7 ways integrated solutions are key to employee & visitor experience

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When a customer, employee, contractor, or visitor enters a business for the first time, it takes just a few seconds for them to form a lasting impression. 40% of consumers reported that their perception of a corporation has been negatively impacted before even leaving the company’s lobby. 

Whether this is due to a lackluster welcome from overworked reception staff, a confusing or disorganized process, or a sense that the company is not prioritizing health and safety, a person's first impression at your building can define their experience.

It’s paramount that businesses make the check-in as welcoming and hassle-free as possible.

What are integrated solutions?

Efficient people flows translate to time and cost savings, and increased safety. A recent study showed that 40-50% of meetings in the United States start late. As an average of 15% of an organization’s time is spent on meetings, this results in a significant loss of of productivity and focus as well as a range of other problems.

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Source: Bluewater, 2019

 

During the global health crisis, visitors may have increased concerns about wellness and safety when entering an unfamiliar place of business. Companies are working hard to comply with safety guidelines issued by public health leaders, as well as to provide a safe and worry-free experience for employees, contractors, and any guests who must come to the premises for in-person meetings.

Integrated solutions are key to managing building people flows, while creating a positive experience.

Integrated solutions can be the key to facilitating all of these goals. By harnessing the benefits of artificial intelligence, cloud connectivity, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, integrated solutions have introduced a paradigm-shift across many areas. These include seamless customer service, administrative optimization tools, and vital health and safety precautions for workplace visitors.

These smart technologies allow organizations to ensure that the first impression they give is a positive one—setting the foundation for a fruitful relationship —while minimizing the risks of infection during the pandemic.

Let’s take a deep-dive into some of the key benefits that cloud-based integrated solutions lend to the visitor experience—and learn why they have become so critical to modern business.

1. Self-help is the best help

Front desk staff are often the first faces of a company that a visitor encounters. But when they’re overwhelmed with time-consuming clerical work or manual tasks, their ability to engage with them positively may take a toll. In addition, convoluted or outdated sign-in processes can increase wait time in a lobby, causing customers to become impatient - particularly when they have a big meeting to get to.

Integrated solutions allow sign-in processes to take place electronically and instantaneously. Customers can initiate a check-in process themselves, at their convenience, allowing receptionists to concentrate on the task of creating a welcoming environment and answering visitors’ questions.

The ability to self-serve is particularly valuable for visitors who, due to safety considerations, may wish to limit the number of people with whom they are in contact or diminish the amount of face-to-face time they spend with unknown individuals.

2. Getting a bit personal

Increasingly, customers expect a certain level of digital personalization: a “by name” welcome, catering to their particular interests, and anticipating their needs. In fact, according to this 2019 survey of U.S. and U.K. consumers, over 63% of polled participants feel that personalization is a standard part of the service they receive.

Blog Post_ Integrated Solutions 2 (1)-1Source: RedPoint Global survey by The Harris Poll, 2019

 

This doesn’t only refer to targeted advertisements that take into account a browser’s online search preferences. In the visitor management sphere, the use of integrated solutions such as invitation emails and automated greeters - both in advance of a meeting and at the premises to welcome visitors to the physical properties - can greatly enhance the value of a customer’s experience.

Digital personalization serves as another safety check to ensure that the correct people are invited and welcomed to the appropriate destinations, along with providing an added sense of familiarity and hospitality in a corporate setting.

3. Cost-saving benefits

At this point, over 94% of active enterprises have already adopted SaaS cloud tools, or are in the process of transitioning to them. This is due in large part to the savings that cloud-based systems afford. Most are available in a monthly SaaS pricing, require lower spending on maintenance than traditional on-premise software, and require lower capital expenditure up front.

Blog Post Graphic_ Integrated Solutions 3Source: Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report

 

Apart from operating cost savings, going from paper or on-premise to cloud-based SaaS systems can save larger organizations millions of dollars off-the-bat—as much as $41.6 million for state and local agencies, and $25 million for federal organizations. 

