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The CEO's Guide to Modernized Visitor Management Solutions

October 12, 2020 / CHANAKYA KYATHAM

Have you ever wondered how you can seamlessly improve the experience of the visitors and the capability of your staff to handle them?

There are many ways to achieve these goals, and when you reach the end of this evaluative analysis Ebook, you’ll have multiple ways on your hand to improve your visitor management. Whether it is using a visitor management system or just implementing a few improvements, let’s take a look into how you can significantly improve your branding, security, and productivity.

Let’s start off with defining certain objectives:

Visitor Management System - The Fundamental Benefits

For anyone looking to implement visitor management solutions on their premises, there are certain objectives that are needed to be improved or elevated. Let’s take a look at the definitive objectives of setting up a visitor management system:

  • Compliance: The most important objective for businesses is to stay under the regulatory compliances in their respective domains to ensure that no laws are broken. Visitor management systems help businesses in tracking and demonstrating if all the regulatory laws are being followed.
  • Safety: A smart visitor management system with a defined process can ensure that the customers are provided with all the relevant safety information and/or equipment to assist them in case of any emergency evacuations or situations.
  • Security: Visitor management systems can help businesses in maintaining the information amongst a defined circle to ensure the safety of information, trade secrets, and seamlessly maintaining the confidentiality clauses between the employees and clients.
  • Branding and Image: Demonstrating to the visitors that your services are top-tier and you value their time is an objective that a visitor management system can help businesses achieve conveniently.
  • Improving Productivity: Simplifying operational activities of the front desk, as well as the staff, is one of the most important functions of a visitor management system. Smart visitor management solutions cut down the visitor churn and boost customer experience.

These components can be a defining factor about your business’ growth, and ultimately, how long it sustains.

Creating Visitor Types

Let’s begin with how to establish the foundation of your visitor management system. This is a crucial step in determining the types of visitors that come to your premises. Though it might seem like an easy step, don’t make the mistake of assuming generic ways about the personas of the visitors. This will avoid you from getting to the heart of the very specific demands that pop up in the reception area by the visitors.

While creating visit types, don’t forget to capture the feedback of your staff to identify various types of needs of the visitors. Visit types should be identified thoroughly. Assessing the following types can considerably help you in achieving this:

  • Deliveries: Many visits are made by delivery personnel, who are delivering items like parcels, water, food supplies, legal documents, etc.
  • Appointments / Meetings: This can be split into specific types, such as job interviews, presentations, general meetings, business get-togethers, etc.
  • Services: Visitors can also be people who provide you with services like cleaning, catering, plumbing, etc.
  • Staff Check-In: While full-time employees are rarely required to record check-ins and outs, it can be very helpful in recording part-time employees, contractors, volunteers, interns, etc.

Making sure to include any and all types of seasonal visitors can also help in creating a much more diverse visitor type list, which can significantly improve your visitor management system’s capabilities.

Charting and Mocking Up Check-in Procedures

Now that you have identified the types of visits, the next step is to create and test the check-in procedures. Each type of visit will require 5 primary decisions to be made by the visitor management system for the visitors:

1. The information to be collected from the visitor: Name, identification proof, photo, job title, affiliations to any company, citizenship status, etc.
2. The information to be collected about the visit: Purpose of showing up, which person they’re meeting, date/time of the meeting, security level on your premises, etc.
3. Legal Documents or Agreements the visitor should sign: Which of the documents such as visitor agreements, waivers, NDAs, privacy policies, etc. should be signed by the visitor can be identified based on the type of customers.
4. Staff notification on arrival of visitors: Which staff members should be notified upon the arrival of the visitor can be identified from the visitor type.
5. Whether the visitor requires a badge: To enhance security measures, companies can start issuing badges based on the type of visitor and the above 4 elements.

Creating procedures based on your operations, these 5 primary decisions are just the bedrock of your visitor management system. You can build upon this and add to the list to diversify your operational capabilities.

Now that you’ve created the skeleton of your visitor management system, let’s add the organs.

Training Your Staff and Structuring Them

Structuring your staff is the first step in determining which staff personnel will be in charge of what types of visitors. To ensure smooth and consistent servicing to the visitors, this step is very important.

For operating an optimal visitor management system, adapting to changes and having contingencies in place for any visitor requirements is necessary from the staff’s structuring point of view.

To structure your staff for visitor management, you can identify from the following models what type of visitor management you’re looking for:

1. Full-time and Dedicated Receptionist

Preferred by many companies, employing a full-time receptionist who is completely dedicated to visitor management is a very practical step to consider. Making sure that proper attention is provided to visitor management, full-time receptionists also take up a plethora of office tasks like taking calls, making entries, forwarding notifications, etc. However, their main focus is always making a good impression on the visitors in the reception area. Full-time receptionists basically act as brand ambassadors of the business, in the eyes of the visitors.

This model is the most suitable option for companies that have a lot of visitors on a daily basis. It is also a very suitable model for companies which have complicated check-in procedures or companies that are concerned about their sensitive security.

