The WhosOnLocation Blog

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The new Help Center – the answers you need, when you need them

2 minutes read time

As Leonardo da Vinci said “Learning never exhausts the mind,” and our Help Center is no exception to this. Learning is an essential part of our lives, improving the brain’s overall cognitive functions, including memory, concentration, attention to detail, and problem-solving.

The Help Center offers an excellent place for you to start your education on the WhosOnLocation features and how they integrate, empowering you and your organization to gain the most from your subscription. As you enter the Help Center, not only are you able to answer all your questions, but additionally, you are exposed to the new features of the products enabling you as a user to improve your understanding of WhosOnLocation.

The new and improved Help Center

Our new Help Center is available right now – jump into the Help Center and check out the simplified design, faster search and refined structure yourself. It can also be accessed through the WhosOnLocation app, WolMobile, and the Contractor Portal, ensuring all users can benefit from the resources available.  And if you don’t find what you are looking for or want to know more, just reach out using the “Contact support” button at the top of each article.

Help Center or Customer support?

Our Help Center provides the quickest response to all your queries. Just start typing your question and you’ll see search suggestions and popular answers appearing below. Articles within our Help Center also aim to be as comprehensive as possible, providing in-depth step-by-step guides in each article.

How can the Help Center help you?

The Help Center provides support to your organization to ensure every member stays across any product improvements or advancements through the new ‘Product Updates’ page. 

Additionally, the Help Center offers over 500 articles covering our features, everyday tasks you may need help with, and common troubleshooting tips for ease of use. Our step-by-step structure which includes screenshots ensures the process is as easy and simple to follow along as possible. Whether you’re a location administrator, have contractors accessing the portal, or an employee of your organization registering visitors, we have articles tailored for your experience.

Read more.

4 minutes read time

Safety trends in the construction industry

In November of last year, our sales executive James attended Facilities Integrate in Auckland, New Zealand. He had some interesting conversations with facilities managers – see this blog here – but he also caught up with those attending Build NZ to hear about construction safety trends. 

Construction safety trends

James, can you tell us a little more about the event? 

Sure. Our stand was at Facilities Integrate, but we neighboured the Build NZ show. Build NZ is the leading trade event for the build, construction and design industries. Both Build NZ and Facilities Integrate provide a great opportunity to network with peers in the same industry, try out the latest equipment and technologies and source the best suppliers. 

It was great to attend a non-virtual event and catch up with new and prospective customers in person! Especially after such a turbulent year. 

Did you notice any construction safety trends? 

There were a number of construction safety trends. First off, similar to the facilities managers I spoke to, there seems to be a real need for a flexible sign-in solution. I also had plenty of conversations around contractor management, and in particular, using software to strengthen safety processes. 

Could you tell us a little more about your conversations on a flexible sign-in solution? 

In the construction industry, one organization is likely to have a number of sites, all with different needs and requirements. Some sites might have great wifi, while others only have cell signal. Some could be outdoors and remote, while others are in high traffic areas. From my conversations at the event, customers need multiple ways to sign in across these locations. Sometimes, they even need multiple processes at one site. 

How can WhosOnLocation help with that? 

WhosOnLocation has 12 different ways to sign in – so there’s an option for every organization and every employee/contractor. From a smartphone app to a PC.

Which sign in methods are the most popular for construction sites? 

Our WolMobile app was built with construction sites in mind and is great for outdoor sites. Both employees and contractors can download this app to easily sign in and out, and view important site safety information. Using geofencing technology, you can even set the app to automatically sign everyone in and out. So there’s no longer a need to track down those who forgot to sign out.

Alternatively, a kiosk that includes a scanner is also a popular choice. Our customers often issue employees and contractors with access cards that can be scanned at the kiosk for quick and easy sign in. With WhosOnlocation, anything with a barcode can be used for this – loyalty cards, driving licenses, etc, for quick and easy implementation. 

You also mentioned software for safety came up a lot, can WolMobile help with that? 

Absolutely. For remote or hazardous work, employees and contractors can enable geolocation services within the app. This helps responders to locate them in an emergency. 

To make this feature even more powerful, we also offer an SOS alert function. This sends an instant alert to a designated safety contact within the organization. The alert includes contact details and the whereabouts of the individual who raised the alarm. 

