Updated: Jun 24
With the foreseeable trend of returning to the office, research has shown that organisations are adopting technologies to adapt to these changes more quickly. The marketing offerings from visitor books to iPad and kiosks, how do we choose the most suitable visitor sign in system for your reception? In today's blog, I will cover the following topics:
An introduction of visitor sign in systems: Visitor Signing in books, Electronic visitor management system, Visitor management app, and iPad visitor sign in system.
Why visitor sign in process for visitor management should be changed nowadays?
And now Brexit is done and vaccination levels are hitting 1m a week, those that haven’t finished re-engineering the workplace need to get a move on. Although electronic visitor sign-in systems are commonly used by many businesses, these sign in software for your reception don't save manual work or keep your visitors and staff safe. But what are the potential risks?
Irrespective of the venue or webinar, whether it's Worktech conferences or venerable sages in Facilities, everyone agrees on one thing; “The workplace will change massively”.
And most agree the workplace will be used for two primary purposes;
Collaborating with colleagues, with the crucial key social benefits, zoom and teams don’t deliver.
Going in to meet key prospects and customers for key meetings.
We will, however (and I have done it) ask:
Why travel to put my health and safety at risk?
Why waste productive time?
Why lose time with family?
Why wreck the planet by burning carbon or emitting co2?
And as such, workplace safety becomes a major concern and it is crucial that the workplace becomes a high productivity area with an exceptional employee and visitor experience at its core.
The Current market offerings of visitor sign in systems
With the technology evolving, paper and pen have been gradually replaced by the electronic options for visitor sign in at the reception such as:
1. Paper visitor book
If you are looking for a visitor sign-in system, you probably know that paper signing in book brings intangible risks to your business. There are four risks you might have put your organisation at, and visitor books could be stolen, not GDPR-friendly, and the check-in process wastes a lot of time on multiple manual tasks.
2. Electronic visitor sign-in system
An electronic visitor management system is an electronic version of a visitor sign in books. Visitors or receptionists key in visitor details into the system. In some cases, visitors need to provide their names to the receptionist at their arrivals, and the receptionist will enter their name into the computer and visitors will be given printed visitor badges. When the visitors leave, they need to return the visitor badge and the receptionist will sign them out in the electronic visitor management system.
Should I use it? Probably not. This is where a congested reception happens with visitors waiting in a long queue to sign in and out. Reception staff can't handle other administrative tasks while handling the visitors at peak times. An electronic visitor management system might be gdpr-friendly as it protects visitors' privacy, but the manual processes are not removed, the receptionist's cost is still expensive, visitors are not impressed.
2. Visitor management app
It's not difficult to find free visitor management systems. Many companies offer visitor sign-in software as a service that makes it available to users all over the internet. Users can manage visitors from a web browser or an app.
It is a handy option with the proliferation of smartphones, you can simply download the apps of reception sign-in software from App Store. A QR code generated in a visitor management app enables visitors a contactless sign-in.
3. iPad visitor sign in
The visitor sign-in process includes manually keying in their names and details to sign in themselves with a visitor management iPad while arriving at the building.
Should I use a visitor management app or iPad for visitor sign in? Well, visipoint's blog has written some valuable points: App or iPad visitor sign-in is lack of customer service and support, the durability concerns are that their iOS updates only have 3-4 software support.
Using a visitor management app or iPad cannot give you full control, as you usually cannot integrate it with any other existing systems in your building. Such as:
Hardware: visitor access control systems.
Sacrificing experiences: motion sensors and voice activation, temperature screening, live traffic update, taxi booking and catering, building information, and more.
Which visitor sign in system should I choose for my reception? An app, iPad, or kiosk?
The problems are MORE than what have discussed above. We looked at these reception sign in software/systems for digital visitor sign in:
Visitor sign in software only
Software vendors that started in something else and strayed into the visitor management
Kiosks that were not integrated
Without listing them all, even it's easier to find an open-source visitor sign in software, they all had drawbacks at a high level:
They didn't deliver the full visitor experience from door to floor.
They didn't integrate with the buildings other systems and complement them, which means more manual processes are involved across the systems. such as visitor access control or meeting room arrangement. Hosts aren't aware of whether all the visitors have arrived at your office.
They didn't deal with fundamental requirements, like touchless safety.
Same as using a visitor signing in book, electronic visitor management systems still relied on a manned presence - that could not deal with huge fluctuations in traffic. and therefore was designed to have inconsistent service delivery.
These visitor sign-in systems weren't customisable, either from a module point of view, adding element/modules.
Or from a journey and changing circumstance point of view.
Nor they didn't compliment the more ambitious journey door to desk or door to room/desk.
So we elected to tackle all of those shortcomings, by adopting two fundamental approaches:
Own the whole journey.
