Let’s do a thought experiment. Think of all the companies you have visited in your career. Visualize the kinds of experiences you have had when you walk into the building. Did you feel welcomed? Was there a receptionist there to greet you? How often were you in a position of waiting while the receptionist was multitasking? Now visualize yourself as a visitor to your own company. Imagine being a customer, client, panelist, delivery person, temporary worker, or consultant. You walk in the front door. What happens next? Is your company delivering the ideal check-in experience?
The reception area is the gateway where first impressions are made. It is the point of entry where access is controlled and traffic directed. In other words, a well-managed visitor experience should be of vital concern for a lot of reasons.
Visitor management is a technological solution that systematizes the tracking of every person coming into your company. In the old days, visitor management would be managed by means of a receptionist and simple sign-in sheet at the front desk. Maybe those sign-ins would wind up being tracked in a manually edited spreadsheet. These old school methods aren’t very efficient, however. It is hard to search the back logs, and assigning a front desk receptionist to be there for any visitors who may show up could be inefficient in a couple of ways. The receptionist might not be busy enough (too much downtime), or too preoccupied with other tasks that pull them away from the frontline duty of reception. Visitor management presents a more robust, consistent, and professional process for greeting visitors.
Tablet computers such as the iPad were the enabling technology that allowed visitor management systems to take off around 2013. Every year has seen increasing functionality. A visitor management system goes way beyond traditional sign-in functions. It can log visitors, make photo ID badges, handle NDA signatures, accept deliveries from couriers, send notifications when an expected visitor arrives, and permit employees to communicate with visitors.
Key benefits and advantages of visitor management
- Better point of entry experience. Visitors feel more welcomed, better oriented, and safer.
- Less haphazard, more professional and consistent.
- Easier to track visitors for auditing and reporting purposes.
- Affords more flexibility and productivity for front desk personnel.
- Gives a “better look” to your company’s brand image.
Analyzing the need for better visitor management
We can break down the visitor experience and see how your current processes measure up against a digital visitor management experience. Ask yourself these questions:
When a visitor arrives, how long does it take to greet them?
Is the credentialing process handled in a consistent way? How easy is it to create visitor badges? Are the credentials customizable and clear?
Could the handling of legal requirements such as NDA’s be better handled? Are NDA signatures maintained in a secure fashion?
When a courier arrives, how long does it take to accept and record receipt of deliveries?
How practical and efficient is it to audit and track visitor logs?
Are site safety requirements accessible for visitors, especially contractors?
How efficiently are company personnel notified of visitor arrivals? Would visitors have a better experience if they had the opportunity to perform check-in at a self-serve kiosk?
For all of the questions above, visitor management systems usually offer better answers. They can save time, increase flexibility, and enhance security and privacy, not to mention giving your company a “better look”.
Safe and Secure. Visitor management systems can provide improved access control too. They help to secure the facility from unwelcome intrusions, protect visitor and company privacy, and ensure regulatory compliance. Visitors can be matched against watch lists to keep criminals and black listed persons from gaining access. The system can also keep visitors and employees notified about evacuation plans and emergency notifications.
The most popular features of visitor management systems
- Customizable check-in
- Automated notifications
- Two-way digital communication between employees and visitors
- Streamlined legal and NDA agreements
- Searchable and trackable visitor logs
- Badge printing to enhance security
Marketing Systems Group recognizes the importance of visitor management, and we are excited to introduce you to our latest enhancement to the ARCS platform. It is called Olà powered by ARCS.
Now you can get the key features companies seek in a visitor management solution without having to maintain a separate system. The visitor management piece is integrated with the ARCS platform.
Olà supports customized branding, self-serve kiosk sign-ins, visitor badging with personalized data, NDA signatures at point of sign-in, tracking of arrivals, cancellations, and no shows. Quotas can be monitored in real time. A dashboard feature allows you to view visitor activity and access evacuation lists in case of emergency. Visitor logging is of course built-in, and it can include visitor demographics, contact information, and activity charts. Visitor activity can be accessed remotely 24/7 from mobile devices and web browsers through a centralized web-based management system.