From five-star to faithful friendTraditionally, the front of house service arena has been a stickler for standards.
In hospitality, five-star hotel guests expect to be well looked after and wowed, the service experience just as important as the luxurious room they are staying and first-rate facilities at their disposal.
The corporate world has sought to replicate the five-star hotel service for years. Far beyond providing a reassuring security presence, front of house colleagues are also there to bring a wow factor to visiting clients and guests – a one-off experience designed to make jaws drop.
While leaving a lasting impression on external visitors is still an important priority for businesses occupying our buildings, the dial has certainly shifted.
Previously, the external guest was almost exclusively the only focus. Now, corporates are needing to impress those people that use their buildings on a daily basis – their employees.
This is where we are seeing major growth in demand for front of house services. Organisations are facing intensifying competition to attract and retain the talent they need to thrive, making the workplace a critical differential asset that can be the tipping point between a job candidate accepting or rejecting an offer, or a current employee staying or leaving.
Front of house as a friendSo, how can we move from creating one-off five-star experiences to impressing the very people who you see every day?
In simple terms, the wow factor needs to turn into a bond between front of house personnel and customers. It is about creating a buzz around the building through events and experiences that will create a fear of missing out for those working from home.
Indeed, employers are eager to attract their people back to the office after two years of remote and hybrid setups.
Some will miss day-to-day human contact. Here, even the simplest of front of house interactions such as a conversation or smile can fulfil that daily need.
Beyond receptionists who provide that initial point of contact, we will see more community managers, floor captains and experience agents working in buildings – people who are there to devote time to creating jovial environments and elevating experiences for all building users.
Spaces will evolveThe shift to a more purposeful front of house service will sit alongside an evolution of workspace design.
We envisage an office building where dedicated reception desks disappear and the physical barriers separating people are removed, with dedicated front of house employees on hand to greet regular building occupants and guide one-off visitors to where they need to be.
Security can be managed in a natural, friendly way that helps to build a connection and ensures that everyone feels included as part of a community.
At every step, the personal touch and finer details behind the scenes will be important. This is about building connections and creating friendships that will ultimately help create a compelling reason for employees to come into work.