Choosing a visitor management system: Your internal stakeholders
For all intents and purposes, let's say you've already decided your organization needs a new visitor management system. Maybe the old one is obsolete or you don’t have one in place yet at all.
But even if you (and a few close team members) are convinced of the need, does everybody else in your organization feel the same way?
When faced with something new and seemingly “revolutionary,” we all tend to be a bit wary by nature. Some of us have been to outright reject change right away.
To prevent any internal friction, it’s a good idea to get everyone on board with the idea of a visitor management system before you even think of choosing one.
3-step process to getting buy-in from internal stakeholders
There's that saying about having too many cooks in the kitchen, but could the same be said about internal stakeholders in your decision-making phase? Absolutely not.
With most SaaS solutions offering free trials (see our tips on how to maximize SaaS free trials), it's a good idea to have as many of your stakeholders try the software before making an informed decision.
In fact, we recommend it in our free ebook on how to transform visitor management from a process into a journey, by "getting rid of the signing-in book in 5 steps"
Essentially, you need to think of the process in three phases:
- Consult your internal stakeholders and convince them of the need in the first place.
- Collect feedback on what their ideal visitor management system looks like.
- Pick the right system for your business before implementing it smoothly.
So which internal stakeholders should you consult when picking your visitor management system?
Your 7 key internal stakeholders
Your company comprises multiple departments working in tandem. Each group has their own set of needs and ways of operating. So the visitor management solution you choose has to be able to cater to each groups needs individually.
We've narrowed down the top 7 internal stakeholders you'll want buy-in from:
Let's take a closer look at each stakeholder, their high level needs for a visitor management system, and what kind of questions they may pose during the vetting process.
Your security staff handles safety for everyone and everything on your premises. So for them, unknown visitors are all potential threats until proven otherwise after screening. If a new visitor management system can help your security team work better and faster, then you'll have an easier time getting their buy-in.
- Will the new visitor management system assist their security strategy (and not hamper it)?
- How is the system going to affect their workload?
- What kind of security-enhancing features does it come with?
For security, we can now put a name on the face and it's a lot more efficient for us. It gets people through a lot quicker, and prevents hold-ups to be honest.
— Peter Jones, Security Officer, Lucozade Ribena Suntory
- Guest screening via ID-scanning, facial recognition, and other technology.
- Detecting unwanted visitors instantly and discreetly both internal and third-party global watchlists.
- Recording visitor information, providing appropriate visitor access, and making guests aware of emergency procedures.
- Guest-tracking, so you know whether they are still in the building or have left it.
Your IT team is the backbone of your tech infrastructure and will look at your new visitor management system as the next big tech investment. Working with a SaaS provider means you'll have a virtual IT team to help you remotely so you don't have to bug your own department.
- How involved will the IT department have to be with the new system?
- Is the solution easy to maintain? Does it work with existing systems?
- Is the system secure or does it pose any data safety risks?
It's cloud-based, it's quick, and it's simple. Coming from a system that was none of those things, it was impressive. Proxyclick was the most customizable and impressive solution on the market, and the perfect complement to our on-premise access control system.
— Mark A. Cecera, Director of Applications Technology, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
- Ease of installation, operation, and maintenance. They don't want to worry about hardware maintenance plans or software support for for version upgrades.
- Customization options, with the ability to modify and scale with the organization’s needs.
- Integration with existing software systems and tools like database software or guest experience apps.
In the battle of Best of Breed vs Best in Class, we chose our side! Best of Breed guarantees each piece of software will best answer your specific needs. So we focus on building the best Visitor Management solution, and integrate with your digital tools:https://t.co/aFnhyp743c pic.twitter.com/l0eZyOIxVE— Proxyclick (@proxyclick) February 21, 2019
3. Reception Staff
Your reception team is responsible for your company's front line. They're the ones who first greets your visitors, assist them with the check-in process, and make sure visitors are taken care of. So the addition of a visitor management system will radically affect their days.
They, especially, need to accept, support, and work with any new system you get.
- How will the new system affect the reception staff’s day-to-day work?
- Will the solution ease their workload or add to it?
