Updated: May 8
How to choose the best visitor management solution for me?
Choosing any technology is fraught with factors to consider: A new phone contract is hard work. The phone you choose will be in your hands for 24 months, so you need to be absolutely sure that the phone you choose is perfect.
The pressure is on when choosing a new phone, because you know if you get it wrong, you’re stuck with a crumby contract for two years that doesn’t meet your needs. Frustrating! Our phones are so important to us; we spend over 2 and a half hours a day using them! For many of us, having the best-suited phone contract helps to keep our day to day lives running smoothly.
So much effort goes into that two-year commitment to make sure that the perfect solution is found; imagine the effort that goes into researching a new piece of software for your company. Imagine how many specifications you need to check, how many stakeholders have an interest in the software you choose, budget considerations?
The best visitor management solution should be a commitment that lasts for years to come and fits in with an overall office redesign. You don’t want to get it wrong and waste time and money.
Unsure where to start? In this blog, I’ll cover which features of visitor management solution you should look for in your search for your new workplace solution.
What is visitor management solution?
Let’s start with understanding what visitor management solution is.
A visitor management solution allows organisations to streamline their visitor management process, using technology to monitor and record visitor information.
The perfect visitor management solution you are looking for should solve many problems for the Facilities Manager:
A visibly safer visitor and employee experience
A safer decongested reception environment
Cost reduction through digital processes, not manual ones
More efficient processes that capture self-certification and pre-registration that can be completed in 3 seconds
The visitor management solution you use should combine people, technology, security, communication and analytics to not only provide a great first impression to visitors and employees but the tools that the Facilities Manager needs to keep the building running effectively.
With the right features you use for your visitor managemnt solution, managing visitors can be smooth and compliant and keep your team secure.
Cloud-based visitor management software from Proxyclick provides a market-leading solution for the modern workplace; all the must-haves to enhance the visitor experience, secure assets, streamline operations, manage visitors, be compliant and save costs.
The key features for you visitor management solution
The 5 best feature you need to consider for your visitor management solution includes:
1. Preregister visitors
There are many benefits to preregistration, but I believe that the key benefit to preregistration is that it gives front of house the ability to prepare for visitors, thus enabling them to provide a concierge style service upon arrival.
A preregistration feature should comprise of:
A smart meeting invite
Important contact information
Important documents and e-signing capability
Directions to your office
Informing front of house staff of the visit
How many times have your reception team been greeted with a visitor that they didn’t realise was due to attend the site that day? Your reception staff will undoubtedly scramble to sign them in, print their visitor badge, find their host, take them to the correct meeting room and make them a hot drink on the way. Imagine a delivery has arrived at the same time as your visitor and they were asked to wait in the lobby?
It doesn’t matter how welcoming your staff are at that point; the experience has been tainted because you weren’t aware of their arrival. If you don’t know who is walking through your door, it could be the difference between a sale, a new or lost client, a partnership.
Enable visitor pre-registration in your visitor management solution
Good preregistration service of visitor management software starts at the invite to your office. Visitors receive an email meeting invitation with a request to pre-register before attending.
Before arriving at the building, visitors can :
Fill in their name and contact information
Pre-sign important documents
Read health and safety information
Have meeting documents
Complete self verification .
Starting the process at the invite enables you to trigger these processes automatically and provide a first-class impression to all who enters your building. By preregistering visitors, you’re allowing for a more cohesive process that takes all the information you need, distributes it to the people who need to know, and makes that all-important first impression a great one.
First impressions count. Make sure you know who is walking through your lobby and provide the best first impression with effective software.
2. Effective communication
Your visitor management solution should build the communication bridge between front of house and other departments. It's a huge part of good visitor management!
We have written a blog about why we think managing visitors on apps or iPad is not effective, as the main benefit of good communication between front of house staff, visitors and other employees is that everyone is fully informed!
A cohesive communication provided by the effective visitor management solution allows everyone to be fully up to date and feel comfortable with who is due to arrive (front of house), where they need to be (visitor) and what they need to do (host).
A visitor management solution with good communication looks like:
Alerting the Facilities Manager when a host books a meeting
Updating reception of who is due to enter the building each day
Real time host notification when visitors arrive
Providing the visitor with relevant information and contact details of their host
They were the old standards in early digital transformation, now your visitor management solution should be able to:
Give your visitors a really cool branded invite
Communicate to them that your brand cares about their experience
Start the journey when they plan their journey, not from when they get to reception
Guide them precisely how to get there on their chosen device
Communicate “fall back” so they can message the host if they are early or late
Tell them what their host look like to avoid those embarrassing “are you” moments
Communicate with other systems in your building
Remove manual processes and make the journey and experience frictionless and intuitive
The difference between good and poor communication in the workplace is the difference between engaged and disengaged workers. Engaged employees are more loyal, more likely to put in extra effort in their roles and are less likely to leave their jobs. This is no different for front of house staff. In the hospitality industry, 30% of workers leave their jobs within a year due to poor and unhappy working conditions.
The best visitor management solution should automate simple communication processes for your organisation, leading to effective communication each time. A good communication workflow looks something like this:
A meeting room is booked
Facilities have oversight of the booking
Cleaners are aware that it will need to be cleaned afterwards
The host receives information confirming the booking
A host invites an external guest
The visitor receives information about the meeting
The visitor is given directions to the building
The visitor is asked to preregister
Important documents are sent prior to the meeting
Front of house is made aware of the visitor's arrival
Front of house know who the visitor is and if they need a concierge style greeting
Visitor arrives on site
They are greeted upon arrival
They check in quickly using their preregistration details
The host is notified of their arrival
The visitor is given a security pass
The visitor receives wayfinding details
Reception know where their meeting is taking place
The visitor is due to leave
The visitor receives information on how to get to the nearest train station
The visitor is able to prebook a taxi if necessary
Reception are aware of what time they are leaving so they can provide concierge service
All of these individual steps are a lot for Facilities to manage; great visitor management takes care of all of these steps for you, leaving your reception staff free to provide a fantastic first impression.
