How does your organization handle visitors and guests who walk through your door? Whether you are conscious of it or not, your organization has a method for managing guests; a visitor management system. Visitor management is a plan and processes you have in place to:
Unfortunately, many organizations give little thought to the way in which they handle visitors. Whomever the visitor encounters upon arrival has to take up the task. This person may or may not have been trained to serve guests -- and they likely hate it. Other workplaces do not put in a visitor management system because "they don't receive many visitors". While some offices do not host a lot of important meetings, these firms often do not consider lunch orders, package deliveries and friendly visitors -- the number of people walking through the door is likely many times your initial estimate.
Having a conscientious visitor management system in place helps to give your visitors a great impression of your organization and provides your place of business with valuable resources and information.
In order for any system to be effective, it is important that visitors are recognized. When guests arrive, they are apt to feel quite lost – especially if it is their first visit. Organizations can recognize and welcome guests in a number of different ways to help them know they are in the right place.
A visitor doesn’t just show up to your building for no reason. With only a very few exceptions – like someone who is lost and just asking for directions – every visitor has a need to meet with someone who works at your organization. Here are just a few examples:
In the majority of these situations, the guest will know by name exactly who they are coming to meet. A few will have a general idea, but not a name, e.g. will want to meet with the person in charge of buying office supplies.
Visitors and the person they are meeting must be connected. Often, an employee, like a receptionist or security person, will call or otherwise notify the host that their guest has arrived. Sometimes the guest will wait for the host to retrieve them from the waiting area, while other times the receptionist will give directions, or actually leave their desk to escort the guest to the employee. A few electronic visitor registration apps will contact the host automatically via text, email, Slack, or other means.
Not all organizations require visitors to check in and out. Those that do add an extra layer of security for their guests and for themselves.
Visitor registration can look very different depending on the organization.
When you need to be able to spot visitors at a glance, your organization may require visitors to wear some sort of visitor badge or sticker identifying them as a guest. This is especially important as a security measure.
There are non-security reasons for visitors to wear identification as well. If your employees are trained to spot guests by their badges, they can also be trained to offer guests services above and beyond. This, obviously, depends upon your business, but rolling out the red carpet for guests and offering assistance where needed can be what helps you acquire a new, enthusiastic customer, member, or business partner.
Having an effective visitor management system in place has multiple benefits for your organization.
How many times have you walked into an establishment and wasted a bunch of time trying to figure out what to do, where to go and how to find the person you need? It doesn’t feel all that different from calling a customer service line and being passed from person to person, telling the same story over and over again.
Now imagine the opposite. You know when you walk in the doctor’s office that you approach the reception desk, fill in the appropriate forms and wait for your name to be called. There is no second-guessing.
You want the same efficiency at your organization, and it isn’t just a benefit to your visitors either.
If a stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet, a visitor is the stranger of the organizational world. Every guest who walks in your door is a potential client, partner, member, or employee. We know that first impressions are incredibly important. What does your visitor management system say about your business to your guest? You want it to be a positive message.
We’ve already briefly mentioned how having visitors check in and out can add security for your organization. Safety and security are increasingly on the minds of organizations and their employees. Visitor registration increases your security in a number of ways.
The amount of data you can amass about your visitors can be a boon to your organization.
Having an effective, efficient digital visitor management system in place can have multiple benefits for your organization. It is important to have all the necessary components in place and formalized, rather than have a haphazard way of welcoming guests. Doing so can be one step in building your organizational success.