As offices reopen, many companies are reassessing what work looks like – and that includes welcoming guests. You want visitors to have a positive experience at your office: as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If you’re ready to do away with a traditional sign-in sheet at a reception desk, it might be time for some new office visitor management tools. Learn more about how to enhance the visitor experience.
What is Visitor Experience?
The visitor experience includes every interaction that a guest has with your staff, office environment, and technology. As a business, you should be taking proactive steps to ensure these interactions are positive. Whether you’re welcoming prospective clients, job applicants, or new contractors, you always want to make a strong first impression.
Your company probably already has a system in place for welcoming visitors, whether it’s a formal visitor policy or ad hoc. You can start to assess your visitor experience by asking these questions:
- What information do guests receive before they arrive at the office?
- Do visitors know where to park and how to enter the building?
- Is the check-in process clear?
- Is the office easy to navigate
- How do staff members know when a guest has arrived?
Making your visitors feel welcome and comfortable is an important part of communicating your brand identity. You want every guest to be excited about the prospect of working with your organization – not confused about where to go or what to do when they arrive.
What is Check-In Software for Office Visitor Management?
Historically, you might have had an administrative employee who welcomed visitors at a reception area. Today, however, many companies are moving to contactless sign-in processes. This is made possible with check-in software.
Guests visiting you may sign in at a kiosk in your office’s lobby or main entry. Or, you can use a web-based tool or app so that when visitors arrive, they can check in straight from their mobile device.
This check-in software offers many benefits:
- Efficiency: Upon arriving, visitors can quickly sign in without the help of front desk staff and get connected to the office Wi-Fi network.
- Convenience: Hosts can be notified of the guest’s arrival in real-time, instead of waiting around in the lobby for their visitor to arrive.
- Security: You’ll have a digital record of everyone who has entered the building.
- Support: You can integrate different resources to support your guests, such as digital office maps to help them find the right meeting room.
Plus, with the staying power of hybrid and remote work, you may not have the resources to support a staffed reception area. Contactless tools mean you can make guests feel welcome even if you don’t have a receptionist on site.
What is Wayfinding for Visitors?
When you arrive at a place you haven’t been to before, you likely use visual cues to get yourself to the right location – you might look for a directory, map, or other signage. Wayfinding is simply the set of tools we use to orient ourselves and choose the best route.
In the world of work, wayfinding is an important concept for the visitor management process. Avoiding confusion and helping people get where they’re going ensures they have a seamless, positive experience.
In-office wayfinding tools include maps, directories, and other signage. These tools can be static or digital. For example, it’s typical to have static signage outside an elevator bank for office visitors that explains which offices are on each floor. But in a hybrid office environment, static signage might not always be the best fit.
Digital signage can be a good option for flexible setups where employees may not have fixed desks or offices. With app-based tools and digital displays, you can update information in real-time so visitors are directed to the correct location.
Digital wayfinding tools are a great solution when you’re hosting a conference or workshop, but they can help your office run more smoothly daily. For example, you can use a a visitor management system app to sign in guests, share maps of your office, and alert hosts when their guests arrive. You can even share event materials ahead of time so attendees arrive prepared to dive in.
What Should be Included in an Office Map for Guests?
One of the most universal wayfinding tools is a map. Traditionally, the office floor plan was a static sign taped to a wall – not very helpful for a first-time guest. But with visitor management software, your guest has a wayfinding solution in their pocket. Use these guidelines to help you create a digital map of your office that welcomes visitors:
- Label spaces: You know where the marketing staff sits, but your guests probably don’t. Label floors and areas by department or team, and make sure conference rooms and other meeting spaces are marked, too.
- Locate employees: Visitors to your office usually have a key contact person. A built-in employee directory lets individuals locate one another quickly.
- Don’t forget amenities: Make your guests comfortable by marking where water fountains, coffee stations, kitchenettes, and restrooms are. If you provide guests with access to copiers, printers, or office supplies, be sure to note those, as well.
If you have an integrated room check-in system, your digital front office maps can also show which events are happening in real-time.
What to Include in Your Visitor Management Process
It's exciting to have more foot traffic in the office but it's also critical to have the right visitor policy in place. Creating an effective visitor management process for your office can help enhance security and improve the overall visitor experience.
Here are some steps you can include in your process:
Determine the purpose and scope: Define the objectives of your visitor management process and identify the areas and activities it will cover. Consider the specific needs and requirements of your office environment.
Visitor pre-registration: Implement a system where visitors can pre-register their visit, either online or through a designated contact. This allows you to collect necessary information in advance and streamline the check-in process.
Identification and verification: Require visitors to present a valid form of identification upon arrival. Verify the identity of the visitor using government-issued identification documents or other approved means.
Check-in process: Establish a check-in point or reception area where visitors can register their arrival. Provide a visitor logbook or digital check-in system where visitors for meetings can record their details, including name, purpose of visit, time of arrival, and the person they are meeting.
Visitor badges or passes: Issue visitor badges or passes to all approved visitors. These should be prominently displayed and easily visible during their time in the office. Differentiate badges based on visitor type (e.g., contractors, clients, guests) for better identification.
Escort or host assignment: Assign a responsible employee to act as an escort or host for each visitor. This person will accompany the visitor throughout their time in the office, ensuring they are in authorized areas and providing assistance as needed.
Security awareness: Provide visitors with a brief orientation on security protocols, emergency procedures, and any relevant safety guidelines. This helps ensure they understand their role in maintaining a secure and safe environment.
Visitor monitoring: Keep track of visitor movements within the office premises. Implement access control systems or electronic tracking to monitor visitor activities, especially in restricted areas of many offices.
Visitor checkout: Establish a checkout process for visitors when they leave the premises. This can involve returning visitor badges or passes and signing out in the visitor logbook or digital system.
Continuous evaluation and improvement: Regularly review and assess your visitor management process. Seek feedback from employees, visitors, and security personnel to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes.
Remember to comply with applicable privacy laws and regulations when collecting and storing visitor information. Additionally, adapt these steps based on the specific needs and requirements of your office environment and consult with relevant stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and effective visitor management process.
Key Features of a Office Visitor Management System
Having a visitor management system in place makes it easier to manage the entire guest experience. When looking for workplace technology to accommodate new faces in the office, you should be on the lookout for these key features.
- Document prompts: Automatically prompt health questionnaires, and have guests sign non disclosure agreements (NDAs) or other documents before or during their visit.
- Arrival notifications: Automate notifications when guests arrive so the right people can greet them.
- Guest pre-registration: Coordinate with guests by sending them check-in instructions and any other relevant information.
- Visitor data: Export data on guest visits and track who is coming in and out of your office to ensure workplace security.
Create A Better Visitor Experience with Help from Robin
Robin knows that the right tools empower everyone at your company to do their best work. We work with businesses of all sizes to help them implement solutions that improve both the employee and visitor experience.
Our user-friendly office management and wayfinding software makes it easy to welcome guests, reserve workspaces, and collaborate with colleagues. Best of all, with workplace analytics and reporting features, it’s easy to track space utilization and refine your office setup.