Customers can also broadcast safety updates via instant messages. They can even ask employees and contractors to acknowledge safety notices before they sign into a location. 

You mentioned that contractor management was one of the key construction safety trends. Are there any other features besides WolMobile that can help with this? 

One of the construction security trends is around keeping contractors safe. The WhosOnLocation application boasts a whole range of contractor features. The most notable is our service provider portal. This is a game-changer for many customers. It allows contractor organizations to upload and maintain their own documentation, cutting down on serious admin time. 

Insurances, qualifications and inductions can all be uploaded to the portal. Customers can then enable alerts to remind them (and the contractor in question) if any of their documentation is expiring or up for renewal. 

To make these features even more powerful, customers can also configure their account to deny site access to anyone with expired or incomplete documentation. An alert is then sent to the relevant person to notify that a contractor has attempted to enter a site without the correct insurances/qualifications/inductions. 

New to WhosOnLocation? 

All features mentioned are available in a single subscription cost. Start your free trial today – no credit card required. 

4 minutes read time

Learnings from Facilities Integrate

Just before the Christmas break, our sales executive James attended Facilities Integrate in Auckland, New Zealand. With most trade shows across the world canceled or postponed in 2020, we felt incredibly lucky to have an opportunity to attend a non-virtual event.

It was fantastic to meet with customers (both existing and prospective) in person, and catch up on the impact such a turbulent year has had on your businesses. 

We noticed a few common themes in the conversations we were having with attendees. In the midst of a pandemic, processes have had to change. We caught up with James to hear what his key takeaways from the event were.

Facilities Integrate

James, first off, can you tell us a little more about Facilities Integrate?

Facilities Integrate is a trade event specifically for facilities managers. It’s a great opportunity to network with peers in the same industry, try out the latest equipment and technologies, source the best suppliers and generally keep on top of what’s happening in the facilities space. I feel very lucky to have been able to talk to our customers in person again!

I’ll bet. When talking to the attendees, what did you notice was the biggest challenge facing facilities managers during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Contact tracing came up a lot. More specifically, facilities managers were looking for flexible solutions to make signing in as easy as possible for everyone. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our customers understood the importance of signing in visitors. However, it was generally the high security or hazardous sites that were concerned with signing in employees and contractors, too. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s all changed. 

Now, every workplace has a responsibility to protect the health of those working in its duty of care. One of the most crucial ways to do this is through contact tracing. This means signing everyone in each day is more important than ever. Lots of the facilities managers were looking for easy ways to turn signing in and out into a habit for employees. 

How can WhosOnLocation help with that? 

WhosOnLocation offers an incredibly flexible platform with 12 different ways to sign in – so there’s something for every workplace, and every employee. We often find our customers will use a few different methods at one site, to make it as easy as possible for employees to remember to sign in. 

Which methods are the most popular?

Some employees prefer to download the WolMobile app on their smartphone and use the auto sign in/out feature. This is the most foolproof way of ensuring everyone on-site is accounted for. It uses geofencing technology to update on-site status. Employees and contractors don’t even need to lift a finger.

Others might prefer to sign in using a touch screen kiosk in reception. Or scan a card to sign in with one simple step. Or even just provide their name to the front of house staff. 

Offering a variety of methods makes it easier to sign everyone in. So you can be safe in the knowledge your contact tracing processes are as robust as possible. 

Is there a method that’s preferred by customers? 

The kiosk (using an iPad or tablet) is the most common way to sign in. This is especially the case now we have released our touchless kiosk feature. By setting your kiosk to touchless mode, you can now present a QR code on the screen. Guests scan the code to sign in from their own smartphone. 

Employees, contractors and visitors simply scan the code to see the entire kiosk experience replicated in their browser. It’s been a game-changer during COVID, as customers looked for a more hygienic, hands-free alternative to the sign-in kiosk. 

Did QR code posters come up in conversation at the event at all? 

Great question – it was really exciting to demo QR code posters for the first time at the event. These posters are an easy, low-cost way to deploy WhosOnLocation, as no expensive kiosk hardware is required.  

They’re also a great way to make your sign-in process more robust. If you have multiple doors, you can use posters at each access point. This helps to capture any employees or contractors who use side entrances to enter or leave.

New to WhosOnLocation? 

All features mentioned are available in a single subscription cost. Start your free trial today – no credit card required. 

