running a hotel and need an assistant to take reservations and answer various questions pertaining to your property, it might be a good idea to invest your money on a human-robot combination to best suit your needs. On the other hand, if you own a company that sells a certain product and want to launch a service that lets people buy it over the phone, a cheaper, fully automated secretary will be more than enough to perform that function.
Must-have Features of Good Receptionist Software
Not all programs that handle interactions and the organization work that is required at the front office are equal. Some developers pay more attention to detail than others, adding more advanced features and convenient options to provide the best service. Follow this checklist to make sure that you choose the right software:
- The cloud. In order to get the best bang for your buck, make sure that you’re getting cloud-based visitor management software. It’ll automatically back up your data to the servers, ensuring that you don’t lose valuable information, even if your computers break down.
- Around the clock. If the service isn’t available 24/7, you’ve got to ask yourself whether you really need it. After all, your employees can perform more than adequately in the daytime, and you won’t be any better off paying full price for a limited service. Especially if there are more complete offers available at the same price.
- Impeccable accuracy and performance speed. There is no point in automating tasks if they won’t get done faster than usual, is there? If the program you’re interested in shows significant delays and freezes when presented with an increased volume of tasks, cancel the subscription right away.
Securing the services of a virtual receptionist is the next step in improving visitor-business relations in a wide plethora of professional environments. Not only does it allow you to save money, but it also frees up your human capital to complete more demanding tasks, further contributing towards a more efficient workplace.
When picking out a management app, make sure that it fulfils all the requirements posed by your establishment. Remember – this kind of software is still relatively new, and there is no shortage of entities that will try to sell you a subpar product.
About the Author
Maciej Grzymkowski is an avid traveler with a particular affinity for Southeast Asia, mostly due to the sheer amount of technological innovation that comes out of there. I firmly believe in the power of open-source software and giving developers the recognition they deserve.