5 ways to improve visitor management

Updated: Nov 16

When you think of how to improve your visitor management, we need to be aware of the following questions:

  • How do you become aware of visitors to your building?

  • How do you greet the visitors professionally?

  • How do you plan to manage contamination risk in your buildings?

  • How do you communicate between the visitor, host and front of house?

  • How much time is wasted waiting for meetings to start, or trying to find the meeting room?

If you don't have a confident response to these questions, our visitor management guidelines in 5 steps will be discussed thoroughly here.

  • Step 1: Efficient background operation

  • Step 2: A warm welcome

  • Step 3: Touchless check-in

  • Step 4: Contact the host

  • Step 5: Find the meeting room


The impact of office closures


UK offices have experienced a lot of change this year. Two nationwide lockdowns, homeworking initiatives and Governmental rules on office working have all led to the physical workplace being a little neglected. Almost 10 months since the first lockdown, employees have still not fully returned to their desks, with many still working from makeshift desks at home.

Office employees are big business for the UK economy. From the commute on the tube, train or bus, the morning coffee, the bagel at lunchtime, or the purchase of groceries on the way home, UK office workers contribute to almost £100bn of the economy each year. Ten months of homeworking has hurt the economy; leading to almost 3000 job losses at Pret a Manger and a £5bn deficit at Transport for London.


With no plans for a nationwide office return in 2020, many can’t help but wonder what the state of the economy might be as we head into 2021. Economists fear that if office workers don’t return to the office soon, the recovery to the state that the UK enjoyed prior to the pandemic will take up to five years; leading to £480bn lost for the economy.


We need offices, and we need them to stay open –

re-engineered, incorporating a home and office hybrid, safe, secure and efficient.


Returning to work


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.

Understanding how to keep everyone safe can be a daunting task; whether you’re responsible for one building, you manage multiple properties, have huge employee counts or not, it all contributes to a huge challenge. Now is the time to re-engineer visitor management, introducing a new and safer way of working.


It’s not going to be easy to coax people back to the office. A recent survey by Bupa found that 65% of British workers are anxious to return to their workplace during Covid-19. People have gotten comfortable with homeworking and don’t want to commute into work; 38% of British workers are anxious about it in fact.


The future workplace needs to show a visible and positive change in order for employees to trust that the building is safe.


Are your employees worried about the return to the office? In this blog, I discuss the five visitor management steps that Facilities Managers should follow in order to re-engineer visitor management and ease employees back into the office when they’re ready and able. Let’s get started with my 5 tips to improve your visitor management experience.



Step 1: Efficient background operation


The starting point for exceptional visitor management occurs before your visitor has even entered the building; exceptional visitor management begins at the invite.


How do you become aware of visitors to your building? A typical office setting will include hosts having access to book their own meetings, choosing a meeting room to suit their needs. This means they can organise their own meetings. The Facilities Manager, therefore, is left to rely on the host to let them know that they have a visitor coming. It takes one moment of forgetting a process or being too busy to let reception know to expect a guest, creating a domino effect where:

· Reception don’t know of a visitor's arrival

· Your visitor needs to queue to speak with reception

· They then need to wait for security to print out a badge or pass

· Reception try to contact the host but they’re waiting in the meeting room, with no access to their emails or phone

· Reception don’t know where the meeting is taking place


Does this sound familiar? This poor experience leaves a lasting impression on visitors. If your visitor is a potential client or customer, the experience could lead to a loss in a crucial sale; this is devasting during the current pandemic!


How to improve


Efficient background operation is essential to a first-class visitor management experience; the most effective way to do this is to invest in intelligent meeting room booking software.


Condeco dominates the meeting room booking space and provides a software option for front of house which makes the whole meeting booking process easy, autonomous, and leaves full control to Facilities Managers. No longer will your front of house feel frustrated at a lack of communication from employees; Condeco effortlessly manages reservations for you, controls who can book meeting rooms, allows you to add services for your visitors and provides workplace insights.