3 minutes read time

New WhosOnLocation Website

We are very proud to announce the launch of our redesigned WhosOnLocation website.  

Considering the lifespan of a website is 2 years 7 months on average – it was certainly time to rethink, and refresh.

How we decided it was time to refresh

We started with taking an inward look and asked ourselves if: 

  1. Our messaging had evolved (by gosh it had).
  2. Had our content strategy changed (yes, got to keep evolving).
  3. Had the industry evolved (sure has and gosh it’s exciting).
  4. Were we keeping up with design trends (did someone say dark ages?).
  5. Was the site mobile responsive and did it look great on these devices (it certainly didn’t).

It was a resounding yes from the whole team to redesign the site!

Our path to a new site

We followed a simple 7 step process (design might challenge me on the use of the word “simple”). 

  1. User testing. Before we even started talking about design we user-tested our old site. Deep diving into where customers and prospects struggled, what they loved, and what they thought we could do better. 
  2. Wireframes. The feedback from the user testing informed our design and our first set of wireframes. 
  3. Internal testing. We shared the wireframes with our internal team to rip apart, challenge our thinking and offer new suggestions. 
  4. Revision, revision, revision. Using the feedback from our internal testing we did several rounds of revision until we had our slick new design. 
  5. External testing. We invited a group of external testers to review the new site. Asking them to tell us what they didn’t understand, what was awesome, and where we could make improvements. 
  6. Deep in the code. Our design team got deep into the code. Building the new site. Normally a chatty bunch, we had months of barely a peep out of them. (Don’t worry they are back to their normal selves:)). 
  7. With the help of our DevOps team, we pushed the site live! 

What we’ve learned 

As with any project, it’s great to look back and see what we have learned to take to our next website refresh. Learnings are gold. 

  • As much as you plan, unexpected challenges will crop up, and deadlines will be pushed.
  • What seems like a simple design, generally isn’t. 
  • Things take way longer than anticipated.
  • Keeping the current site and building a new one internally at the same time is challenging.
  • Design and development don’t always match. 

Take a look and tell us what you think

We hope you love the new site as much as we do. As always we welcome your feedback, if you have feedback to share good or bad please click here

3 minutes read time

G2 reviews – WhosOnLocation named High Performer

Based on G2 reviews, the site has named WhosOnLocation as a High Performer for Winter 2021. It’s official: our users love the application. Not to toot our own horns too much, but we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the features and areas that left our customers so happy last year. 

What is G2? 

G2 is the world’s largest tech marketplace, with well over a million software reviews from real users. G2 releases detailed reports at the end of each season, announcing the top performers of each category on the site. These reports are based on reviews.

G2 WhosOnLocation reviews

WhosOnLocation was named a high performer for Winter 2021. This means we have high customer satisfaction scores compared to many other visitor management systems. Scores are calculated based on customer reviews. In each review, customers leave comments on what they loved about the product. They also detail how the software has helped them overcome specific problems.  

What do our customers say about us?

G2 WhosOnLocation reviews

There are a few stand-out themes in the feedback we receive from our customers.

Safety features

WhosOnLocation goes beyond visitor management, with some surprising safety benefits for employees and contractors. One G2 reviewer said our releases included “Some of the best safety enhancements I’ve ever seen”

Our two mobile apps, WolEvac and WolMobile, are stand-out features. The geofencing technology used by WolMobile automatically signs employees and contractors in as they arrive for work and signs them out again as they leave. This means our customers’ people presence reports are as accurate as possible, and should a workplace be evacuated in an emergency, first responders know exactly who’s on-site. 

Excellent customer service

Customers consistently list our customer service levels as one of the reasons they love WhosOnLocation. In a recent case study, a customer from Beckman Coulter in the US said “I’m a customer service nut, and the service from WhosOnLocation is always phenomenal.”

Our friendly team is on-hand 24/7, and often responds within the hour. 

Improved communication

For larger businesses with a number of contractors, WhosOnLocation is perfect for improving communication. Using WolMobile, you can ensure everyone on-site is provided with the safety information they need. 

Use the home screen to display important safety info in-app as employees and contractors sign in. You can also ask everyone on-site to acknowledge important safety information as they arrive. If conditions change, you can even broadcast updates as a push notification.

New to WhosOnLocation? 