Integrate with partners, that were best in class, that had the ability to scale and stay in the forefront of their respective fields.
Digital Visitor Sign In
We want a simple solution to a complicated problem.
The current market offerings only take care of the visitor check in, but an end-to-end digital visitor sign in system will benefit your organisation from both employees and visitors point of view.
Digital visitor sign-in systems take care of the entire visitor journey from receiving the meeting invite before arriving at the building, to the touchless sign-in process. It has the ability to integrate with meeting room/desk booking, Microsoft Outlook, buildings' access control system, and indoor way-finding maps.
The visitor signing-in book, the reactive receptionist, signal anything but, the above. Compared to electronic visitor management systems, digital visitor sign-in systems ensure a first-class visitor experience, at the lowest cost in the most efficient manner that’s both safe and means we are not late for the meeting.
Vgreet visitor sign in system
Vgreet and Vdesk are revolutionary visitor management solutions - integrated software and a visitor sign-in kiosk. It provides the service beyond any sign-in iPad or apps, enhancing the visitor experience with features such as:
Send your visitors a branded invite with host details, google map directions and a QR code for express check in
Visitor logs are automatically created from Microsoft Outlook/ Meeting room booking software
And any pre-registration details or surveys are sent with the invite before their arrival
Pre-register your visitors, saving time spent on signing in visitors
On-demand virtual receptionist to help visitors
Live traffic information, booking a cap
Why wouldn’t you do that?
Why leave everything till they get to reception?
The pre-registration process improves the efficiency by removing the manual processes of electronic visitor management systems, enhancing the visitor experience much more than using a visitor management app or sign-in iPad. Making life easier for both your reception staff and visitors.
In fact, if you still have your office manually signing in visitors every day, then your reception team belongs to “another era.”
So, how do you get accurate visitor email addresses?
The easy way
With efficient visitor management techniques in mind, collecting visitors email should not involve many manual processes as an efficient background operation. Everyone who arranged their meeting did it in Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook (80% plus of enterprise clients) or a similar system. So the visitors' email addresses are already in there, visitor logs are automatically created by registering your visitors through office 365.
A digital sign in system's integration with Industry leaders like Condeco that works firstly with Microsoft and secondly with complementary products and services, like other cloud-based visitor management software.
So if you have Condeco the answers easy, set the integration to “go live” and your visitor's details populate their integration partners like Vgreet.
There’s the hard way
Receptionists manually rekey the visitor details into their electronic visitor management system. Not to mention the visitor information's accuracy in manual processes, that’s still what 95% of facilities teams do today, madness, its repetitive mind-numbing work, that costs money!
That’s the first part of the visitor experience sorted, but now you have pre-registered your visitors and got them to the building here’s the next challenge.
Consider the Safety and Efficiency to choose a visitor sign in system
How do I get visitors into the building safely, without queues and whilst making sure they are who they said they are?
Easy, firstly the invite you sent them has a QR code that is simply scanned and they are verified. However, you would like a sign-in experience with:
Verifying their accurate visitor ID
Instant host notification
Showing them where utilities are
Showing them where their meeting room is
Showing them where their desk is
Showing them which locker they have
Replace the traditional electronic visitor sign in system which requires your reception team to deal with visitors all the time. With digital visitor sign in, we can do that without more burden on and stretched staff in peak hours. Easy for 1p a visitor, you can check them in 3 seconds and deliver the best sign in experience with a voice-activated visitor sign-in kiosk.
A simple summary to improve your visitor's sign in experience
Visitor sign in process at your workplace is no longer the same after the pandemic
Consider the efficiency and safety benefits of a visitor sign in system to choose the most suitable option. If you are using an electronic visitor management system, you need to reduce the reception's manual tasks.
An open-source system or free visitor sign in app is not making your workplace more efficient, productive, and safer. With a fast Return Of Investment, start considering an effective digital visitor sign in solution for your workplace.
Visitor management app or iPad visitor sign in can no longer impress your visitors.
Move your reception or front of house area from a "reactive footing" to an intuitive one. read more about how an intuitive digital reception work.
Look for solutions further than a reception sign in software, your visitor's journey starts before arriving at your building.
Replace the visitor book with pre-registration and an "On Brand" invite for a faster and better visitor experience.
De-risk the front of house staff with a 3-second express visitor check in kiosks.
Upgrade your reception team to full-blown concierge service or re-assign them to other duties.
At the same time, choose a digital visitor sign in system that actually saves money for different types of receptions.
Don't compromise on experience! With digital visitor sign-in, your visitors are well impressed which a simple visitor management app or iPad can not do.
We have launched our new Vdesk Visitor Sign in System
For smaller sites with less footfall that want the same exceptional functionality and experience as Vgreet, Vdesk digital visitor sign in system is a smaller version that holds the same functionality as Vgreet and is perfect for buildings that are space poor.