Front desk admins and security staff are often assigned the responsibility of making guests feel welcome. It is up to them to register guests and ensure they are connected with the right person or company. It’s a lot of work, especially when these professionals have other jobs to complete.
Many companies are turning to visitor management systems to improve the visitor experience, enhance security and free up time for their staff.
Does a visitor management system really make a difference?
The short answer is yes. Visitor management systems create positive changes and processes, and offer companies data that can help them make better decisions in the future.
Great first impressions
To begin with, visitor management systems, when used correctly, ensure guests are cared for in a timely manner. More than 1/3 of candidates worldwide make a decision about a job within the first five minutes (or sooner), according to research commissioned by Robert Half. Top candidates may receive more than one job offer, especially in the current economic conditions, which means it’s crucial to make a good first impression.
But that’s not the only thing that visitor management systems are good for.
Increased security and safety
Implementing a visitor management system can help keep your workplace safer. Many software systems will allow you to capture and save photos or visitor IDs. If the guest creates a problem during their initial visit, the admin can create a note in their file to ensure they are not granted permission to enter the building again. Additionally, some systems make it possible for you to regulate which parts of the building guests can access with their smartphones or ID badges.
By keeping detailed visitor logs that include contact information, visitor management software also gives you a way to instantly reach guests if there is ever an emergency. Depending on the system, you may be able to send out an alert to all guests who have signed in that day, and provide instructions to help them get out of the building safely.
With appropriate visitor management protocol in place, everyone at your facility is accounted for. Management has instant access to detailed logs, and can feel confident about the safety of their property and the people who work there.
Organized, accurate records
Visitor management systems automate record-keeping. Instead of having to store paper records, or transfer written logs to an excel sheet, every digital sign-in is automatically saved in the system. Cloud-based software gives you the ability to view these records from any device that can connect to the internet.
Since every visitor log asks guests for the same information, records are more comprehensive and accurate.
Elevating the guest experience
These features help to make the guest experience a pleasant and memorable one.
Guests who have the option to pre-register don’t have to wait long at all when they actually arrive at the office or building. Staff are prepared to assist guests when they arrive, and pre-registration helps reduce congestion if there are many visitors coming to your location at the same time.
If your check-in process requires guests to sign non-disclosure agreements, waivers, or other legal documents, they can do this ahead of time, too.
Pre-registering visitors streamlines the check-in process and gives new guests the information they need so that they can be at the right place, at the right time. If the building is big or challenging to find, you can even provide visitors with instructions/directions prior to their visit.
Allowing guests to pre-register:
- Eliminates situations that will leave guests confused upon arrival
- Makes guests feel more at ease because they get information ahead of time
- Reduces wait times at the front desk
Adding a picture to a visitor profile is a smart idea, especially if the guest is someone who visits the building often. Verifying their identity takes no time at all.
A software system like Office Control allows admins or security to take or upload visitor photos and print temporary badges. ID badges can be saved so that contractors who regularly come to the facility can get to work without having to go through a lengthy check-in process every time.
People like the idea of touchless systems. Touchless sign-in/sign-out processes are possible using self-serve kiosks. Visitors use their smartphone to scan a QR code on the kiosk, and answer the sign-in/sign-out questions on their own device.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. If the facility offers free wifi, you can give them the login information after they have checked in. The password can be sent to them via text, email, or appear on a check-in screen that they’re using. Once in your network, you can even welcome visitors and send them instant notifications.
Parking is a scarce commodity, and some places may only have a limited number of spaces available. Visitor management systems may give visitors the option to book (and pay for) parking ahead of time. This ensures guests aren’t frantically searching for a spot before a big job interview or long repair project. It also gives them one less thing to worry about if they are unfamiliar with the area.
Choosing the right system
There are several systems out there for managing visitors. Some are simple while others were designed with multiple functionalities. Before investing in a system, do your research and decide on the items that are most important to you.
Consider your visitors
A great starting point in choosing the right visitor management system is thinking about what types of guests you will be caring for. If you are a large enterprise with regular visitors, you will likely want a more advanced software that can integrate with other programs. Smaller facilities might be very comfortable with a self-serve kiosk.
Assess your property’s needs
Other important points of consideration are your property infrastructure and business objectives. If you work in a highly regulated field, like finance, your visitor management system should be up-to-speed with current compliance standards and account for any special processes you will need to implement.
Costs will of course come into play. A small company doesn’t want or need to spend a fortune on the most expensive software. However, it’s never a wise idea to invest in a product based on the price alone.
Who’s managing the system?
While most systems are very user-friendly, you must also consider how the software will benefit the person responsible for using it. Will the guard or admin at the front desk still be expected to enter guest information into the system on behalf of the visitor? Or will there be an iPad available to guests? Furthermore, who will need access to the system? And will it be easy enough for everyone to use? These are all things to consider before making your final decision.
Guests may not think much about their quick and seamless check-in process, but they will remember having to wait 10 minutes for someone to assist them. First impressions are important, and a visitor management system can help ensure that every guest has a positive experience in your facility.