Keen to try our people presence software? All features mentioned are included in one subscription price – and you can trial them all for free for 30 days. Get started here

4 minutes read time

9/11 and Pandemic. What can we learn?

Guest post from Lee Odess

I found myself in a conversation last week with a group of security consultants, and we were discussing: What technology and learnings can we glean on the impact of COVID-19 on the commercial/office real estate and technology market by looking at what happened after the 9/11 terrorist attacks? What stuck and went away?

It was fascinating.

Here are some of the increased security practices and products they said stuck:

    • The use of metal detectors
    • Increased physical barriers
    • The check-in process at buildings for meetings went from business cards to using driver licenses or passports as identification.
    • Camera and surveillance technology, such as license plate technology, took off.
    • Aerial drones
    • A higher level of investment into artificial intelligence
    • Biometrics
    • Motion sensors
    • Thermal imaging

All true and most of the examples are technology applications. I found one area the most interesting: government funds propping up the real estate and commercial office industry.

After 9/11, New York City and other densely populated cities saw companies and tenants relocate. For some, it was necessary to rebuild, but in general, the fear of another attack on a densely populated area drove some to leave and move to the suburbs. In some respect, although caused by different events, we see similarities to the behavior now: a horrific event happens, and fear causes people and companies to rethink how and where they work and live.

What we saw the government do after 9/11 is where things get interesting. After 9/11, the local, state, and federal government opened up their checkbooks and started funding improvement projects and construction in those markets to help with the rebuilding. They used attraction and retention grants and subsidy programs to spark and drive construction projects for new commercial office space, restaurants, multifamily housing, and retail.

You can start to imagine the same response happening to counter the impacts of the pandemic.

As more and more companies publicize their moves to work from home, enterprises downsize office space, and individuals migrate to the suburbs, there will be a direct path to local, state, and federal offices. Why? For example, in the United States of America, and there are parallels worldwide, the short answer is that the commercial real estate industry is too vital to the economy and even more important to many who work in politics and around Capitol Hill.

Real estate donates a lot to political candidates and has a depth of lobbyists. There is a long history of this being true.

The #3 industry that mints billionaires? Real Estate.

A large amount of state and local tax revenue comes from corporate taxes and real estate taxes.

They will not allow cities and the economy to be destroyed.

What impacts do I think this will have?

I believe it will impact the retrofit and aftermarket more than new construction. The fit-out and updating of buildings with technology that instills trust and safety will be where the money flows. It will come with a message about “wellness.” The results will be a boom for HVAC (indoor air quality) and Security (access control and visitor management).

Note: Although historically sectors within real estate, like multifamily, rebound quicker coming out of recessions, real estate as a whole responds quickly to significant events. And government subsidies play a big part in why.

I believe that will be the most significant relatable trend from 9/11 that we can apply to how we might see the markets respond as we come out of this pandemic.

Lee Odess is one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable Building Access experts in the world.  He is the Founder of E+L+C, and former executive of Allegion, a billion-dollar manufacturer in the lock and access control industry. He also served as an Executive of Unikey, a start-up that pioneered the IoT/smart lock/smart physical access control industry and began his career as an Executive with the first cloud-based physical access control manufacturer, Brivo.

Currently, Lee is the founder of www.InsideAccessControl.com and www.InsideVisitorManagement.com, a media and blogging platform focused on the physical access control and visitor management industry, and Group337, a Growth Studio focused on business creation in the commercial real estate, proptech, and smart home markets for small to large companies in the security, access control, and IoT industry.

3 minutes read time

5 reasons to migrate to the latest version of WolMobile

Around this time last year we released a brand new, shiny version of WolMobile. Most of our customers have migrated over to WolMobile, but if you haven’t made the switch yet, now’s the time!

How do I know if I’m using the new version? 

If every employee and service provider in your team is using the app with this icon, you’re all set. This is the latest and best version of WolMobile and you don’t need to do anything further –great news!

If you (or some of your employees or service providers) are still using our WolMobile Legacy app with this icon, you’ll need to ensure everyone is migrated by March 31, 2021.

Why should I make the switch? 

Reason 1 – we’re decommissioning WolMobile Legacy

We’ll cut to the chase. The number one reason for migrating to the new version of WolMobile now is to ensure a smooth transition on the cut-off date. We’ll be decommissioning WolMobile Legacy on March 31 2021.

