How often do you struggle to register yet another guest, manually? Would you like to make visitors feel even more at ease and well-informed as they arrive at your office? Learn about the most common setbacks of welcoming guests without the right technology in hand. And discover the right solution to improve the visitor experience at your company.
Common front desk problem and reception issue
At AskCody, we offer visitor management software for large corporate offices and professional services. By talking to receptionists across the world, we often hear issues like this one:
Imagine you're a guest entering the reception to announce your arrival.
You get handed an ID, have your photo taken, and wait until your visitor pass is printed out.
But wait, your host must have forgotten to add you to the day’s front desk visitor list because they cannot find you on the approved list. So, you stand and wait while front desk security calls up your host.
Your meeting host is away from his desk, so you just have to sit tight until they can be tracked down. As the minutes tick by, you worry about the time cutting into your meeting. If the meeting goes over, you will have to push back your afternoon appointments.
This is not an ideal first impression for any visitor.
In an effort to keep buildings safer, companies now keep logs of who is entering their buildings at all times. But those logs are often paper based, which is outdated and lacks the type of privacy expected in today’s digital age. Their visitor management procedures require check-in but do not always require check-outs, so there is no way of telling who is in the building at any given time.
They often require advanced planning from host companies to inform building security who is coming and when. Last-minute changes often do not make it through the system, and this results in inconveniences for the guest, security, and host company front desk employees.
Not to mention, it is a tedious and time-consuming process. There are many opportunities for a breakdown in the process that at best result in minor inconveniences and at worst can derail an entire business meeting.
A better way to resolve visitor management problems
Today’s robust Meeting Management technologies include Visitor Management solutions, a user-friendly platform that takes all of the hassles out of visitor management for the meeting host, front desk staff, building security, and office visitors. A virtual Visitor Management system will integrate directly into your office’s existing Outlook or Microsoft 365 system. This lets users optimize time and resources by compiling multiple administrative functions into one single solution to dramatically improve business and front desk productivity.
An integrated solution combined with the meeting room booking process delivers all the information the front desk staff needs to know to welcome guests efficiently, such as who is expected, at what time, who they are meeting with, and where they are going. A Visitor Management solution automatically handles tasks such as guest registration, guest logging, NDA signing, the printing of guest passes and name tags, and notification of the meeting host, freeing up time and resources at the front desk.
Not to mention, it improves the visitor experience, offering a modern, streamlined experience without hitches. Here are five of the most common problems when hosting visitors in your office and the solution to each with Visitor Management technology.
Problem #1: Bad first impression of your office and visitor management processes
First impressions matter. The scenario written above is not going to endear anyone to your company.
Solution: Instead of confronting a paper log, visitors walk up to a touchscreen video screen or check in directly via their smartphone, enter their information, retrieve their visitor pass, and are on their way. Those who drop by regularly will be recognized instantly and receive information such as Wi-Fi information, meeting agenda, and a list of other attendees directly on their phones.
Upon guest check-in, the system automatically notifies the meeting host of the visitor’s arrival and can proceed directly to the meeting room. This makes visitors feel even more at ease and well informed as they arrive at your office, and creates a professional first impression without the need to involve the front desk staff at all.
Problem #2: Unsecure facilities
Most of what is done for the sake of visitor management today is done in the name of security. However, that is not very secure. Especially if your office is still using a paper-based logbook and pen.
Solution: A visitor management system provides an entirely new level of security to your office building. Should an emergency occur, your company can instantly account for everyone present in the office, including visitors. If an evacuation is necessary, everyone in the office will have access to evacuation directions and instructions to ensure everyone understands how to safely exit the building.
In case of an emergency, it is just as important to know if a guest has left the building, as it is to know that they have arrived. Once checked in to the Visitor Management system, a guest can check out with a single tap so host companies will know if they are still on premises during an adverse event.
Not to mention, Visitor Management technology is significantly more secure and precise than the old-fashioned log. Guest information is collected uniformly and correctly every time. Information for every contact can be easily managed from the system. In addition, returning visitors are instantly recognized and can check in simply with just a few clicks.
Problem #3: Cumbersome and time-consuming processes
Waiting in line, dealing with front desk security, fumbling with a logbook, handing over ID, and waiting for approval all take precious time. And that is without any hitches in the system.
Solution: Visitor registration systems automate and streamline the entire check-in process. Hosts can easily register and add guests in a few simple steps. When a guest arrives on site, they can check in instantly via their smartphone, and the meeting host is automatically notified via email or SMS.
The system automatically prints out guest passes at the front desk for visitors.
Problem #4: Lack of communication
Step away from your desk for just a moment and you might never know a guest has arrived. In the meantime, your visitors are left waiting at the front desk until someone has the time to track you down.
Solution: Do not depend on the front desk staff to alert you when your visitors have arrived. A Visitor Management solution automatically sends an email or text message directly to your phone the moment your visitor checks in.
This way, you can greet your guest at the front desk or proceed directly to the meeting room knowing your visitor has everything they need to find the room on their own. A solution like AskCody Visitor Management integrates seamlessly with Outlook and Microsoft 365, so there is no need to access any type of third-party application to get the information you need to ensure a successful meeting experience for your guests.
The system automatically logs all visitor data for your reference, and guests have access to everything they need to set themselves up comfortably in your space. There is no more meeting host tracking, Wi-Fi password scrambling, or lost visitors.
All communication is automatic, consolidated, and easily accessible for all.
Problem #5: Lack of visitor independence
From the moment they arrive until the moment they walk out the front door, visitors often require a high level of hand holding from front desk employees to ensure they check in properly, have all the information they need for their meeting, track down the meeting host, make their way through an unfamiliar office, and find the correct meeting room.
Solution: When the entire check-in experience is automated, visitors do not need to rely on anyone to help them check in, find the meeting room, and get any additional information they need to prepare for the meeting.
Visitors are empowered to check themselves in with their smartphones and make their way directly to the meeting location. They do not need to rely on another human to print out their visitor badge, sign any necessary forms, or explain directions.
And this is just the beginning. Making processes easier and more convenient for everyone involved demonstrates a commitment to employee happiness and raises morale all around. Not to mention, it saves time, resources, and money.
With Visitor Management technology, a better office experience begins at the front desk.
Should you invest in a Visitor Management solution to tackle receptionist problems?
A Visitor Management solution can be hugely impactful, but it might not be the right solution for everyone. We gathered a few questions you can consider if you are in doubt about the impact a visitor management solution will have on your organization.
Impact on brand perception
When your guests arrive, the front desk is usually the first encounter they have with your organization, leaving them with either a positive or negative first impression. Take a moment to consider how this impression impacts your visitors. This impact is essential for client-based businesses that rely on having productive meetings to create revenue. A positive first impression is also important for large corporate offices to retain a professional brand perception.
Secure and careful handling of visitor data
Data handling and security are vital aspects for all organizations today. Making sure your documents and information remain safely stored has never been more important. GDPR regulations are having a larger impact on organizations and not only in Europe.
We wrote a case study with a large American law firm Eversheds Sutherland. As part of getting their ISO certification, they needed a solution to manage visitor data securely and easily. After researching the market for a solution to solve their front desk issues, enhance security, and data handling, they decided to choose AskCody because it also solved their problems in terms of booking conference rooms and ordering services. The firm decided to invest in a GDPR-compliant visitor management solution because being ISO-certified would help the firm attract larger cases in Europe, which would otherwise not be possible.
Better preparation for front desk staff
Many front desk issues and receptionist problems arise as a result of staff not having the necessary overview of arriving guests. Being able to foresee when a group of visitors are set to arrive, or having the knowledge of arriving groups are vital to having a well-functioning reception.
Meetings are changed constantly which often leads to back-and-forth communication, which can end up being a time-consuming process. Giving receptionist's a clean overview of all arriving guests based on real-time information from Outlook makes it easy and seamless to manage a busy front desk.
Automatic pre- and post-visit information
With a visitor management solution, you can automatically send pre-determined messages via mail or text messages. This could be messages informing about parking information, security announcements, WiFi Password for guests arriving. It could be sending a questionnaire for guests leaving the premise to further improve the front desk experience.
Want to learn more about how a Visitor Management solution can help solve receptionist problems and front desk issues? Read our ebook below, that covers 11 ways to optimize front desk resources.