Visitors are an essential part of any organization achieving its mission and goals. Even workplaces that "don't receive visitors" receive plenty of them. Consider the HVAC service person, the pizza delivery guy, the significant other coming for lunch and the random person dropping in to pick up a job application. Often, we recognize that visitors are some of our most important people: the manager from the main office, the high-priority client, the guests coming for a special promotional event.
Every person, from the corporate bigwig to the parcel delivery service, must be greeted and have their business attended to. A visitor management system will make this process smooth and secure for both the visitor and the organization.
Visitor management is the process by which all visitors to an organization are greeted, identified, and moved along so they can complete their tasks. Some organizations are very informal and have no standardized system, while others utilized dedicated receptionists and still others use electronic visitor management systems to streamline the process.
In most electronic visitor management systems, guests check in at a kiosk or other workstation. The software logs the visit:
The software may also contain other features, such as the ability to automatically notify the guest’s host, send emails to the guest, open up forms for e-signature purposes and more.
Utilizing an eReceptionist system has many benefits, both for the organization and for the visitor.
One of the first, and largest, benefits of using an electronic visitor management system is that of saving time, and thus, improving productivity.
In some flex workspaces, open floor plan offices and other informal working locations, there is no formal receptionist. Organizations have chosen not to hire someone for the sole purpose of greeting those who come through the door. This can leave visitors in a bind.
When a visitor enters a building, the first thought on their mind is, “Where am I supposed to go, and what am I supposed to do?” In such a workspace, this is likely the scenario that plays out:
A well-marked visitor check-in kiosk makes the question of what a visitor is supposed to do completely moot. The obvious answer is to walk to the kiosk and start the check-in process. The system asks the guest to take a seat while it automatically contacts the host via their communication preferences.
Even in organizations where a receptionist is available, it is highly likely the receptionist has other duties to attend to aside from assisting guests. Filling out a registration form for the guest, placing phone calls to hosts, or possibly walking the guest to the host is not always a valuable use of time. If a guest can fill out the check-in form themselves, it allows the receptionist to answer the phone, or type up some notes during this same time.
In the very busiest of offices, multiple check-in kiosks can assist multiple guests at once, eliminating wait times. This also frees up employees to help with the questions and tasks most in need of being addressed.
When push comes to shove, paying for a machine for rote tasks like visitor management is much more cost-effective than paying one or more dedicated employee.
Have you been keeping paper visitor logs? If so, take a few moments to flip through the last few pages. Can you read the handwriting? Are your guests bothering to fill out all the slots, like check-in/out times and their email addresses?
What do you do with the paper logs after the pages have been filled? Some common options:
The truly sad fact is that visitor logs contain valuable data, but if that data is being collected on paper, it usually goes to waste.
On the other hand, electronic visitor management systems make collecting valuable data much, much simpler. They do so in a number of ways.
Automatic Customer Relations: A great digital visitor management system can be set up to automatically transfer visitor data into your CRM. Once in place, this valuable information allows you to follow up with guests in whatever way is suitable. You can make a great impression by sending thank you notes to job candidates, special offers to potential clients, and information to vendors.
Your visitor’s privacy is important. While people share their information in a multitude of ways, people generally prefer to decide for themselves with whom they share their information. A visitor sign-in app collects important information in a secure way.
Privacy is not very well maintained if you are using a paper visitor log. Every guest who arrives can see who came before them. Salespeople and job candidates can see if their competitors have been through. Unless the logbook is under a constant, watchful eye, anyone can flip through the pages and collect as much information as they choose. People fishing for email addresses or phone numbers could snap photos using their smartphones.
Unlike a paper log, a digital sign-in app keeps this information secure. Guests can’t see who signed in before; they only see their own information on the screen during their sign-in process. Once the final button of the sign-in process has been clicked, the information is quickly and securely filed away in the database.
In today’s world, security is an increasing concern for organizations of all sizes and types.
Collecting the information of all those who visit your organization can be vitally necessary. Security needs vary among different organizations, but a sign-in system carries a number of security benefits.
Last, but certainly not least, a digital sign-in app helps you present a professional image to your visitors.
With all the benefits a digital visitor management system has to offer, it is clear why so many organizations are giving them a try.
In the end, the goal of visitor management is to do exactly that: to help guests do what they are supposed to do and meet who they are supposed to meet as quickly, effectively, securely and professionally as possible.