Last week I walked into the lobby of a top multinational company. I went to the receptionist and she asked me to fill in my details. Again! I have done it 3 times before in meeting up with executives in closing a deal. I finished it. She asked me to wait and then began placing calls in the order of the visitors walking in. After a five minutes wait, she got me my pass finally printed.
I was lucky. In many places, the wait can be as long as 15 minutes — with long queues of visitors in the lobby in the morning. And you need another human’s help to navigate the complex maze that is our offices. And for the security folks, it is also a nightmare to manage all the video footage.
Can’t we do this visitor management better?
Companies spend millions of dollars in their office real estate and try to build an imposing lobby to impress upon their visitors. But, the first touchpoint is a painful one.
Here is what could be done:
- Use robots to identify people with their face. The robots can move around the lobby, recognize you, notify the host and get your pass printed. All in a few seconds.
- Keep track of visitors coming in and out — their company profile etc that could be used by your business development team. In a way turn your visitor database into a CRM.
- Guide the visitors to their conference rooms, washrooms etc. If the host takes time to come down provide them with an overview of what is new happening in the company.
- If the visitor has come for an interview take a quick interview in the wait time using both speech recognition and emotion tracking.
- Replace the big fat table in the front — saving you real estate space.
This is just the starting point for a range of office automation with robots that will happen in the next few years.