Every workplace wants to provide an optimal experience for each of its guests.
Whether you work at a small office that's hosting someone from corporate for the day or you're part of a large firm welcoming big shots from a potential client, creating that ideal guest experience is key to a successful visit.
It's important, though, to be realistic: people are busy.
Many organizations don't even have the luxury of having a staffed front desk, let alone having a dedicated, concierge-esque staff member whose job is to ensure a smooth visit for every guest.
For most organizations, this is where Visitor Management comes into play: it's a tool that can be used to ensure that every visitor to your facility has a great experience.
But for a number of reasons, organizations brush off the idea of Visitor Management. Common excuses include:
- "Our building is already safe."
- "We don't have enough guests."
- "Ah, we just don't need it."
The irony, of course, is that many of the organizations making these excuses suffer from the very problems a good Visitor Management system can solve.
Visitor Management identifies and addresses pain points for guests at your site
If you think your organization doesn't need Visitor Management, review the common problems below. If any of them sound familiar, it might be time to reconsider your stance and get closer to providing that perfect guest experience.
1. Guests get lost trying to find your facility
Think about the last time you had to go to a "first visit" somewhere, whether it was at a new doctor's office or to a office park for a job interview.
Remember the anxiety? Everyone has experienced the rush of questions: "Is this the right parking lot? Am I at the right building? How do I get inside? What do I need to tell the security guard?"
For many people, the anxiety that comes with a visit to an unknown site clouds the benefits of the visit itself. It makes sense: if you're too worried about getting to a place successfully, you're not likely to be well-prepared or on your "A" game.
Having guests get lost trying to find your facility should set off alarm bells.
If this happens to you, it's because your visitor procedures are too confusing! You either didn't give your guest enough information, skipped a step or made too many assumptions for your guest to follow.
It's not your fault; after all, you show up at the same office day after day. Knowing to use the right elevator, not the left, is like second nature to you by now.
However, with a good Visitor Management program, you can set up alerts, like texts and email, to provide your guests with all of the information they need for a productive visit.
These messages can be customized to suit your needs. Messages can include information like where to park, where to stop for a coffee if a guest arrives early, any instructions on which doorway to use and even a photo of the employee your guest is visiting.
All of the detail helps put your guests' anxious minds at ease, leading to more productive visits.
Having guests get lost trying to visit you isn't just unprofessional. It's dangerous to have guests wandering around unfamiliar territory.
A good Visitor Management system will help ensure they always find their way.
2. Guests are forced to sit around and wait for a host to arrive
The problem above addressed what happens when your guests are anxious or uninformed prior to their visit, but what happens when it's your own employees who aren't ready for their guests?
It's understandable: the work day can get busy, and employees can lose track of time.
However, the last thing you want is a guest sitting around waiting for the host to come out. If you don't have Visitor Management and your employee forgets Tom from Acme USA is coming at 2 PM, that's exactly what can happen.
Leaving your guests alone in the lobby is unprofessional, and is no way to conduct business. Visitor Management can eliminate the "lonely guest effect" by sending automated alerts to your employee when his or her guest has arrived.
When a guest arrives at your site and signs in, whether at a kiosk or with a receptionist, you can use a Visitor Management system to automatically send an email or text message to that guest's host.
These real-time alerts help ensure that there won't be nearly as much of a delay between the time a guest arrives and the time he or she is greeted by the host, creating a more professional experience for all.
3. "Is that visitor from Company X still here?"
Even sites with good guest sign-in programs often encounter the same issue: figuring out if guests are still on-site.
The issue arises because many organizations (rightly) focus on getting guests in the door successfully, letting other concerns, like ensuring the guest leaves when he or she is supposed to leave, slip by without being addressed.
Consider the following scenario: a potential business partner is visiting your site to pitch a new product that he or she wants to bring to market with your help.
A little while later, you and a few other employees are standing in the hallway casually discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the partnership, only to then see the guest walk by.
As it turns out, the guest had been in the office the entire time packing up equipment and checking email. The guest heard the entire conversation.
Such scenarios aren't uncommon, and while they won't all have serious consequences like the scenario described above, they're always uncomfortable and unprofessional.
Visitor Management helps eliminate those problems by encouraging sites to institute specific sign-out procedures, not just sign-in procedures.
By requiring guests to sign out, it's easy to tell if a guest remains on-site: simply go in the administrator area of your system and look for the guest's record.
If the guest is signed out, discuss away! If the guest remains signed in, a little discretion is warranted.
By using a Visitor Management installation to put strict sign-in/sign-out procedures in place, you maintain more control over your site and help lessen the likelihood of those awkward run-ins.
Visitor Management solutions come in all shapes and sizes, including expiring visitor badges, web-based systems, log books and more. The first step toward getting the right system is identifying your needs. Contact a member of our Visitor Management team for a free consultation. We'll discuss your site, identify issues and suggest fixes — all with no obligation.