Reason 2 – it’s far more user friendly

Aside from a cleaner interface and added functionality, WolMobile is much easier to use than Legacy. The home screen contains a message board with all the safety information your team needs, and the ability to sign in/out of a location or for remote work with ease.

Reason 3 – auto sign in/out is a game-changer

Our customers often tell us that auto sign in/out is our best release. WolMobile users don’t even need to open the app to sign in and out, as it’s all taken care of using geofencing technology. 

Setting up a geofence is surprisingly easy. Simply use our drag and drop tool to draw a circle around your facility, click save, and you’re done. Now your employees and service providers can help keep your records accurate without lifting a finger. Brilliant!

Reason 4 – take your on-site safety up a notch

There are a number of brilliant safety upgrades to WolMobile. Using the new app, you’ll be able to: 

Reason 5 – health screening questions

Safeguarding the health of employees has never been more important. With the latest version of WolMobile, you can now configure custom questions for employees and service providers to carry out health screening as they come on-site. 

This feature can also be used to reinforce your safety rules. Require all workers on-site to wear PPE? A hard hat? Report to reception before they begin work? You can create any question you need to check-in with employees and service providers, receiving alerts if anyone answers against your policy. 

Ready to get started? 

Migrating to the new WolMobile is easy, and can be done in three simple steps: 

  1. Enable the new app in your account
  2. Configure the settings you’d like to use
  3. Invite your employees and service providers to download the new app

We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to walk you through the process. See you on the other side… 

4 minutes read time

Start the year right – a software update checklist

The start of a new year is a great time to tackle some admin. It’s time to put our minds to all those jobs we’ve been putting off until ‘after Christmas’ and start the year as we mean to go on. One of the job’s on your list is likely to involve updating your IT systems and carrying out a software update – ensuring you have the correct team contact information in your accounts, you’re running on the most updated versions, and your processes are all up-to-date.  

Keep on top of changes

Aside from the usual system and software update, there are a number of other things to check.  If you’ve had members of your team move to new roles or change companies in recent months, it’s likely you’ll have some tidying up to do. Health and safety software relies on up-to-date information to ensure the right people are on hand in an emergency, and your data is correct and ready for auditing. WhosOnLocation is no different.

WhosOnLocation has also released some great new features, and is discontinuing WolMobile Legacy, so now’s a great opportunity to check you’re getting the most out of your subscription. Get started with this handy checklist:

Remove access

Once a team member has switched roles, it’s important to review their system access. We’re all in the habit of closing email addresses and revoking badge passes, but what about the other systems they’ve been using? 

If out of date contact details are listed in your account, important information could be going to the wrong people. Take some time to review who’s listed as an admin or account owner, and ensure your safety processes are foolproof. 

Review your triggers

Similarly, it’s important to review who is listed as a point of contact for the automated processes in your account. Triggers can be used for all sorts of alerts. You can receive a notification if a contractor has an expired safety induction, or if someone signs in against your health policy. Review the contacts you have listed to receive these alerts to ensure your procedures are robust. 

Update to the latest versions

We’re all guilty of putting off a system and software update until the last minute. This can have a real impact on productivity and performance in the long run. 

At WhosOnLocation, we released a much-improved version of WolMobile around this time last year. Check you’re on the latest version to make the most of new and improved safety features. Start your migration and ensure a smooth transition once the old app is turned off. Here are five reasons to migrate today. 

Tidy up your employee profile information

One of our more recent updates gives you a great excuse to revisit the information you store against your employee and contractor profiles in WhosOnLocation. Custom Fields gives you the ability to tailor the information you store, so you can get as specific as you need. Need to record an employee’s eligibility to work? Or log your contractors’ vehicle registrations? Create the fields you need and edit as you go. 

Automatically erase old records

We recently improved our automatic erase feature to include employees and service providers as well as visitors. It’s likely you’ll have a huge amount of sign in/out data stored in your account. Tidy up your records and strengthen your privacy measures by automatically erasing records after a set amount of time.

Move on from Internet Explorer

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft will be ending support for Internet Explorer from August 2020. Microsoft is encouraging all users to move to Microsoft Edge instead. WhosOnLocation will be following suit, so make sure your kiosks are running on a supported browser.

