Livingsta shares her positive experience in business administration, customer service and education.
When meeting and greeting visitors/customers in a business environment, you have those first few seconds to create a good impression that will have a long-lasting impact.
Visitors come into a business environment for various reasons; they could be customers (existing or new), representatives, suppliers, business partners, people from different departments/areas/organisations, and so on.
The first point of contact with a visitor depends on the structure of the organisation. An office environment or an industrial environment is likely to have a reception area, where the reception administrative officer will be the first point of contact, whereas in a retail environment, any staff could be the first point of contact.
There are various things one needs to keep in mind while meeting and greeting customers. If you are aware and have good knowledge about the business practices, the policies, regulations, legislations and most importantly interpersonal and communication skills, then you will be able to create that first best impression.
The contents here are based on the NVQ Level 2 Unit in Business and Administration and this unit has a credit value of 3. We will be discussing the various procedures that need to be followed and the hospitality one is expected to offer when meeting, greeting and welcoming visitors in a business environment.
There are two parts to this unit. The first part will be assessed based on the knowledge and understanding a candidate has on the procedures for meeting and welcoming visitors and the second part will be assessed based on the candidate’s performance; that is through observation, personal statements, witness testimonies etc. Both parts can also be assessed through questioning and professional discussions.
1. Understand procedures for meeting and welcoming visitors
1.1. Describe different reasons for people visiting a business, their requirements and how their needs may be met
Considering a business environment and the type of business, one can expect visitors for varied reasons visiting the business premises. It is the organisation’s responsibility to make the visitors feel welcome, meet their requirements and needs and provide them with information and services related to the visit.
The different reasons for which people can be visiting a business premise are:
- Queries regarding products and services
- Talk to a member of staff about existing services
- Various meetings, this includes board/committee meetings, serious concerns meetings, group discussions, etc
- Collections and deliveries
- Repairs and maintenance
The different requirements for visitors visiting a business can be:
- Provide the correct address including postcodes and also landmarks if any.
- Parking facilities - make sure that there are enough parking spaces within a reasonable distance and also that there are parking spaces allocated for the disabled
- Some clients may have special needs, and hence facilities relating to the type of customers or visitors that the organisation expects to have to be in place.
- Visible signs to lead the visitors to the right area without any confusion. The signs need to be professional too. Check that entrances are clear, clean and welcoming and reflect the nature of the business.
- Make sure that there is someone to greet and welcome the visitor in the reception area, that there are sufficient seating facilities, toilet facilities, booklets, journals, magazines, etc.
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The different ways in which the needs of visitors visiting a business can be met are:
- Always keep reception areas easily accessible with signposts and other information wherever necessary.
- The entrance should be neat and clean because it reflects the organisation.
- All the basic necessities and facilities should be made available – parking, seating, toilet facilities, newspapers/magazines in the waiting area, drinking water.
- Be ready to answer any queries related to the business, where possible, provide leaflets/booklets or other information resources.
- The visitors’ accessible areas need to follow health and safety standards.
1.2 Explain the purpose of dealing with visitors promptly and courteously
When visitors come into the business environment, they should be greeted and welcomed politely. If the organisation serves something to eat or drink, ask them if they would like to have something, if not, you can ask if they would like to have some water. Deal with every visitor as soon as you can and respond to their queries promptly and politely.
There may be times when the reception area is busy with visitors having to wait for some time. Make sure you apologise for the delay and thank them for waiting.
The purpose of dealing with visitors promptly and courteously are:
- The visitors will know that they are respected, given importance and the company also considers that they are important.
- The visitors will in return maintain a professional attitude and behaviour.
- Visitors will trust the company, and will also have a good remark and impression about the organisation.
- Each employee and their behaviour will be a reflection of the organisation and hence a prompt and courteous response will leave a good image of the organisation.
- Visitors will recommend the organisation to others and spread the good word and will also use this organisation in the future.
1.3 Explain the purpose of presenting a positive image of self and the organisation
When visitors visit a business environment, their first point of contact will be the person at reception (most organisations have one), or at least the person who meets and greets. As we all know, the first impression always makes a difference and hence presenting a positive image of you and the organisation is very important. Dress and present yourself neatly. Stick to the dress code of the organisation. Smile, maintain eye contact, listen, be positive and do your best to help them with their queries.
The purpose of doing so are:
- At that particular point in time, you are representing the organisation for the visitor. So your behaviour and approach will reflect on the organisation as a whole. You and the organisation will be judged or evaluated based on your approach and service.
- It creates a feeling of confidence in the visitor.
- The visitors get a positive impression of the organisation.
- It helps build trust between the organisation and its customers and employees.
- It attracts quality clients which will improve the business for the organisation thereby increasing the profit of the organisation.
1.4 Explain the purpose of following health, safety and security procedures when dealing with visitors, including own responsibilities
Various health and safety / security procedures are in place in every organisation. These procedures have to responsibly be followed by the employees at all times which include dealing with visitors as well.
The purpose of following these procedures are:
- To keep the organisation and its environment a safer place to visit and work
- To have all the required first aid facilities in adequate requirements.
- To prevent risks to health for employees and visitors.
- To make sure that the machines and any devices or equipment that operate in the organisation’s premises are safe to use.
- To help take preventive measures or set up emergency plans as and when required.
- To record and report accidents, injuries and any other health and safety issues.
- To make sure that the working practices are safe and that health and safety measures have been implemented and are being followed.
- Floors, stairs and other areas need to be safe to use
- To confirm that if hazardous materials if any used are stored in a safe method, in a safe place and that they are handled and used in a safe manner as these can cause harm in many ways
- To be sure that there is proper ventilation in areas where visitors have access and where employees work
- To keep the temperature of working and visiting areas at the adequate levels and also that toileting, washing and restroom facilities are in good condition so that visitors are able to use them without issues or struggle
- Visiting and working areas need to be free of flammable materials, explosive materials and other harmful radioactive materials.
- Huge machinery and equipment have to be kept away from visiting areas in order to avoid accidents
- Warning signs need to be placed in required areas.
- Make sure that there are no trailing wires and take care to avoid any health and safety risks
- Get proper training if using any equipment at the workplace and comply with organisations’ health and safety policies and accident procedures.
- Make sure that you have recorded visitors according to organisation procedures in order to ensure security.
I hope you found the information here useful and interesting. Please do not hesitate to feedback and share your thoughts and experiences.
Thank you for stopping by.
A kind note to NVQ candidates: This is only for reference and please do not reproduce. Also, please relate to your business environment and job description while writing down your units. All the best!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
M Ehsanulhaq on September 24, 2019:
Thank you for sharing your experience here. I do agree, it is not nice when visitor's are welcomed and treated with such language.Thank you for stopping by:-)
livingsta (author) from United Kingdom on March 31, 2015:
Thank you for sharing your experience here. I do agree, it is not nice when visitors are welcomed and treated with such language. Thank you for stopping by :-)
FlourishAnyway from USA on March 30, 2015:
I used to work with someone who would unfortunately use imprecise language in giving visitors directions, and it left terrible impressions. For example: telling touring executives or job applicants to "follow the rest of the herd" down the hall and "then we"ll figure out what to do with you."