 4. Safety first

Integrated solutions facilitate a plethora of modern and well-designed security functions, including:

  • visitor badges to help identify guests on the premises
  • unique QR codes that scan at an entry kiosk or access control system
  • integration with internal and external watchlists 
  • retinal or voice biometric scanning to verify visitor identity
  • one-touch crisis alerts that notify trained security personnel of an intruder

Unsurprisingly, integrated solutions are at the forefront of any robust security system. These interoperable systems come with their own range of security features, and integrate with existing systems, to ensure that unwanted visitors are kept off the premises, with any escalations being dealt with quickly and discreetly.

Due to the pandemic, security measures are taking on an added dimension of importance: Businesses increasingly find that they need to pre-screen visitors to ensure they are symptomless before entry.

remote-registration

This can be accomplished through invitation emails that contain health screening questions, along with information about health regulations(mask-wearing, keeping enclosed spaces at a certain capacity, etc.) which visitors need to be aware of. 

Once on the premises, many businesses utilize touchless entry systems in order to avoid contact with shared surfaces such as turnstiles, elevator buttons, and door handles.

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These security solutions support a greater level of access control ensuring that visitors, employees, and staff are all kept safe, and that opportunities for individuals to spread illness are kept to a minimum.

5. Collecting data

The focus on harnessing and integrating big data has revolutionized every industry, and integrated solutions rely on the ability to use that data effectively. Modern data collection processes enable interconnected system to instantly share the data they gather, revealing operation-wide insights that allow for impressive automated abilities, such as:

  • tracking property activities and foot-traffic to advise visitors and staff on the best routes at any given time
  • maximizing the performance of hardware and optimizing staff deployment with of all kinds with maintenance monitoring systems and automated alerts
  • optimizing employee training and automatically share those methods companywide through technologies that effectively analyze what tactics get people engaged
  • gathering and organizing information on everything a business could need to know about their customers

Integrated solutions collect and analyze data, enabling businesses to gain critical insights into their customers and their internal operations - including data that makes visitor experience at the company smoother, more efficient, and tailored.

6. Protecting data

However, alongside the benefits gained by data collection, companies have a  responsibility to ensure data privacy. 

The accumulation of data necessitates that companies put in place robust data protection measures. During the pandemic, that data may also include sensitive health information - for example data about employee or visitor health.

This type of sensitive information requires safeguards such as anonymization or encryption, logging and monitoring use, securing both company mobile devices and wireless networks, and implementation of strict access controls. Protocols for automatically deleting unnecessary data after a set amount of time is also important.

Integrated solutions can help companies stay compliant with GDPR, HIPAA and other data privacy laws, securing data and people’s privacy.

7. Future-proof your performance

The transition to the most current technologies can come with growing pains. The upfront costs of shifting to new platforms and the difficulty of learning or teaching employees new systems can make even necessary and beneficial changes feel onerous.

It’s important to remember that integrated solutions will ultimately minimize these difficulties, evolving with the business in a way previous hardware-reliant technologies could not.

Essentially, integrated solutions are “future-proof”: They are more scalable as a business grows, provide more security and easier maintenance, and allow for real-time data availability that also mobilizes information across multiple systems.

Furthermore, being an 'integrated solution' by working easily with other tools is a big part of future-proofing. At Proxyclick, for example, our people flow management solution integrates with organizations' existing systems. It's not always about adapting the product as market needs change, but about working with tools businesses already use - with minimal learning required.

Most importantly, integrated solutions connect systems, services, databases, and people...no matter where they are all located.

Looking ahead

In the current working climate, where off-site work is prevalent, cloud-based systems are vital to continuation of business.

One reason this is possible is that when systems are hosted online, updates can be made to result in global modification (usually through a remote provider). And as integrated systems consist of multiple independently coordinating forms of connected software, if any one system ceases to be functional it can be more easily replaced by a better version without disrupting operations.

Integrated solutions are an obvious choice for companies seeking to empower their business using cutting-edge technology - and improving visitor flow and experience is no exception.

By providing remotely accessible, upgradable, and adaptable qualities to any visitor management system, companies can ensure that their visitors have a welcoming, convenient, and positive experience from the moment they enter the premises.

 

Want to learn from the experts about the changing landscape of work, and how businesses are preparing for a safe office return? Register here for our upcoming Return Ready Virtual Summit (September 29-30th). 


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