5 Best practices to improve visitor management

Updated: Jun 24

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?

How do you manage visitors?


If you don't have a confident response to these questions, Here are five best practices for implementing visitor management:

  1. Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation

  2. Create a branded experience: A warm welcome

  3. Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express Touchless check-in

  4. Contact the host

  5. Ensure visitors find the meeting room smoothly


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 to 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.

visitor-management-best-practices

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

what the 5 best practices mean for your visitor management.


  1. Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation

  2. Create a branded experience: A warm welcome

  3. Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express Touchless check-in

  4. Contact the host

  5. Ensure visitors find the meeting room smoothly


1. Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation


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

visitor-management-best-practices-number

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.


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 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? We call this a reactive reception. 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 a visitor management system that integrates with meeting room booking software, or Microsoft Outlook where you key your visitor data in.


Visitor management systems can help your staff to remove the manual processes of re-keying in visitor data and checking visitors in. 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.


2. Create a branded experience: A warm welcome

visitor-management-guidelinesvisitor-management-best-practices-number

The next tip to improving visitor management is 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.


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


visitor-management-best-practices-check-in

An easy way to achieve this is with the help of visitor management systems. They send out branded invitation once a meeting is scheduled. The branded invitation enables a touchless check-in, details of your meeting, plus directions to your office.



3. Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express Touchless check-in

visitor-management-guidelinesvisitor-management-best-practices-number

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

  • Signing in a visitor book

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

  • No self-certification or temperature taking process

Imagine 50, or even 100 employees and visitors, all arriving at 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 self check-in functionality

  • 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 that allows your visitors to be checked in with a contactless, 3-second process, keeping footfall in your reception minimal.


Visitor management systems automate the check-in process, using 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 to 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.

4. Contact the host

visitor-management-best-practices-number

Remember the hassle we talked about at the beginning of this blog, where reception staff don’t know where a visitor is supposed to be?


Communication between the visitor, host and the reception 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: Automatic client arrival notification system


Your visitor management process can include automatically notifying hosts when a visitor arrives. Which will:

  • 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

  • Also notify Facilities Managers of no-shows, further enhancing security in your building

A smart solution for these issues is the client arrival function of visitor management systems. Once a visitor has checked in, their host is notified with Slack, email, or text.


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


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


5. Ensure visitors find the meeting room smoothly


How much time is wasted waiting for meetings to start, or trying to find the meeting room? Here’s how much:

visitor-management-best-practices-number
  • 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 visitor management 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 indoor wayfinding

  • Tell visitors what floor to travel to

  • Help visitors find the correct room quickly

Visitor management systems streamline end-to-end visitor management process that provides maximum customer service with maximum autonomy. Automate the entire visitor management process, keeping each task efficiently and on time.


Vgreet 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 an indoor wayfinding map 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.


visitor-management-guidelinesvisitor-management-best-practices

More and more workplaces are reengineering visitor management; implementing a suitable visitor management solution that talks to each department, get ahead of the curve and implement this before your CFO visits another company that has better visitor management.


Summary


Best practices for Facilities Manager to re-engineer their visitor management are:

  1. Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation

  2. Create a branded experience: A warm welcome

  3. Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express Touchless check-in

  4. Contact the host

  5. Ensure visitors find the meeting room smoothly

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


More Resources

  1. The Ultimate Guide - What is a visitor management system and how can it benefit my business?

  2. Re-engineer your reception step by step

  3. Assess your current visitor experience

  4. Download a free visitor management guide for your persona


Want to know more about the best practices to improve your visitor management process? Contact us