To ensure a seamless operation, you also need to take into account that a full-time receptionist won’t be available 24/7. They will be taking breaks or leaves, which is a situation you need to be prepared for. You can designate other competent employees in the place while the full-time receptionist is away, or you can use the below-mentioned models to properly fill in the gap.

2. Receptionist-Combo Employee

Identifying employees in your business who are competent enough to carry the visitor management procedures is another way in which companies handle visitor management. This is especially the case in companies that don’t have frequent visitors or have fewer visitors than big companies on a daily basis.

If not overwhelmed with a multitude of responsibilities, these employees can prove to be a combo pack of visitor management and their area of employment for your business.

It is a streamlined way of operation, in which if an employee on the front desk is pulled away to take care of other responsibilities, another employee with the same capabilities in visitor management can take his/her/their place.

3. Taking the Group Effort Way

This model is mostly used by small companies or startups. In this model, individual employees take care of and manage their own assigned visitors. The group of employees will have to communicate with each other in this model to ensure proper workflows about managing visitors. Procedures will also have to be set up to make sure that visitors are being serviced properly.

In this group effort model, employees will have to provide visitors with instructions about how to contact them and what type of services they can provide. Moreover, employees have to keep updating each other about the visitors they’re managing just to make sure that no requirement comes out of the blue and startles them.

4. Having an Unstaffed Front Desk

Similar to the third model, this model comes with its own twist. As the name suggests, the front desk in this model is empty. What is in the place of an employee you wonder? Smart screens or Tablet devices. These technological pieces of equipment are loaded with a visitor management software, which makes it very easy for the visitors to check-in, send messages to the concerned staff, sign the necessary documents, and much more. The software provides the host with all the information recorded from the visitors so that when they come face to face with them, they can meet them with confidence, already knowing what the visitor came for.

High-tech and modern businesses usually use this model or mix it with the other models to build their brand image as a modern or tech-savvy business.

Now that you’re aware of the various models you can use for structuring your staff, you can train your employees based in the model you choose. You have now added the organs to your visitor management systems. Now let’s give it a heart.

Choose the Assets You Want To Implement

Building up the infrastructure for visitor management is the next step in the process. It is time to execute the aforementioned steps and choose which assets you will employ in your visitor management system to collect the visitor data.

Here are some of the various tools you can choose for each part of the visitor management process:

Sign in and Sign Out

Gone are the days when paper logs were used to record visitor sign-ins and sign-outs. Paper logs offer less privacy, need more organization, and much more.

Digital tools like visitor management software are adept at not only recording visitor data, but also keeping it secure and safe from any parties that have no business in seeing the information. Moreover, digital tools are much more organized and easy to put entries in.

Data Storage

Digital files are more affordable than paper files. They are better for the environment, are more organized, and safe from issues like being misplaced or suffering damages.

Choosing a program for storing visitor data also comes with a lot of features, like:

  • Generating reports from visitor data to capture valuable insights about visitor experience
  • Filters to conveniently find out specific visitor data entries
  • Exporting data in simple formats like PDF and CSV to share and/or store in physical form
  • Auto erasing is an option many companies use, in which personal information of visitors is erased automatically after a certain period of time to safeguard their privacy

Staff Notifications

If your receptionist always has to dial up the employee numbers to notify them of anything, it might prove ineffective in terms of response from the employees. Using tools like chat apps or channels on platforms to provide staff with notifications about the services that might be needed from their end is much more efficient than the traditional methods.

Visitor management systems automatically create the staff notifications and send them to the relevant employee as soon as the visitor checks in. Integrating chat apps or channels on visitor management systems can prove to be very helpful in recording quick staff response.

Printing Badges

In case your business has decided to incorporate badges into its premises, you will need to have a visitor management system capable of printing badges based on visitor or employee data.

You will have to make sure that your staff is trained in printing badges based on visitor type, and operating the printing machine which is usually linked to the visitor management system directly.

We have now added the heart to the visitor management system. All that is left is to put the skin on. Let’s do exactly that.

Testing and Reviewing for Usability and Branding

Now that you’ve built the body for your visitor management solution, it is time to put it to use by testing it for its usability. Identify any new types of visitors by creating visitor personas to make the procedures easier for the visitors. Review the visitor data and identify any shortcomings in your visitor management. Monitor how visitors are using your visitor management system and identify any areas where you can simplify the processes.

Here are a couple of elements that you can incorporate into your visitor management system to make things smooth for visitors:

  • Simple and Convenient Screens that are button-based can significantly ease the usability of the software for the visitors. Buttons for each option makes things clear and simple for the visitors.
  • Implementing automated workflows can help the visitors in identifying their own type and significantly reduces the chance of misidentification of visitors from front desk workers or other employees.
  • Creating shortcuts for recurring visitors where they don’t have to fill out everything again can also prove to be an attractive feature that makes the recurring visitors satisfied.

Voila! We have built a complete and modernized visitor management solution for your company. You now have a proper understanding of what steps to take, what models to implement, and what tools to use.

Are you ready to put it all together now?

Check out piLOBI and Learn all you need to know about creating comprehensively detailed visitor management systems, and how you can implement them into your operations to streamline your organizations’ capacity to handle visitors properly.