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Should Your Business Require Visitors to Sign Legal Waivers? | Greetly
Here is the ideal solution for having visitor sign waivers, protecting your business, while creating a great guest experience.
A waiver is a written legal document. In its most common usage, it can be summed up as a business - your business - informing your visitors or customers that he or she assumes their own risk for entering the premise or participating in an activity.
Waivers can be very useful, and even necessary, to a variety of businesses. Almost any company that promotes a physical activity such as dance studios, ax throwing, bungee jumping, fitness studios, kayaking and the like. Most likely, your insurance company requires that you collect them or refuse service. Waivers may also be used by a company that is recording visitors for workplace security or other reasons. Or when a facility is offering adult drinks and does not want to assume the associated liability.
As with any business procedure, there are pros and cons to implementing a waiver policy. Here are a few items to consider when thinking about whether, and how, to ask your visitors and customers to sign waivers as they enter your premises.
Waivers Protect Your Business
Having visitors sign a waiver is a smart legal practice. Especially if your business offers a physical activity. Even more so the greater the associated risk. Despite taking every safety precaution available, hiring and training qualified staff, and using well-maintained equipment, accidents can still happen. Oftentimes accidents may be the result of an action taken by a reckless visitor. Without a waiver in place, just one of these accidents could financially destroy your business, undoing years of hard work.
Waivers Remind Visitors to Use Common Sense
When a visitor is presented with a waiver, whether they read it or not, signing it reminds them that they are responsible for their actions. This acts as a deterrent to risky behavior because the visitor believes in the back of their mind that they won't be able to blame and sue the business for their own lack of good judgment. In this way, waivers are a subtle, subconscious tool to help keep common-sense near the front of visitors' minds.
Waiver Signing Is Time-Consuming
Often, when a visitor or group of visitors must sign a waiver at a business, this is their introduction to your company. Not exactly a great first impression. Even worse when they see an employee printing out pages and distributing them, along with pens and clipboards. This takes time and can create a bottleneck in your reception area. Or worse, it can kill the mood of a group if the first 15 or 20 minutes of activity is spent reading and signing waivers. It's important to think about how necessary the waiver is for your business before implementing the time-consuming procedure.
Waiver Policies Can Be Awkward for Your Staff
The presentation of legal documents of any kind can be intimidating for customers and visitors alike. There is a common feeling that if a business is asking a customer to sign something, that the business must be trying to take advantage of that customer. While this suspicion is oftentimes unfounded, the perception remains.
When a staff member hands a physical copy of a waiver to a visitor, the visitor may feel compelled to express that suspicion and confront the staff member in front of them. The visitor may also feel rushed into signing the document, further irritating them. Is your staff trained on how to handle relevant legal questions? Likely not, you hired them not for their legal acumen but for their passion for the activity. All of this can lead to very awkward situations for the employees that operate your business.
Where Are Those Waivers Anyway?
If you were slapped with a lawsuit tomorrow from someone who was at your business a year ago, could you find their waiver? Paper waivers need to be scanned and filed in a useful manner. And that is only if they are legible. There are many challenges to using the waivers you collect should you need to.
Why a Visitor Check-In App is the Ultimate Solution
The best visitor check-in applications double as electronic signature software. Finally, the solution you have been looking for.
- Impress your guests with a great first impression. Customers are going to see you are tech-savvy and trust that you use the latest equipment and safety measures.
- Eliminate the awkward moments for your customers and staff.
- Capture legible names.
- eSignatures are timestamped with the date, time and physical location where they were signed.
- Have them automatically filed in cloud-based storage, allowing for easy retrieval, with no added cost.