Research shows that organisations are adopting technologies to quickly adapt to workplace changes. The Covid-19 pandemic has a lot to do with why businesses are making these decisions – as we were all thrust into a new way of working when restrictions were put in place.
With marketing offerings on visitor books, iPads and kiosks, how do businesses choose the most suitable visitor sign-in system for their reception needs? In today’s blog, we cover the following topics:
- An introduction to visitor sign in systems: Visitor Signing in books, Electronic visitor management system, app, and iPad.
- Which visitor sign in software for my reception should I choose?
- What do I need to know about the next-level digital visitor sign-in system?
- Download our customer case study: The Visitor Sign In Experience at the Shard by Mitie
- More resources about reception sign in systems
Workplace experience matters
Previously, we summarised the trends of the smart workplace under the drive of technology and the new hybrid working model. Microsoft states that 66 % of business decision-makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate a hybrid work environment and improve the overall experience for people.
In our blog, A Successful Workplace Ecosystem: People, Tech, Collaboration, we discuss how a workplace ecosystem can help to provide a better experience for employees as well as create a positive workplace culture. We state that there are 3 steps to creating a successful workplace ecosystem:
- Prioritising people & investing in employees
- Creating immersive workplace environments
- Eliminating workplace challenges
These steps all involve connecting people with the right technology so that they have the tools to do their job efficiently and enjoyably.
This is something to consider when going through the process of choosing the right solution for your reception area – experience and efficiency should be at the forefront of your expectations and not only for visitors but also for your employees.
The Current market offerings of visitor sign-in systems
With the technology evolving, paper and pen have been gradually replaced by 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 are likely to be aware that paper sign in books brings intangible risks to your business. There are four risks you might have put your organisation at if you are using this method for visitor signing-in: visitor books could be stolen, they are not GDPR-friendly, and the check-in process wastes a lot of your receptionist’s time on multiple manual tasks.
Companies ahead of the curve have been undergoing a digitisation process to create a paperless office that is more sustainable, reduce costs, create a more secure workplace and reclaim some of their storage space in their offices.
2. Electronic visitor sign-in system
An electronic visitor management system is a digital version of visitor sign in books. Visitors or receptionists key the necessary details into the system in order to start the check-in process. In some cases, visitors need to provide their names to the receptionist upon their arrival and the receptionist will then enter their details into the computer. Visitors will be given printed visitor badges. On their way out, they’ll need to return the visitor badge and the receptionist will sign them out in the electronic visitor management system.
This is how a congested reception occurs with visitors waiting in a long queue to sign in and out. Reception staff will struggle to see to 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 your receptionists still need to process the tedious manual tasks, while your visitors wait around to be seen.
3. 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 from an app.
It is a handy option with the proliferation of smartphones. It’s as simple as downloading the apps of reception sign-in software from App Store. A QR code generated in a visitor management app enables visitors to sign in contactless.
3. iPad visitor sign in
When it comes to choosing the hardware for your visitor sign-in software, iPads could be a common option for organisations to sign visitors in.
Should I use a visitor management app or iPad for visitor sign-in? Visipoint’s blog has written some valuable points: App or iPad visitor sign-in is lacking in customer service, and the durability concerns are that their iOS updates only have 3-4 software supports.
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:
- Software: Desk booking software, Microsoft Office 365
- Hardware: visitor access control systems.
- An end-to-end visitor experience: 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?
The problems extend further than what has been discussed above. We looked at these reception signs in software/systems
- Visitor sign in software only
- iPad/app variants
- Software vendors that started in something else and strayed into the visitor management
- Kiosks that were not integrated
Without listing them all, it’s easy to find open-source visitor sign-in software. However, 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 building’s 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.
- Same to using a visitor sign-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.
- They weren’t customisable, either from a module point of view, adding elements/modules.
By adopting two fundamental approaches, you could tackle all of those shortcomings,
- Own the whole journey
- Integrate with partners, that were best in class, and that had the ability to scale and stay at the forefront of their respective fields.
Digital Visitor Sign In
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’ points of view.
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 ensures people are not late for their meetings. They take care of the entire visitor journey from receiving the meeting invite before arriving at the building, to the touchless sign-in process.
Vgreet: The Visitor Sign In Kiosk
Vgreet virtual reception is a self-service kiosk that is designed to be fully customisable and impress visitors with its innovative technology. It is a centralised platform that connects siloed systems, facilitating booking resources, checking in visitors and employees, handling deliveries, and more – all on one visitor sign-in kiosk.
- Send your visitors a branded invite with host details, Google Maps 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
- Contactless sign-in with facial recognition, temperature check, motion sensors and voice activation to assist with creating a more safe return to the office
- Pre-register your visitors, saving receptionist time spent on signing them in
- On-demand virtual receptionists to help visitors with queries
- Live traffic information, updated train service information and taxi service booking to suit the needs of the commuter
- Customisable journies and workflows
A simple summary to improve your visitor’s sign in experience
- Consider the efficiency and safety benefits of a visitor sign-in system to choose the most suitable option. If you use an electronic visitor management system, you must reduce the reception’s manual tasks.
- An open-source system or free app is not making your workplace more efficient, productive, or safer. With a fast Return On Investment, start considering an effective digital visitor sign-in solution for your workplace.
- Replace the visitor book
- The reception area has many potentials to be improved, not just managing the visitors, but also improving the overall brand reputation and employee retainment.
- 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 simply cannot do.
- The ultimate guide to reception sign in systems
- Calculate the ROI
- Are self-service kiosks substituting or supplementing receptionists?