Key benefits of Condeco:

· Condeco manages your reservations across multiple time zones and locations

· Condeco works hand in hand with Outlook; the two are integrated to work together seamlessly

· Facilities Managers can manage meetings on the move with a mobile app; which is a huge benefit to FMs, many of whom are constantly on the move

· Microsoft Teams can be integrated, adding an additional level of communication for those needing video communication in their meeting

· Workplace insights give FMs a clear understanding of space, usage and resource requirements in your buildings, with reporting that enables you to make better decisions and manage costs effectively.


Visitors will come to your building and have a seamless experience, all autonomously organised, leaving your reception staff to provide a tailored and personal service as they arrive.

Learn how Condeco integrates with Vgreet.


Step 2: A warm welcome

The next tip to improving visitor management is with a warm welcome. Visitors want to get a feel for the company they’re about to visit and will check your website, your careers and people pages, media centre and even Glassdoor before visiting. Give a great first impression with a personalised, branded invite to your visitors and show them who they’re about to visit.


It’s not just a personalised touch to invites that impresses visitors; sending important documents ahead of a meeting means they can sign and agree to policies, acknowledge health and safety processes, complete track and trace, plus review any meeting specific information before they arrive.


Your visitor needs to be aware of who their host is; what they look like and their contact details, so if they’re late or unable to attend, they have the correct point of contact.


Another area of interest for Facilities Managers is front of house. Traditionally, these areas are busy, full of visitors and employees, delivery drivers, contractors and front of house staff. People are greeted, sign in, gain a visit pass and are given directions by receptionists. In a post-Covid workplace, the purpose of reception, and the way that receptionists fulfil their role, needs to change.


How are you managing the risk?


The ultimate aim that you want to achieve is your visitor feeling fully comfortable with the company they’re coming to visit (you), what procedures they should follow when they’re there. And who to contact if they have any problems.


How to improve:

· Send a personalised invite to your visitor

· Provide important information prior to the meeting

· Ask your visitors to agree to important documents before they arrive

· Ensure your visitors are comfortable with their upcoming visit


Our partner Proxyclick provides intelligent, branded invites with the Vgreet experience, fully integrated to ensure you create that all-important 1st impression.

To greet someone professionally, send your visitors a branded invitation that enables a touchless check-in, details of your meeting, plus directions to your office with Proxyclick. One part of Proxyclick’s immense offering is the ability to enhance you company branding, via the QR code enabled invite and kiosk scanning options.

Key benefits:


· Touchless Express Check-in and outtakes the contamination risk out of the equation, protecting your employees and visitors

· Kiosk branding gives a fantastic first impression to your visitors from the moment they enter the building

· Visitor recognition means regular visitors are remembered, taking away the need to fully check in every time they visit

· Multi-lingual options allow you to communicate effectively with your visitors in all of your locations

· The Invite email to visitors allows you to tailor communication with them before they arrive at your building

· Visit reminders can be sent in the form of a text message 2 hours before the meeting


Read more about how Proxyclick and Vgreet integrate together.

Step 3: Touchless check-in

How do you plan to manage contamination risk in your buildings? Just one visitor arriving at your building has the following touchpoints:

· Opening the main door if not automatic

· Waiting in a queue amongst other people

· Approaching the reception desk and speaking with the receptionist

· Using a pen to sign in

· Interacting with a member of facilities to gain a security pass

· No self-certification or temperature taking process

· Accessing unnecessary parts of the building to find the correct meeting room


Imagine 50, or even 100 employees and visitors, all arriving to your building. How many of them could be silent carriers? All of these touchpoints create unnecessary risk to your staff and visitors and can easily be resolved with an effective visitor management system.

Can you afford to make no changes to your visitor management process?


How to improve

· Introduce a touchless check-in

· Take visitor temperatures and self-certification

· Have an automatic security badge printing process


Allowing pre-registration and self-certification is a key visitor management technique which allows your visitors to be checked in with a contactless, 7-second process, keeping footfall in your reception minimal. Contactless kiosks minimise the need for sanitisation, saving costs alongside keeping people safe. The meeting host is notified by email, Slack or text after check-in. Express check-in includes taking photographs of your visitors and printing badges, all within 7 seconds, leaving no worry of queues building up in your lobby.


