In a modern workplace setting, it is most unprofessional for a client to be kept waiting for long periods of time. Yet in busy professional offices - like law firms, accounting offices, consulting firms, government agencies, marketing and media agencies – meetings and other responsibilities can delay the response. It can be challenging to find an unobtrusive way to notify an employee that their guest has arrived.
Client arrival notification systems do exactly that!
A client arrival notification system is an automated system designed to inform employees that a client has arrived and is waiting to meet with them. Also known as visitor management systems, these systems allow clients and guests of every nature – from restaurant and parcel delivery to important clients and colleagues – to self-register with your workplace.
The truly beautiful part of these systems is that, once the visitor has checked themselves in, the system performs the automatic task of tracking down the host employee. Instead of a receptionist trying to place a phone call, only to find that a person is in a meeting, a digital system quickly and seamlessly utilizes the employee’s preferred notification methods. Within seconds, the digital check-in system can send notifications via phone, text, email, Slack, Teams, and Hangouts.
Nearly any professional office with employees who meet multiple clients for appointments can benefit from a client arrival notification system.
We all know how meetings and appointments have a tendency to get off track and sometimes end up running past their allotted time. Given how often this happens, it is important to know whether an employee has an important client waiting in the lobby for their scheduled time. Being notified by a discreet text message or other message on their phone can provide the employee the information to excuse themselves to meet their client without having a receptionist interrupt the meeting.
On the other hand, when the employee is engaged in important work in the office, the notification that a client has arrived gives them the opportunity to wrap up what they are doing before the client arrives in their office. Depending on office protocol, the employee may choose to meet the client in the lobby and escort them to their office.
Even busy professional offices that employ a receptionist at the front desk may find that a digital system can notify employees in a fraction of the time it takes the receptionist.
Not only do these check-in systems assist with notification, they have other benefits for professional offices as well.
Clients do not have to say their names aloud to a receptionist. Instead, they confidentially and discreetly enter their information into the check-in system, and then take a seat to await their appointment. This preserves a level of privacy in medical offices, law offices and other waiting rooms that can’t be managed with an in-person receptionist or a paper visitor log.
When clients enter their own information, as opposed to relaying it for a receptionist to enter into the system – or writing it on a paper form to be re-typed into a database – they can ensure their names are spelled correctly and other information is also accurate. Even if they are a return guest, they can verify the information that is already in the system and make changes if necessary, such as an address update.
Professional offices may not always consider security, but should. Law firms, therapy practices, accounting firms and other professionals have a strong need to know exactly who is on the premises at all times. Visitor registration systems provide this information.
A professional’s schedule of appointments is often packed solid. What happens if the 3 p.m. appointment never shows? How is a note made so that client is not billed for that appointment? A visitor check-in log can be an important part of the billing process. The log provides the data of record for who came to appointments and thus should be billed.
Client arrival notification systems (a.k.a. visitor management systems) provide many more features than just that of notifying employees of a client’s arrival. While notifications may be a primary reason to consider such a system, there are several other features that may be beneficial to a professional organization.
Most of the time, professionals will know when they have appointments with clients. Some systems allow employees to preregister their guests so the system can recognize them more quickly upon their arrival.
In most professional offices, it is necessary to have clients sign important documents at the start of their visit. This can be anything from filling out medical forms and records, to non-disclosure agreements, to other waivers and agreements. Some of these agreements are simple and standard, and thus do not require a lengthy explanation by a professional. These documents can be presented as part of the check-in process and completed via the e-signature app capabilities found in many visitor management systems.
Sometimes it is nearly impossible to know who was onsite at any particular time. However, if there were some sort of security breach, this information can be incredibly important for investigation purposes. Having all guests of any type check in and check out using an app automatically creates a digital visitor logbook that is easy to search.
Depending on the size and protocols of the organization, it may be necessary for guests to be identified using some form of visitor badge. Being easily identified can give employees the ability to offer assistance when it is needed. In addition, it can help ensure visitors do not go into places where they should not be.
Some visitor management systems have the ability to take visitor photos. This is not only incredibly helpful for security purposes, but it can help employees more quickly attach a name to a face to provide better service. Some systems even send the photo with the notification about client arrival so the employee knows exactly who they are looking for. Building relationships is a large part of professional services, and being able to recognize someone on sight shows obvious effort on the part of the professional.
Great visitor management systems integrate with your:
Understanding what is possible can help an organization evaluate systems to determine which is right for their office and its needs.
Professional offices and their clients both benefit from digital client arrival notification systems that speed up the check-in and notification processes of appointments. Everything feels more professional when no one is kept waiting and wondering if the host has been contacted – or vice versa, wondering if your client has arrived but you don’t know it yet.
These visitor management systems provide more benefits than simple notification. With preregistration capabilities, visitor photos, integration with CRMs, legal signatures and more, the systems have a variety of features to make life at the office flow more smoothly.