5 minutes read time

2020 wrap-up: the year that didn’t go to plan

2020 has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at all of us. At WhosOnLocation, we count ourselves very lucky to have been in a position to keep business running, with our team working remotely as required. Our main focus has been to help our customers keep their people safe, and that’s led to a lot of new features! In fact, there’s been so much development going on, we caught up with UX designer Karl Weber for our 2020 wrap-up. 

2020 wrap-up

We started the year with some improvements to our geolocation report, with a cleaner design and the ability to view historical records.

In March, we scrapped the rest of our carefully made plans, threw the roadmap out of the window and began reacting to our customer’s needs. 

First, we tackled working remotely, allowing customers to know who was working, even as offices and facilities closed. This was soon followed by hygienic touchless kiosks, QR code posters and the ability to ask custom health screening questions in WolMobile and with the sign-in/out manager. 

We finished the year with custom fields, an integration with Amazon’s Alexa and 8 new languages. Phew!

The highlights

With so many fantastic releases this year, we caught up with our UX designer Karl to uncover his favorites for our 2020 wrap-up.

It’s been a busy year for the dev team – which of the new features do you think is the biggest game-changer?

That’s a tough call – there have been some big changes this year. The new touchless functionality with QR code posters and more widespread custom question support is the most visible and obvious improvement, but I think custom fields has the potential to really shake things up. 

Being able to completely customize employee and service provider profiles with any information makes the whole system much more flexible. From a design standpoint, the drag-and-drop field creation workflow has a lot of potential to improve the rest of the application, too.

Nice – so what led us to develop custom fields?

Customer requests (so many)! Custom fields may seem a relatively niche feature on the surface, but for the customers who need them, it makes a big difference. We had many requests to add specific fields over the years, as well as some large enterprise customers who needed the flexibility of completely custom fields.

Any tips to getting the best out of custom fields? 

We’re currently working on combining custom fields with triggers, and this is where things can get really interesting. The person field, time, and phone number fields allow for some really powerful behaviors. For example, you could add a field for an employee’s teammates and then set up a trigger to notify all of them if that employee is signed into a hazardous zone (or remote work) for longer than expected. Or you could define an employee’s standard work hours and then notify them or their supervisor if they forget to sign in. 

So that’s your favorite. What about the customers? Which feature had the best uptake this year? 

Touchless kiosks, without a doubt. 32% of all customers are using touchless kiosks, which is a huge uptake in a short space of time. This all comes down to hygiene and contact tracing. It’s been a very difficult year for everyone, and as lockdowns are lifted and people go back to work, COVID-19 has brought some unique challenges for organizations to be able to operate in a safe and responsible way. 

Touchless kiosks allow our customers to keep accurate records of who has been on-site for contact tracing while maintaining social-distancing. 

So on the other side of the coin, which feature would get the award for ‘unsung hero’? 

The Alexa integration! We’ve been playing with it in the office and it’s already really useful. Being able to have Alexa greet visitors by name and tell them where to go, announce to the office that a delivery has arrived and say who it is for, or remind the last person on-site to check the balcony door and turn off the lights is a game-changer. It’s only in its infancy, but the ability to connect to the internet-of-things and interact with people in a more human way is the next step for smart-offices.

Any hints as to what we can expect to see next year? 

Lots more. I don’t want to say too much but we’re already working on a few big things. Custom Questions for pre-registered visitors is going to be interesting and will strengthen the rest of the touchless sign-in feature-set. It will allow our users to invite guests to an event, and then send them a request to complete their visitor profile. This can include any basic questions as well as custom questionnaires, so the customer can have all of the information they need, and the experience when the visitor arrives on site will be even more seamless. 

Get started

That’s it for our 2020 wrap-up. All of the features mentioned are available today, and included in your WhosOnLocation subscription. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on enabling all of our features. 

New to WhosOnlocation? 

Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required. 

4 minutes read time

Technology, employee experience – How it can aid your customer experience

Customer experience is rooted in the DNA of most organizations. It’s the way we welcome, onboard, grow and retain our customers. Due to this organizations are always striving to deliver the best possible customer experience and measure it as one of their key drivers for success. 

Does the delivery of an amazing customer experience happen due to magic or something else? It’s by no means magic, it’s a known fact that great customer experience is driven out of a great employee experience.  To continue to drive amazing customer experiences we need to ensure we are driving amazing employee experiences. 

