The Future of Virtual Receptionists: Will Computers Greet Your Visitors?

Her name is Alice and she’s your new receptionist. She appears on a computer monitor in your lobby and visitors interact with her when they approach her. She is the future of lobby reception areas.

Alice stands for “A Live Interactive Customer Experience” and it stands poised to completely revolutionize the way visitors experience business lobbies. Not only can Alice fully interact with your visitors, it allows your receptionist to share the screen with your company directory, complete with pictures of all your personnel. The visitor need only touch the picture of the employee they wish to see and they’ll be in contact with that employee.

But Alice isn’t a computerized receptionist. She’s a real person–one of your employees. Thanks to ALICE, your receptionist will no longer be seated in the lobby but instead, she’ll be safely tucked away in a back office. This allows her to be part of your team, working on other things without distractions until it’s time to greet a visitor. It also helps with security, keeping all your employees behind locked doors until they choose to come out to greet the customer.

Of course, some businesses will always choose to have a live person in the lobby, but this solution is ideal both for small businesses and businesses with security risks. Here’s how it works. When a visitor enters your lobby, he or she is greeted by a screen. On the left is a box that reads “Touch to Begin” and on the right is a directory of all the company’s employees. The visitor can then choose to tap on the empty box and speak to a live receptionist or go directly to the person he or she has arrived to see. You can imagine how much work this will take off your receptionist, who will no longer have to expedite every visitor that comes through the front door.

But your receptionist doesn’t even have to be in your building. If you have multiple locations, one receptionist can handle them all, saving your business money and streamlining operations. This can also be ideal for those times when a receptionist is at lunch or is out for the day and one location needs another to provide backup support. Thanks to your visitors’ ability to directly contact an employee of choice, your receptionist likely won’t be called upon as much, but by allowing your receptionists to back each other up, you’ll save resources.

All conversations are done through two-way video chat, with your employees able to see the visitor on their computer monitors. Companies like Phoenix Kiosk have lobby directory services where visitors can look up an employee’s office number and location, but ALICE takes it a step further by giving your visitors face-to-face contact with your employees, without them ever having to leave their desks.

ALICE is available in a variety of packages, with most companies reporting a 100% return on investment within the first year. When you think about the cost savings associated with not having to pay a full-time staff member to simply greet visitors, the savings is obvious. To see a demonstration of what ALICE can do, view some of ALICE’s demonstration videos.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

  • http://www.unitedcallcenter.com/ Neal Lacy

    I look forward to seeing one of these in an area near me!