Before your visitor ever arrives, there's a lot that goes into planning a meeting regardless of size. Sure, receptionists often handle most of the tasks from start to finish, but what happens when they're away from the front desk? Or what if they're on the phone or happen to be out sick that day?
Sign-in apps can even help you with the simplest of details like your invitation email. They can also help to easily and securely connect your visitors with your guest Wi-Fi. Your organization might also be one that faces liability issues and requires your visitors to submit electronic signatures on health and safety forms, NDAs, waivers, or other legal documents for your services.
Well, what if you could fully screen visitors for health risks, and have clients sign and submit legal documents before every arriving on your premises (or as part of the check-in procedure)? You could reduce the spread of viruses like COVID-19 in the workplace, while also avoiding unnecessary paperwork that causes unsafe (in a world of physical distancing) and inefficient front desk traffic.
With electronic sign-in apps, productivity and efficiency become a natural byproduct of the check-in process. Visitors receive better, faster service, operations are improved, health risks like the spread of viruses in the workplace are lowered, and frontline employees gain time to focus on higher-priority assignments.
Simply put - if your organization hosts visitors, clients, or guests, check-in apps are a must. It’s not just about boosting speed or saving time - the benefits of using check-in apps also extend into workplace health and safety and other areas of operation.
Many brands that move to electronic check-ins are surprised to learn just how valuable they can be. Benefits are seen both from the organization’s perspective as well as from the visitor’s standpoint. Here are a few examples of what we’re talking about.
3.1 Strengthening workplace safety
In the COVID-19 era, organizations have the duty of care to protect all employees, visitors, contractors, customers, and anyone else who sets foot on their premises.
Rather than waiting to screen visitors for health risks upon their arrival and risk exposure to the virus, individuals can be fully pre-screened before they come to the premises.
Digital questionnaires are sent directly to them via a link in their email days before the visit. Companies can also choose to show images or videos, as well as send important text documents, in advance to highlight on-site health and safety procedures. Visitors will know exactly where to go (i.e. for temperature scans) and what to do on the day of their visit.
If visitors’ answers in digital health questionnaires meet company requirements, they’ll be permitted access to the building or facility with a QR code sent via email. (If visitors don’t meet pre-screening requirements, they’ll be denied access and hosts will be immediately notified).
Without having to touch surfaces like iPad kiosks or door handles, guests scan this QR code at specific entryways or turnstiles for “touchless” access to certain areas of the building. (Learn how to use check-in apps to manage people flows at reopened schools.)
Following a visit, companies can easily access important visitor contact information to inform them in case of a health emergency or possible virus infection.
Visitor data, however, can be automatically deleted to help comply with data privacy laws (see section 3.8).
3.2 Making a great first impression
Consider the last time you walked into another business or office space. After looking around, what was your first impression? Was the lobby clean and tidy with everything in its place? Or a bit messier - with papers or equipment strewn about and employees frantically jumping from one task to another.
All things being equal, neat offices tend to inspire more confidence in patrons. Using visitor management software is a great way to project this image and reap the benefits.
Rather than asking visitors to sign a paper logbook, they can use a kiosk or mobile app instead. Thereby avoiding the clutter of paper and inspiring confidence from day one.
We live in a digital world and people expect a digital experience.
Using a modern touchscreen device illustrates your brand’s commitment to innovation. Harnessing emerging technologies like visitor management systems can streamline operations and improve guest support also. Not to mention that including your logo on intake forms or documents (which apps can do) just looks more professional.
Check-in apps provide flexibility and customization options that paper can’t match.
3.3 Improving the guest experience
Although making a great first impression is critical, reception apps provide value long before guests ever arrive. Because these digital services live in the cloud, data can easily be shared with anyone who needs it. Which may include employees, administrators, and guests alike.
Using a SaaS-based sign-in platform allows you to delight visitors ahead of time. Visitor apps like Proxyclick allow you to send critical pre-visit information - like directions or meeting agendas - long before the day of the event. Once guests arrive, hosts are auto-notified their visitors are waiting and can easily reply to check-in staff with further instructions.
Once configured, network access and login information can be forwarded as well. All of which leads to shorter wait times and more productive visits for everyone involved.
Sign-in apps not only make guests feel welcome but reduce the stress and anxiety of doing business.
3.4 Enhancing security
A unique benefit of implementing visitor management technology is a stronger security footprint. Using electronic check-ins, organizations have real-time data about which visitors are on-site and where they’re headed. Data that improves incident response by providing accurate manifests to first responders including headcounts and last known locations.
In the same way other pre-event data can be shared (meeting times, agendas, etc.), electronic check-in apps help with visitor safety also. Confirmation emails can include floor plans, evacuation procedures, and emergency numbers. Details that visitors may be hard-pressed to find on their own during a true disaster.
Best of all, all digital data collected is easy to share with anyone who needs it. Businesses are no longer constrained to passing a physical logbook from person to person in times of distress.
3.5 Tracking deliveries and packages
A little known yet highly useful feature of some visitor software is the ability to expedite package deliveries. Once couriers drop off items, they can be instantly logged and responsible parties automatically notified. Digital audit trails are created as packages change hands, so you’re never left wondering where your deliveries are.
No more chasing down drivers, searching the halls, or calling the front desk every 20 minutes to locate your items. With integrated delivery tools, you don’t find packages, they find you.
3.6 Increased productivity
While many check-in apps highlight the benefits of what you gain, there’s also value in what you lose. Namely, the time and effort frontline personnel need to perform their jobs.
Think about it - busy receptionists spend hours each day assisting guests and notifying meeting hosts of their arrival. While some will argue this is just part of doing business, that doesn’t mean the process can’t be improved.
As we’ve discussed, check-in apps can automate the lion’s share of the visitor management process. From automated sign-ins and pre-printed badges to guest tracking and sponsor notifications, sign-in apps eliminate tedious work from front desk operations.
When you remove the need to manage such tasks, opportunities for growth emerge.
Staff are less taxed allowing them to focus on higher-priority assignments. Thereby increasing value for the organization without hiring additional employees. Sign-in apps also improve morale as many of the mundane, repetitive assignments staff complete are managed by the system. The tasks they’re left with can be done faster, easier, and more efficiently.
Happy employees provide better experiences for those they come in contact with. Thus, making guests feel even more welcome (and supported) during their visits.
Visitor systems can help to facilitate better data analytics for both employees and visitors. Using electronic guestbooks, system administrators can identify which guests frequent a location, how long they stay, and for the reason for each visit. These reports also indicate which employees sponsor the most guests and the overall traffic volume for each office.
Highly valuable information that can be used to uncover peak activity times at a given facility. These data metrics often prove instrumental in justifying staffing or security upgrades or planning for future expansions.