Communication between the visitor, host and front of house is integral to first-class visitor management solution. Without it, your front of house operation is manual, reactive, hardly intuitive and as a result, broken.
3. Express Visitor Sign-in
As we embark on a journey to discover what the future of the workplace is, one thing is certain; no one wants to wait around in a reception waiting area to sign in with paper visitor book. Workplaces need to be safe, socially distant and handle anxieties professionally.
However, Facilities managers today are being asked to take on more and more responsibility by peers and stakeholders:
They want the identity record checked to ensure the visitor is who they say they are, blacklists need to be automatically checked (disgruntled ex-employees or journalists)
Legal teams want a compliant process that meets the Health and Safety guidelines and every shifting government guideline known to man. They also want robust measurement systems to demonstrate compliance should a litigious claim arise.
3) Human Resources
HR at the very minimum want a visibly safer process for the visitor and or the employee so they can visibly demonstrate the duty of care they are complying with and have taken and that doesn’t mean tape, signs and screens.
Understandably, Finance wants everything to arrive within a budget, which by the way was reduced with little or no warning. They are very keen for anything that conserves cash and in fact, will only approve schemes that have hard savings and returns on investment.
Would like the revenue repaired to pre-pandemic levels very sharpish, whilst insisting that:
All have different processes that complement each different visitor type.
So which visitor management solution should Facilities Manager choose to achieve:
Stakeholder satisfaction or delight?
Keep everyone safe?
Make visiting the building a delight or even feel like a VIP experience?
Achieve more to keep everyone happy, right down to a tailor experience for different visitor types?
Adding staff is not the answer, the whole process has to go digital and fast as at least the facilities team can ensure everything is covered in minute detail and delivered consistently in a 100% measurable way.
So how do we achieve all those often-conflicting visitor management objectives?
The answer is simple, you need help, from folk who can demonstrate a track record of success, tackling similar enterprise-wide challenges in a way that “designs in” adaptability.
Good visitor management solution will allow visitors to check-in quickly and move on to their meeting room with minimum peer to peer contact. This approach keeps receptions decongested, allows quick movement from someone entering the building to where they need to be, reduces touchpoints that require sanitisation and keeps processes running efficiently.
Express visitor sign in for your visitor management solution means:
Has motion sensors and recognises a visitor approaching
Has the ability to scan preregistered visitors
Can take temperatures using thermal imaging
Can take a photo of your visitor
Visitor badge printing
Host notification once the visitor has checked in
Provides wayfinding details to the visitor
Express check-in should be efficient and autonomous, allowing Facilities to deal with more pressing tasks and feel confident that no steps will be missed or forgotten.
Of the many tasks, the Facilities Manager has to take care of, ensuring people return to a safe working environment is crucial. The consequences of this not being taken care of are huge; fines, premise closures and even prison time will be handed out to employers who do not take measures seriously and do not keep their workplaces Covid-secure.
65% of British workers are anxious to return to the workplace after Covid-19. Covid-19 has brought upon many an anxiety of sharing germs or touching surfaces that others may have touched. Help your visitors feel at ease when they enter your building with an express, touchless check-in process.
The future workplace needs to show a visible and positive change in order for employees to trust that the building is safe.
4. Interactive Mapping: Never get lost in your building again!
How much time is wasted waiting for meetings to start, or trying to find the meeting room?
Here’s how much:
49% of British Meeting Room attendees spend 10 minutes or more trying to hunt down their meeting room
That same number spent up to 15 minutes chewing the fat while waiting for latecomers
34% spend up to ten minutes adjusting room temperatures before they get started!
If your visitors aren’t given clear directions to the correct meeting room, or the host hasn’t met them at the lobby, how will they arrive on time? How much does your front of house contribute toward poor productivity?
We include this feature as one of the most important techniques, as providing a great first impression for our visitors must continue after they have signed in. This is why a visitor management software should be able to demonstrate good wayfinding to inform your visitor of:
Which meeting room they’ll be in
Directions to the the meeting room
The nearest toilets and fire exist are shown clearly
Efficient visitor management solution can send your visitor a map and instructions to their smartphone.
The process between a visitor being invited to your building, to them leaving, should all follow one cohesive and autonomous process. This approach takes your workplace from a reactive container to a connected workplace; one which is intelligent, intuitive, modern, smart.
Being a connected workplace or a reactive workplace will define the future of your business; will you adapt and survive, or refuse to change with the times?
Read more about visitor management tool of wayfinding
Start your meetings on time with effective wayfinding visitor management software.
5. Customisable Workflows
The final visitor management solution feature that you need with your investment is the ability to have workflows.
For a busy Facilities department, likely to be run by one Facilities Manager, having the ability to automate workflows is integral to the upkeep of buildings.
For those looking to automate processes and have a much more connected workplace, an efficient visitor management solution is for you.
Efficient visitor management solution is able to:
Automate all visitor management touchpoints
Enable you to add services to meetings, such as catering or taxi booking
Communicate with all parties effectively in case of an emergency
Be customisable to your needs
Record metrics and data dependant on your KPIs
Have reporting functions
Report real-time data of building usage and visitor activities
Imagine having one place to create, manage and monitor the effectiveness of all of these functions, how simple and quick it would be for the Facilities Manager and team? This can be achieved with the implementation of a smart, intuitive visitor management solution.
The five features we need to consider to choose the smart visitor management solution are:
1. Preregister visitors
2. Effective communication
3. Express check-in
From the outset the facilities team were up against it, however with digital visitor management they can: