If you've made it to this part of the guide, then it means you're ready to start the research phase into the things to look for when choosing a visitor management system.
So, it's always a good idea to start with a little homework and determine how to align your needs with your visitors' needs.
4.1 Think about your visitors
Really, take a minute and give this some thought.
It's the visitor experience that matters. The way your business is perceived is directly correlated to the way your visitors are welcomed.
Consider this an opportunity to see your visitors in a new way by "re-thinking your reception area."
To get you started, we asked international corporate hospitality experts for their 10 key recommendations:
- Define your DNA and build loyalty…
- Hire the right people from the right places.
- Create (or recreate) visitor journeys.
- Let your visitors help you find solutions that work.
- Extend your definition of “visitor."
- Recognize that technology, while essential, will never replace the human touch.
- Consult a specialist.
- Remember that money matters but in the end, people matter more.
- Communicate effectively.
- Never leave any opportunity untested or untried.
Great list, isn't it? Would you like to know more?
Well, you can download all the best practices and actionable steps to step up your reception area before you take a minute to assess the kinds of visitors you receive on a regular basis.
Some questions to ask yourself
If you haven't already, then check out the list of different types of visitors, in Section 1.2 of this guide, before answering the following questions:
- Do you get many messengers or suppliers stopping in on their delivery rounds?
- Do you have any heavy recruiting and interviewing seasons coming up?
- Are your Board meetings scheduled in advance so that you can pre-register your visitors?
- Are most of your visitor's one-time guests, or do you have recurring visitors?
- What percentage of your visitors arrive unannounced? And would you like to manage the check-in process differently for such guests?
Don't limit yourself to the questions listed above.
Brainstorming with key members of your team is also recommended, especially with those who will be benefiting most from a digital visitor management solution.
4.2 Assess your organizational needs
Write down as much as you can and as much you know about your visitors, past and present and future, and refer to it regularly while you conduct your research.
Then, ask yourself some questions around your business needs:
- Do you have multi-tenant needs or multiple locations to manage?
- Do you need your visitors to review safety instructions or to sign legal agreements (e.g. NDAs)? And do you need those documents stored?
- Are there complicated legal or compliance requirements you need to satisfy around screening or access control? And do they require your visitors to be checked against global watch lists? Or to wear visible visitor badges?
- Do you have specific steps in the visitor journey that you'd like automated?
- How would you like your visitors' hosts to be notified upon check-in?
Having as much information handy will not only help you to better assess your needs, but it will also help you with the process of elimination—that is, choosing which visitor management systems make the cut before you give them a try.
Tip: Any visitor management system worth a try will be able to offer you a free trial with no strings attached (i.e. no credit card information required of you).
4.3 Research your options
Now that you're armed with some information around your visitors and your own needs, it's time to dig deeper.
You might turn to LinkedIn, or ask your friends, or maybe you remember checking in on an iPad yourself recently. No matter the trigger, chances are you'll hit the search engines.