What drives a great employee experience? 

A great employee experience is driven out of many things. Starting from the moment the candidate arrives for an interview. CIO magazine says it’s everything your employee encounters and undergoes as their career progresses that forms their experience as an employee. 

Does technology play a role in employee experience? Yes, it does. When we think of technology in the workplace think beyond the obvious and consider why so many organizations are rolling out smart offices. Is it for the swanky technology or to help their employees?  

What is a smart office?

Smart offices are not new, they date back as far as 1996 and are designed to improve the office environment allowing employees to work smarter, better and faster. 

A smart office uses technology to assist with tasks which in turn removes menial tasks and helps employees focus on the things they love doing. 

The smart office is a growing market and is set to hit 57.06 billion USD by 2025.  

You may even be working within a smart workplace today but not even know it. Some of the common smart office technologies are:

Meeting room booking systems consist of software for conference room scheduling and also hardware interfaces or digital signage. The software allows company employees or guests to book meetings online or through an app.

Smart sensors are network-connected sensors that detect events or physical changes in the environment. In offices, smart sensors are commonly used to measure CO2, air quality, and occupancy levels.

Guest management software that helps free up or remove the need for a receptionist. Knows when a contractor’s insurance has expired, who is allowed onsite, when, and where. Screen guests and employees to ensure they meet your health requirements before gaining access onsite – particularly helpful in the COVID-19 environment we are working in. 

Voice control makes tasks easier, announcing a guest has arrived onsite, booking a conference room, starting a phone call or sending an email, Alexa for business performs all these things using voice commands. 

Access control improves efficiencies and helps ensure people, assets, and resources are secure and protected. Allowing only those with the right access to enter your organization. 

The benefits of using these types of technology is increased employee productivity, improved retention, simplified work scheduling, improved relationships, along with safer and secure work environments. 

With a smart office do we have new security threats?

Anything connected to the internet brings a possible security threat. But like all threats, they can be managed. 

When using a visitor management tool like WhosOnLocation, ensure they follow the highest security standards including ISO: 27001, PCI/DSS Service Provider Level1 and/or SOC II compliance. 

If using voice-controlled devices, turn on the mute button so recording does not happen. If using the likes of Alexa AWS shares a number of key steps to take to ensure your company information is safe. 

How to smart office with WhosOnLocation 

As a WhosOnLocation customer, you are already using smart technology to manage your guest, employee, and evacuation management. 

We offer a number of integrations you can connect to for your smart office like Alexa for voice services, Brivo for access control, or webhooks to turn your lights off when the last person has left the office for the day. The options are endless!

Back to our original question can smart offices help customer and employee experience? We believe they can if well managed to create a win-win for customers, employees, and employers. Will you be implementing smart office technology in your workplace?  

Not a WhosOnLocation customer? Take a free 30-day no-obligation trial and see how you can smarten up your office. 

4 minutes read time

Busy front of house? A virtual receptionist can help.

WhosOnLocation’s latest integration brings us one step closer to a fully virtual receptionist. Introducing Alexa for Business by WhosOnLocation. Welcome to the future!

What is a virtual receptionist? 

When we think about virtual receptionists, two different scenarios spring to mind. There are teams of remote receptionists who are contracted to take calls for a number of businesses. And then there is the futuristic type – AI fuelled robots who automate the entire process for you. 

Fully functioning robots aren’t widely available just yet. However, there are a number of technologies that can automate tasks and take the strain off under-resourced teams. 

  • Visitor management software can automate the sign-in process. WhosOnLocation allows visitors to sign themselves in, presents instructions on where to wait, and automatically notifies their host. These self-serve kiosks are even available in a touchless, hygienic format. 
  • Voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa for Business, can further personalize this process. By integrating with visitor management software, we can take our virtual receptionists up a gear; audibly welcoming guests and announcing arrivals.

Benefits of a virtual receptionist

We’ve already hinted at a few of the benefits, but let’s take a closer look at why you might need a virtual receptionist. 

Your front of house team is busy

Small businesses can still make a big impact when their visitors arrive. Rather than scrambling to unlock a door or locate a visitor’s host, let a virtual receptionist take on some of the load. 

With visitor admin largely taken care of, your front of house team can use their time more wisely. They’ll also be able to run errands and take breaks in the knowledge the front desk is always ‘manned.’

