Keeping the magic of Front of House alive in a tech-enabled world

As we progress into a post-pandemic workplace, a new report by Moneypenny has revealed that the role of Front of House is changing as organisations need to leave a more lasting impression on their clients

In years gone by, people often fell into two broad groups – the highly sociable and thus reception-friendly, or the more tech savvy working behind the scenes.

As a post-pandemic front of house requirement emerges, a mix of both is likely to be necessary; a mix augmented by the need to provide for a widening pool of potential customers.

Front of house will continue its vital role of making good first impressions – but may become intrinsic to the making of good second and third impressions too.

Indeed, Moneypenny’s ‘The Future of Front of House’ report shows that many businesses are focusing their front of house as a ‘client experience’ rather than a reception role.

Organisations see more room for their reception teams to act as concierge service for employees, considering the needs of building users beyond their initial progress past the front desk.

‘There is significant potential for front of house to add an otherwise missing human touch…’

Combining concierge services with reception duties will be one way of keeping talent within firms, adding an important and appreciated new human dimension to the role.

There is plenty of talk about buildings introducing single reception desks for multiple clients, or receptionists multi-tasking by helping run post rooms, security or other facilities service roles. All of this is an obvious response to financially chastened times, staff spread as thinly as possible.

Plenty of facilities managers expect their reception desks to further evolve their ability to deal with ad hoc requirements, buoyed by their personnels’ adaptation to the Covid-19 crisis.

Yes, then, to receptionists helping out other departments and being unfazed by the need to adopt new working practices as the result of switchboard tech introductions.

For some, it could well be that the role will become a smaller one. But for others, there is significant potential for front of house to add an otherwise missing human touch – and it’s here that the real opportunities lie.

Jess Pritchard, Head of Corporate Sector at Moneypenny, considers this the biggest positive legacy of the pandemic for business. She said: ‘For a long time the tasks of front of house were often at odds with each other – with the same people being expected to answer calls and welcome visiting guests. This often had a compromising effect on both.  Covid has reminded us of the power and importance of the human touch – particularly in relation to client experience.

‘The changing size and remit of front of house teams, coupled with greater use of technology, is liberating these employees from being sat behind a desk. This creates an opportunity to offer more personal, human and memorable experiences that we’re not just craving in the short term, but that help to convey brand image, build loyalty and create client relationships in the long term too.  Embracing the human touch is about prioritising the client experience.

‘Our mantra has always been focused on giving customers a wow and the pandemic has made this business critical. It must be evident across every channel and every interaction – starting with reception and front of house.’

Read ‘The Future of the Front of House’ report in full here.

Moneypenny are a Global partner of WORKTECH Academy
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