woman checking watch waiting for visitor

5 signs your visitor management process isn’t working


5 minutes read time

August 10, 2016

Do your visitors seem calm, stressed, or confused in your lobby? Do you use 1 step or 5 steps to let staff know their visitor has arrived? Can you send alerts to your visitors when they are in the building, such as during an evacuation? Put simply, is your visitor management process delivering the basics in safety for the people you are responsible for? Here are 5 signs you need to update your visitor management process:

  1. Your visitors always seem on edge

Do you ever get visitors walking through your door flustered (and running late)? Do you hear comments like, “It took me ages to find your office,” or “sorry I’m late, I couldn’t find a park and the traffic was really bad”? Prevent comments like these and keep your visitors happy by giving them as many details as you can upfront. Send them some information before they even get there. Send them a map with your address, give them parking tips, and tell them about the best cafe on your street. If there’s often bad traffic, warn your visitors about it and tell them the best shortcut. You can’t make sure someone isn’t late but you can make sure your visitors have the details that will make their visit easier.

  1. People get confused by your reception area

Is arriving at your lobby or foyer an awkward experience for a visitor? If it’s hard for your visitors to work out what to do when they walk in, who to speak to, and where to go from there, you have a problem. We all know what it feels like to visit somewhere for the first time and have no idea what to do or where to go. Make your visitor’s experiences the most straight-forward it can be by installing a front-of-house sign-in kiosk. Put your company’s branding on the kiosk and have a clearly displayed sign-in, sign-out button, then mention your kiosk in the email you send pre-visit. A sign-in kiosk can go a long way to making your visitors feel comfortable. Use it to ask who they are there to see and why, then brief them on your health and safety policy and tell them where the bathroom is. If done right, there won’t be any more visitors wandering around wondering what to do, they will have all the information they need at their fingertips.

  1. Employees don’t know their guests have arrived

How do you let a staff member know when his or her visitor has arrived? Do you have to run around the office looking for Jim to tell him his 10am appointment is here? Your time is too precious and Running a reception is busy enough without having to track down employees every 5 minutes. A study by WhosOnLocation across 100 reception areas around the world showed it took receptionists on average, 1 minute and 8 seconds to track down a host of a visitor using a paper visitor register or book. Automatically send a text message to a host when they sign-in. Send an email too if you want. Copies could be sent to Jim’s assistant or your security guard, you can decide who should know when someone signs in.

  1. There’s no way to send alerts to your visitors

If your parking lot was flooding would you know who’s parked there? Could you quickly send a message to everyone to let them know? Keep your stress levels as low as possible (as low as they can be when you have a building full of people and a flood on your hands) and easily update your visitors with a notification (email or txt) sent from your visitor management software. If your current system doesn’t let you alert everyone to these types of incidents (like a parking lot underwater), it’s not the right one. The best visitor management systems tell you who’s on site and contact who you need when you need to.

  1. Emergency evacuations are a disaster

Are drills or evacuation events seamless or a shambles at your organization? Do you know exactly who was on-site when you exited the building and can you tell who’s missing from the crowd outside? If you can’t say with certainty who’s on-site in real-time and if you don’t have a way to check that everyone is ok, your evacuation management system needs updating. You could try using an evacuation app that links up to your sign-in kiosk and visitor management software. Get your sign-in kiosk to send a list of employees, contractors and visitors on-site to your app and quickly do a roll-call from your mobile device. If someone isn’t present, send them a message to ask if they are safe. Then get more details if they aren’t. Knowing everyone, including visitors, is safe and accounted for during an emergency evacuation is what a good visitor management solution is all about.

Managing your visitors effectively doesn’t have to be hard work to implement and maintain. Update your system with one that works best for your organization. Make life easier for yourself and your visitors and while you’re at it, make your business a safer place to be. Have an obvious, easy to use and effective sign-in process. Send your visitors all the information they need to know pre-visit and let hosts (or their assistants) know when their visitors have arrived. And, if there’s an emergency, make sure everyone is safe and accounted for. Introduce visitor management software that actually works and your visitors will love you for it.