You have a large facility with multiple access points

How do you cover every access point to ensure employees and contractors are always signing in? Whether you need to carry out health screening, contact tracing, or simply know who’s on-site for health and safety reasons, virtual receptionists can ensure no one slips through the cracks. 

Your facility contains a number of hazardous zones

Think of this less like a virtual receptionist, and more like a virtual health and safety assistant. By placing sign-in kiosks or QR code posters at the entrance to each of your hazardous zones, you can ensure your employees and contractors have the information they need. Check out this blog for more details. 

Alexa for Business integration 

WhosOnLocation’s latest integration with Alexa for Business enhances the way you use your subscription. Here are some possible use cases to get the creative juices flowing… 

Welcome your visitors

Have a spiel you need to communicate to all visitors? Whether it’s ‘please keep your visitor pass visible’ or ‘ensure you wear a mask’, have Alexa automate the process for you. Once a guest has finished signing in at your kiosk, Alexa can verbally welcome them, and pass on any important information they might need to know. 

Alex for Business Integration

Announce an arrival

Meanwhile, inside your facility, you can keep an Alexa device close to your employee workstations to act as a doorbell. Alexa can announce when a visitor or contractor has signed in and is waiting to be collected from reception. This announcement can include their name and who they are visiting. 

Deny employee entry

Currently, carrying out health screening or imposing maximum occupancy to adhere to social distancing? Whatever your reason for denying an employee entry to your facility, create a trigger in WhosOnLocation to automatically prevent sign in, and have Alexa communicate the reason why. 

Remind contractors of expiring documentation

Whether it’s a safety induction, insurances or a qualification in need of renewal, have Alexa verbally remind your contractors of expiring documentation when they sign in. 

From visitor management software to voice-activated assistants, we are certainly edging ever closer to a truly useful virtual receptionist.

Ready to get started? 

To get started you’ll need an AWS enterprise account and a WhosOnLocation subscription. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on enabling the Alexa for Business integration. 

New to WhosOnLocation? 

Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required. 

3 minutes read time

Keeping compliant with custom fields

Custom Fields is a powerful new way to manage your data and ensure you’re staying compliant. Our customers requested it, and we delivered. Here’s how (and why) to make the most of our latest release. 

What are ‘Custom Fields’? 

You might have heard other SaaS companies talk about custom fields. A number of the software products we use here at WhosOnLocation HQ offer this feature, and it’s a great way to make your tech stack work for you.

Custom fields are a way to personalize and tailor the data you use, add and store in an application. Instead of being tied to pre-defined input fields. you can go in and make your own rules. 

Custom fields and WhosOnLocation

Custom fields are available in WhosOnLocation for employee, service provider, and service provider organization profiles. Instead of sticking to the pre-defined data fields such as ‘Employee name’ or ‘Employee email address’, you can now create and name your own fields. 

Whether you want a checkbox to indicate an employee’s eligibility to work, a calendar field to input their date of birth or to link through to their line manager’s profile – the options are endless!

How would I use Custom Fields? 

Imagine there are four or five pieces of information you ask every new employee or service provider when they start their employment. Most will be quite generic e.g. name, home address, emergency contact number. However, you probably have some questions that are very specific to your organization, too. They might even be required for compliance.

For example, you might only allow pre-approved vehicles to enter your site for security reasons. As a result, you’d need to note down the registration number of each employee’s car. 

You might also need to prove you’ve checked all employees are eligible to work in the country you’re based. Or perhaps you need to log information that will help run regular background checks, like an employee’s place of birth. With custom fields, you can be as specific as you need. 

Keeping things organized

You can hide all of the standard information you don’t need to capture, to keep your employee and service provider profiles ordered. Simply hide any fields you don’t need and drag and drop in the fields you do. 

You can even group fields together by ‘type’, saving them together in a tab. For example, for each service provider, you might have a contact information tab alongside an important documentation tab. This makes it quick and easy to locate the information your need – perfect for when the auditors come knocking. 

Set up a template that works for your organization to ensure you’re only capturing information that’s relevant. Get peace of mind you’re storing all the data required to help you stay compliant. 

Ready to get started with custom fields? 

Custom fields are available today, and included in your WhosOnLocation subscription. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on getting started. 

New to WhosOnlocation? 

Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required.