Once upon a time businesses that wanted to keep track of their visitors opted for a visitor sign in sheet where a receptionist (or other check-in personnel) asked visitors to jot down who they were visiting, their name and nature of their business. Fast forward to today where an office of any size has the affordable option of using digital visitor management system where visitors enter their name into a tablet computer, and they’re on their way. Visitor sign in sheet versus iPad or Android receptionist – which one wins?
Visitor sign in sheet
On the surface, a paper visitor logbook costs just a few dollars. However if they company expects usage, it requires the company pays a salary to a receptionist or other check-in personnel to oversee the visitor sign-in process. What happens when the reception is away? Before hours, after hours or over lunch? Visitors often wander the building trying to locate the person they’re there to see which is disruptive and can compromise security.
Digital Visitor Management
With a digital visitor management system like Greetly, a company of any size can maintain an electronic sign in sheet for at a very low cost each month. The digital management system doesn’t require breaks or vacation and never takes a sick day. Visitors check into the system safely and securely.
Security and Efficiency
Sheets of paper can get lost or stolen plus the handwriting is often difficult to decipher. The records are public because anyone who stops to sign the sheet can view everyone else’s name, and who they were there to see, as well. Every salesperson knows to look through the book to learn who they are competing against.
With digital visitor management solution, there is no handwriting to decipher because visitors type their name on the electronic keyboard. It’s also completely private because there is no paper trail for every other visitor to see. And it’s more secure because there are no pieces of paper to steal or lose.
When using a traditional sign-in sheet, it’s often a bit chaotic at the front desk. For instance, when there’s a package delivery or a certain person needs to be tracked down, the offices located near the front desk are often disrupted while the right person is located.
A digital check-in app allows visitors to enter their name and the nature of their business and then the proper personnel is instantly alerted through text message, email, voice phone call or even instant messaging tools like Slack. There are no requests made of personnel near the front to track down certain people. Also, the person who would traditionally serve as receptionist or check-in manager can be routed into a more productive role when they aren’t being used to check in visitors.
Most businesses have to be big enough to afford a receptionist or admin to oversee reception. In addition to salary and benefits, hidden costs include office space, a computer and other equipment so they can do their job.
Businesses of any size can use a highly affordable digital check-in system, and not be required to have a space dedicated solely to your business. If you share space with other businesses or use a popular coworking setup, a system like Greetly is a great option.
Post Visit Follow-Up
When visitors sign a sheet by hand it’s often illegible, visitors can forget to sign in altogether, or even leave off important contact information. And with traditional pen and paper, someone will have to enter that information, into a separate CRM system. This makes follow-up a hit or miss process.
With a digital system, there’s no hard to read handwriting, forgetting to sign in, or incomplete information. Greetly offers a robust eSig feature that clearly associates signatures with the visitor's first name, last name and email address. That document is then stored in a cloud-based visitors log and can easily be added to your CRM database. You can easily download the visitor data or use our Zapier integration to automate the process.
You have to wonder, does a paper visitor sign in sheet actually serve any purpose? Or is it just process for process’s sake?
It’s clear that a digital visitor management system like Greetly wins out over the traditional sign in sheet for many reasons including cost, security, efficiency, productivity and the usefulness of the data. A visitor check-in app is also a great way to impress your customers and show them how innovative your company is which can give you an advantage over competitors and help recruit great employees.