Vgreet's touchless technology uses facial recognition sensors to greet your visitors as they arrive and prompt them to sign in. QR code scanning removes the need to touch the surface, and thermal imaging technology means that Vgreet will take your visitor temperatures, leaving your front of house staff to stay behind the scenes and focus on other tasks, while still providing personalised service to your visitors.


Read more about touchless check in here.

Step 4: Contact the host

Remember the hassle we spoke about in the beginning of this blog, where reception staff don’t know where a visitor is supposed to be? Let me recap on what happens when Facilities Managers aren't made aware of a visitor:

· Reception don’t know of a visitor's arrival

· Your visitor needs to queue to speak with reception

· They then need to wait for security to print out a badge or pass

· Reception try to contact the host but they’re waiting in the meeting room, with no access to their emails or phone

· Reception don’t know where the meeting is taking place


Communication between the visitor, host and front of house is integral to first-class visitor management. Without it, your front of house operation is manual, reactive, hardly intuitive and as a result, broken.


How to improve:


· Notify hosts when their visitors arrive by email, Slack or text

· Give the responsibility of the visitor to the host, and ensure they’re prepared for their arrival

· Provide visitors with a smooth experience from check in to meeting

· Communicate delays; if your visitor is running late, they need a way to notify the host using the contact details supplied during pre-registration

· Facilities Managers should be notified of no-shows, further enhancing security in your building


A smart solution for these issues is via Proxyclick (Fully integrated into Vgreet), who are able to offer host notification when a visitor arrives at your building. Arriving visitors simply scan their QR code, their host is notified, they are checked in, provided with a visitor pass and given way-finding directions to where they need to be, and all that happens within seconds.


This method means front-of-house teams can focus on other tasks, not the admission process. It places the responsibility of the visitor in the hands of the host, who have been notified of their arrival, leaving Facilities to manage other tasks.


Hassle-free, easy to manage, re-engineered visitor management.


Read more about our integration with Proxyclick.

Step 5: Find the meeting room


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!


Does your front of house process contribute to these numbers? How much money are you wasting?


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 to improve:

· Provide room wayfinding

· Tell visitors what floor to travel to

· Help visitors find the correct room quickly


Vgreet is an end-to-end visitor management process that provides maximum customer service with maximum autonomy. Automate the entire visitor management process, keeping each task efficient and on time.


Vgreet has Dialogue, the ability to open a video call instantly with your reception team, who now no longer need to be based behind a reception desk, but can be relocated to anywhere in the building.


As the team can be centralised you can quickly recognise staff savings by running effective teams rather than isolated receptions and therefore Front of house staff can be relocated to other areas of facilities, keeping them safe yet productive or alternatively upgraded to Concierge style duties, improving your front of house service dramatically.


Vgreets express check-in service allows visitors to scan their pre-registered QR code, simultaneously printing them a security badge, taking their temperature and notifying their host of their arrival. In addition, Vgreet displays wayfinding information and can also email it to your visitor's smartphone. Meetings start on time and visitors will have a fantastic first impression of your company.


Can you afford to ignore these points?


If you work towards implementing each of the five suggestions in your workplace, your visitor management experience will be hassle-free, intelligent, intuitive, revolutionised, and more.



More and more workplaces are reengineering visitor management; get ahead of the curve and implement this before your CFO visits another company that has better visitor management.


Summary


Any Facilities Manager wanting to re-engineer their visitor management process should follow the following five tips.

  • Step 1: Efficient background operation

  • Step 2: A warm welcome

  • Step 3: Touchless check-in

  • Step 4: Contact the host

  • Step 5: Find the meeting room


Save money, decongest your reception, keep your staff safe and be efficient.


Don’t believe it can be done? Book a live demo today.


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Tel: +44 (0)20 7621 6300

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