Receptionists cover every business communication front — answering the phone, greeting visitors and interacting with online customers.
With an unpredictable to-do list, receptionists lose efficiency as they switch from task to task. Missed calls, delayed responses or long wait times become commonplace, which frustrates customers.
Implementing the right receptionist software and equipment to automate common tasks can help your team do more with fewer resources. Instead of staffing up your reception area, consider these affordable and effective tools that every receptionist should have.
The Best Receptionist Equipment
Slow, outdated equipment can zap your receptionist’s efficiency and delay customer interactions.
Before investing in new software solutions, re-evaluate your receptionist equipment to ensure it’s not costing your business unnecessarily.
Receptionists lean on computers for core job functions like scheduling appointments, managing staff calendars, emailing, accounting and more.
When evaluating computers, consider mobility first. Will receptionists travel across rooms or offices with their computer? If so, they’ll need a laptop.
Battery life, internet connection and security will also impact the effectiveness of your receptionist and should be core criteria.
Here are the top laptops and desktop computers for receptionists:
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: With a battery life of 15.5 hours and a lightweight frame, this laptop is an excellent option for receptionists who move their laptop often or use it as a personal laptop, too.
- Apple MacBook Pro with Touchbar: With Touch ID, your receptionists can log in to their accounts with one tap. If security is high on your list, the Apple MacBook Pro is a seamless fit.
- Lenovo Yoga C630: The Lenovo Yoga has fewer features than the ThinkPad, but has an impressive battery life of 24 hours. Plus, it’s always connected to the internet, so your receptionists will never have to worry about losing business due to a poor internet connection.
- Microsoft Surface Studio: With a 28-inch screen, the Surface Studio is ideal for receptionists who manage calendars, schedules and customer data and need to minimize errors. The all-in-one desktop also works seamlessly with the Microsoft 365 suite.
- Apple iMac Pro: A slow computer processor can cause unnecessary delays in serving clients. The iMac Pro boasts a more powerful processor than the Surface Studio, perfect for supporting your core business and receptionist applications. With a sleek, all-in-one design, the iMac Pro gives receptionists extra desk space while delivering high-end visuals.
While online scheduling and social media are on the rise, 92% of business interactions occur over the phone. That means receptionists spend the majority of their day on the phone. Depending on the size of your business and industry, you’ll have different phone system requirements.
Here are the most popular types of phone systems:
- Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP): VoIP is a portable phone system that connects calls over an internet connection rather than a traditional phone line. These systems can accommodate call forwarding to mobile phones and integrate with existing software, allowing receptionists to manage all communication from one place.
- Public Branch Exchange (PBX): PBX solutions are ideal for companies that require a dedicated phone network and routinely transfer customer and employee calls to other branches.
- Cloud Systems: Cloud phone systems eliminate the need for clunky hardware or on-premises equipment. The system is hosted off-site and tends to be more scalable and cost-effective than on-premises solutions. Plus, you don’t have to commit to monthly contracts with service providers or pay for expensive IT personnel to manage your hardware.
Best Receptionist Software
Booker by MINDBODY
For wellness and cosmetic businesses, a seamless customer experience is everything. Booker is a full-service scheduling application that also assists with payment processing, customer management and marketing.
- Mobile and Tablet Booking
- Facebook Booking
- Send Notifications and Reminders
A simple scheduling experience can differentiate your business and earn you more clients. Acuity Scheduling is an industry-agnostic scheduling tool that allows clients to reschedule or cancel appointments. You can also block out specific times using the "Make me look busy" feature and even change the time intervals between meetings.
- Can make recurring appointments online
- Pay in advance options
- Coupons offered at checkout
- Option to add on services when booking
Text Answering Service
Incoming calls bog down receptionists and distract from serving clients. And let’s be honest - most calls don’t require the attention of a live person.
Numa helps field incoming calls by giving callers the option to text your business and automatically responds. The AI-based answering service serves as an extension of your receptionist — answering frequently asked customer questions and automating common tasks.
- Text to landline and toll-free SMS
- Take orders
- Schedule appointments
- Route conversations to departments
Traction Guest is a cloud-based visitor management system built for multi-location organizations or enterprises that manage multiple points of entry. Its photo-based self sign-in experience saves receptionists time checking in visitors while securing physical perimeters. The tool also integrates with business systems such as SalesForce, DocuSign, Slack and Eventbrite — perfect for large organizations that collaborate across locations.
- iPad-based self-check in
- ID scanner-enabled assisted check in
- Screens visitors
- Custom guest sign-in experience
Physical forms and sign-in sheets add more clutter for receptionists to track, manage and order. Envoy Visitor aims to modernize the workplace by taking sign-in, deliveries and document signing digital.
- Alerts your employee when their guest arrives
- Keeps records of past visitors
- Pre-registration through email invites
- Badge printing
- Passport sign-in
Scale Out Your Receptionist With Numa
Receptionists easily spend hours on the phone every day — scheduling appointments, answering client questions and playing phone tag. These tasks eat up time that could be better spent on improving the customer experience.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Numa is an AI answering service that directs callers to text messaging and assists with appointment booking so your receptionist can stay on top of their job.
In 15 minutes or less, you can set up Numa to rescue potential missed calls and revenue for a fraction of the price of traditional solutions.
Here's how it works:
- When customers call your business, Numa gives them the option to receive a text message when you don't answer the phone.
- Once the caller engages, Numa texts the customer and can answer questions about your business or send links to your online calendar so clients can book or cancel appointments.
And with Numa's flat monthly fee, you'll pay a fraction of what traditional answering services charge.