How Visitor Management Systems Streamline Access and Security

Visitor Management Systems enhance access control and security by streamlining check-ins, bolstering safety protocols.

You’re familiar with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and may even use specialized software to track your contacts, clients, vendors, and networking partners, fostering valuable business relationships. But have you considered implementing a Visitor Management System?

While much attention is often given to managing regular contacts, visitors are sometimes overlooked. Yet, a visitor management system is a vital component of both your CRM and security strategies.

What Is a Visitor Management System?

A Visitor Management System (VMS) is a systematic approach to handling guests, ensuring a smooth experience and eliminating uncertainty. Just as CRM enhances customer relations, VMS elevates visitor experiences, benefiting both guests and employees by providing predictability and preparation for various visitor types.

What Does a Visitor Management System Do?

A robust VMS caters to the needs of all visitors, ensuring appropriate care aligned with the organization’s standards. While some guests receive VIP treatment, others like repair workers or delivery personnel may not. It’s crucial to ensure all visitors are efficiently assisted, regardless of their status, to uphold hospitality standards consistently.

A great visitor management system has a plan in place for each kind of visitor.

  • Good signage: Clear exterior signs direct visitors to the correct buildings and entrances, including specific signs for different visitor types such as deliveries. Interior directories help all visitors find relevant departments, while prominent signs indicating check-in locations streamline the process.
  • Employee Preparation: Employees, especially those near entrances, receive training on assisting various types of guests according to organizational needs. They understand whether guests require escorts and where delivery personnel should wait. All employees are briefed on providing necessary information to guests in advance and know the protocol for addressing wandering visitors.

Processes Guests Quickly and Efficiently

Visitors come into your organization for a reason. Whether they are there to repair the window or meet with a top-level executive, a visitor has a mission upon entering. Your VMS is in place to help them move past the awkwardness of an unfamiliar location as quickly as possible

  1. Identification Process: Upon arrival, guests are swiftly identified to determine their purpose, crucial for adhering to appropriate procedures. This may involve completing a registration form, either on paper or electronically, which is then reviewed or logged into a database.
  2. Host Connection: The system facilitates guest-host connections efficiently. Methods include receptionists contacting hosts, guests being escorted to hosts, or electronic registration apps automatically notifying hosts. Prompt connection ensures business can commence swiftly.

Helps Keep the Premises Secure

Part of the goal of having a visitor management system is to keep your organization as secure as necessary. A set protocol for every guest and guest type is an important way to offer a higher level of security. Some ways to increase security include:

  1. Single Visitor Entrance: Directing all visitors through a single entry point ensures clarity and prevents unauthorized access to restricted areas.
  2. Visitor Check-In and Out: Mandatory check-in and check-out procedures deter misconduct and provide valuable records for security and CRM purposes, seamlessly integrating with existing contact management software.
  3. Visitor Badges: Issuing visitor badges for access beyond specific areas clarifies their status and restricts their movements accordingly, ensuring security while facilitating ease of identification.
  4. Situational Preparedness: Implementing protocols to handle unwelcome or potentially dangerous visitors, such as training employees and establishing communication procedures with security or emergency services, enhances safety and security measures.
  5. Fosters Success: A well-executed visitor management system enhances organizational reputation by creating positive first impressions, facilitates relationship-building through efficient follow-up procedures, and maximizes opportunities for engagement and growth.

What Are My Options?

  1. The “No-System” System:
  • Informal rules or no protocols.
  • Visitors locate hosts themselves, causing interruptions.
  • No identification or visitor log.
  1. The Designated Receptionist:
  • Dedicated staff at entry points (e.g., museums, hospitals).
  • Check-in required, personal information logged.
  1. The Semi-dedicated Receptionist:
  • Receptionist juggles multiple tasks, including greeting guests.
  • Interruptions expected but impact workflow.
  1. The Guest Self-Check-in Kiosk:
  • Automated self-registration kiosks gaining popularity.
  • Benefits include reduced errors, streamlined data collection, and fewer interruptions.
  1. The Security Guard:
  • Security guards may double as receptionists.
  • May require ID, issue visitor badges for access, and handle security concerns effectively.
  1. The Paper Log:
  • Informal or formal paper-based logs.
  • Inefficient for tracking and data collection, requires manual entry into databases.
  1. Multiple Systems (aka, the “Chinese menu”):
  • Various systems can complement each other.
  • Combining systems enhances efficiency and security, like self-serve kiosks with electronic logs maintained by security.

Summary: Visitor Management Is Right for You

Implementing a visitor management system streamlines processes, saving time and reducing headaches for both your organization and guests. Clear procedures foster smoother operations, enhancing relationships and ensuring efficient, welcoming experiences for visitors, ultimately meeting their needs effectively.