More and more companies are working with a digital reception area. Not only to create a unique visitor experience, but also to reduce costs. Today’s receptionists will be working differently soon by performing tasks that add greater value, such as building and fleet management or travel management.
What is the financial return of a virtual reception area vs. the cost of a classic reception area? Time to crunch the numbers.
The average “classic” reception costs £64,754
An average reception area has one to two reception staff. One full-time employee is insufficient because operation during the opening hours of the company (which may far exceed the 38-hour week), sick leave and holidays must be taken into account.
The total operating cost of an experienced London-based receptionist is around £43,170 per year, consisting of £30,835 in wages plus 40% overhead for SME’s. To guarantee continuity of the reception area, you need 1,5 FTE, which means the costs for a reception area are on average £64,754 per year.
A virtual reception costs £11,900
A smart doorbell that welcomes visitors, opens the door, and gives clear instructions to suppliers costs £850 per year. A visitor management system that works without the help of reception staff costs £3,250 per year. A smart parcel box that acts as a self-service for couriers and suppliers costs on average £4,350 per year (for larger companies with more suppliers and couriers, this is £6,940 per year on average). An external professional telephone service that answers and transfers calls 24/7, costs an average of £3,450 per year.
92% of the tasks are repetitive and can be automated
A virtual reception area usually automates and digitises 92% of the repetitive reception staff tasks, the remaining 8% are exceptional tasks that always remain to be done, which means 8% of the cost of the reception staff remains (these can be carried out by the former receptionist or another staff member).
An average return of £58,000 per year
The average saving a company can achieve with a virtual reception is therefore around £58,000 per year. This is the cost of £64,754 for the “traditional” reception minus the cost of the digital reception at £11,900, with exception management costing £5,180.
This means a significant extra return over five years of nearly £300,000. Today there are few departments within an organisation where digitisation and automation entail such a large ROI.