- Is the system intuitive enough so that visitors can check themselves in without the assistance of receptionists?
After 3 years, we still get visitors commenting on how unique and easy our check in system is. Thank you Proxyclick for making my job easier.
— Kristi Sanor, Receptionist, NLB Corp.
- Welcoming guests while presenting a positive brand image.
- Automated host notifications so receptionists aren't running around trying to chase people down.
- Managing the flow of visitors and automating tasks for more efficiency (e.g. sharing of Wi-Fi credentials via text message or email).
4. Senior Management
As people directing your company and in most cases controlling the purse strings, acquiring senior management’s approval is a top priority. If you’re a senior manager yourself, this should be easier to achieve.
- Is there a positive ROI to using the visitor management system in question?
- Will the system influence any current or future business goals?
How does the solution affect the brand image?
In an age where digital technology threatens to eradicate the role of people... it is very refreshing to have a digital technology on the market that compliments our teams' efforts on the ground and ensures they can deliver a more dynamic visitor experience where human interactions thrive.
— Mark Hill, Strategy and Marketing Director, Sodexo Japan
Senior management needs:
- Cost-effectiveness and long-term relationship with the visitor management provider.
- Presenting a positive brand image while providing a smooth and enjoyable visitor journey.
- Implementing a uniform solution in all company offices worldwide.
Thanks to GDPR and other compliance laws worldwide, you have to be very careful with any new visitor management system you choose.
Chronologically, the visitor management system (or the logbook) will be the first thing the auditor will see. We heard from clients' stories about auditors who started their day by playing with the front desk iPad for one hour and seeing it from a data privacy perspective.
— Geoffroy De Cooman, Chief Product Officer, Proxyclick
As your legal team will be quick to remind you, your front desk can attract fines unless it’s compliant with local and, occasionally, international data privacy laws.
- Is the visitor management system compliant with regional data privacy and protection laws?
- Does the system follow data collection, storage, and minimization requirements?
- Does it offer a full audit trail for reporting purposes?
- Making sure visitors are screened and monitored according to global regulatory compliance requirements.
- Getting visitors to sign an NDA and obtaining their consent.
- Showing visitors training and safety presentations (e.g. health and safety questionnaires).
6. Marketing & HR
What do the marketing & HR teams have to do with the visitor management?
Well, both teams are in the business of making solid first impressions and convincing the general public to trust with your organization. They’ll want a system that supports their goals and branding strategy.
- What does the interface look like for the visitor? UX is important.
- Will the represent the brand accurately?
- Does the system fit into the recruiting process? Will candidates have an easy time with self-check-in?
I'm often in meetings or in interviews, or other moments when I can't pick up my phone, it's very useful for me when I get an email or text message to see when a candidate has arrived. I can also inform the reception that I'll be 5 minutes late or 10 minute late. We improve the professional experience the candidate have with Dimension Data.
— Tony Janssens, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Dimension Data
Marketing & HR needs:
- Impressing visitors with branding and offering a memorable experience from start to finish.
- Gathering accurate data on visitors and using it for relevant follow-up.
- Implementing a consistent image across all regions, and ensuring that each visitor feels at ease from the start (e.g. multilingual check-in).
Finally, we come to group who'll most likely be meeting hosts. Ideally, they'll welcome a cloud-based visitor management system. But it will definitely help to have them be a part of the running trials.
If and when they see the benefits of having one, and how it makes their day-to-day easier, then you'll see higher adoption rates after implementation.
- Will the system affect the employee sign-in process?
- Does the solution improve the overall security of the workplace?
- Will the system make life easier for the average employee?
Set up was very easy, adding my colleagues and all the hosts was simple and fast, return visitors and groups is easy and supper is 1st class! Proxyclick is a fantastic product that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
— Colin Mclellan, Security Manager, Mondelez
- A secure workplace.
- A stress-free experience in hosting meetings with outside meeting attendees.
- A reduced workload because of efficient guest management and easy-to-use Dashboard.
It takes a village...
Long story short, everyone needs to work together to make sure whatever new visitor management system you implement is a success.
Before you commit fully to any system, though, it’s smart to test it out first.