Figuring out the best visitor management practices for your organisation can be challenging if you don’t know what to improve. How can you make a great first impression on visitors? What are the best practices to improve the visitor management process? When looking to improve the visitor management process, you should consider the following questions:
- How do you recognise visitors coming to your building?
- How do you greet the visitors professionally?
- How do you ensure the safety of the people in your buildings?
- How do you help communication between visitors, host and Front of House?
- How much time is wasted waiting for meetings to start, or trying to find the meeting room?
In this blog, we will cover the 5 best practices that help improve your visitor management, and how you can implement these at your reception to create a branded experience and make the whole process easy and efficient.
The Fundamentals of Visitor Management Best Practices
Your reception area is not only about managing visitors but also about meeting the needs of your workspace. You want a simple, centralised, and intuitive solution in place that accommodates visitors’ needs and makes your staff enjoy their jobs more.
Effective visitor management aims to reflect the positive values of the business by making visitors feel safe and providing a positive experience throughout their visit: when visitors are well informed and taken care of, it lets them know that the business truly cares about people and their safety. So, how can your visitor management be improved to achieve this?
How can Visitor Management be Improved?
No universal solution optimises every procedure, but some tools can certainly make a bigger impact.
1. Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation
The foundation for exceptional visitor management is put in place long before your visitor has even entered the building.
How do you recognise visitors when they come to your business?
A typical office setting will usually allow hosts to book their meetings and choose a meeting room that suits their needs. The facilities manager is, therefore, left to rely on the hosts to let them know when they have a visitor coming. It only takes one moment of forgetfulness or one afternoon of being too busy to create a domino effect in the visitor management process, when the receptionist hasn’t been properly informed.
This means that:
- Reception isn’t prepared for a visitor’s arrival.
- Your visitor needs to queue to speak with the reception.
- They then need to wait for security to print out a badge or a pass.
- Reception tries to contact the host, but they’re waiting in the meeting room with no access to their emails or phone.
- Reception doesn’t know where the meeting is taking place, so your visitor is lost.
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, you could lose a crucial sale, based on something entirely preventable.
How to improve
Efficient background operation is essential to a first-class visitor experience: the most effective way to do this is to invest in software that registers visitors prior to their arrival, while integrating 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 instead have a seamless experience, all autonomously organised, leaving your reception staff to provide tailored and personal customer service.
2. Create a branded experience: A warm welcome
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, career pages, media centre, and maybe even job posts before visiting.
You can give a great first impression with a personalised, branded invite to your visitors and show them who they’re about to visit.
The ultimate goal that you want to achieve is for your visitor to feel fully comfortable with the company they’re visiting. They should know where to go, what procedures to follow when they arrive, and whom to contact if they have any problems.
How to improve:
- Send a personalised invite to your visitors.
- Provide important information before the meeting.
- Ask your visitors to agree to important documents before their arrival.
- Ensure your visitors are comfortable with their upcoming visit.
You can either set up a workflow that automatically sends out a personal greeting to your guests, or use visitor management software that automatically sends out branded invitations once a meeting is scheduled. This branded invitation enables a touchless check-in, and shows details of your meeting, plus directions to your office, making the visiting process smooth from the beginning.
3. Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express check-in
The best visitor management is intuitive and easy to use. You want to avoid wasting people’s time, and you want to keep visitors safe. How do you plan to manage fluctuating traffic at your reception? What are the best practices to minimize potential health risks at your building?
When a visitor arrives at your building, will they have to:
- Wait in a queue?
- Approach the reception desk to speak with the receptionist?
- Sign their name in a physical visitor book?
- Interact with a member of the facilities to gain a security pass?
Not only can the manual check-in process be tedious, but in light of the recent pandemic, it also seems like an unnecessary health risk. All of these touchpoints create unnecessary risks and frustration for your staff and visitors that can easily be resolved with an effective visitor management system.
How to improve
- Allow pre-registration before arrival.
- Introduce self-check-in functionality with digital reception.
- Implement health questionnaires upon arrival.
- 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 can take your visitor’s temperatures, allowing your Front of House staff to stay behind the scenes and focus on other tasks.
4. Contact the host
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? Impractical communication is not good visitor management practice and something we want to avoid.
Communication between the visitor, host and reception is integral to first-class visitor management. Without it, your Front of House operation is manual, reactive and hardly intuitive.
How to improve: Automatic client arrival notification system
The best practice for your visitor management process can include automatically notifying hosts when a visitor arrives. This 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 check-out.
- Communicate delays; if your visitor is running late, they need a way to notify the host using the contact details supplied during pre-registration.
- Notify facilities managers of no-shows, further enhancing security in your building.
A smart solution for these issues is the client arrival function that Vgreet virtual reception software has. Once a visitor checks in, their host is notified through Slack, email, or text.
This method allows the reception teams to focus on other tasks than the admission process. It places the responsibility of the visitor in the hands of the host and facilitates clear and easy communication.
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:
- 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 twiddling their thumbs while waiting for latecomers.
- 34% spend up to ten minutes adjusting room temperatures before they get started.
Reference: HR news
Does your visitor management process contribute to these numbers? How much money are you wasting? If your visitors aren’t given clear directions, 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.
After checking in, Vgreet virtual reception displays an indoor wayfinding map and can email the route 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 best practices for visitor management in your workplace, your visitor experience will be hassle-free, intelligent, intuitive and feel revolutionised.
More and more workplaces are reengineering visitor management and implementing a suitable visitor management solution that talks to each department: get ahead of the curve and find a VMS that suits your business.
The 5 best practices to improve the visitor management process are:
- Implement a visitor management system to support Front of House: Efficient background operation
- Create a branded experience: A warm welcome
- Choose a user-friendly system for visitors: Express Touchless check-in
- Contact the host
- Ensure visitors find the meeting room smoothly
Save money, decongest your reception, keep your staff safe and be efficient.
- The Ultimate Guide – What is a visitor management system and how can it benefit my business?
- 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