The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Visitor Management Solution
A visitor management solution is a software that tracks and checks in visitors into your facility. It often collects visitor information, who they are visiting and the purpose of their visit. There are different kinds of visitor management solutions in the market, including a dedicated receptionist, visitor log book, visitor sign-in kiosk and many more.
With so many visitor management solutions, picking one for your organisation can be a daunting task. Irrespective of which visitor management solution, there are several elements that you must consider before committing to adopt any new system in your organisation.
So how do you choose one to commit to? How do you find the right visitor management solution that fits your organisation? To answer these questions, here are some factors you should consider when choosing a visitor management solution.
Factors to consider when choosing a visitor management solution
There are many factors to consider when deciding on the visitor management solution that is suitable for your organisation. These can be broken down to:
- Legal considerations
- Security reasons
- Ease of use
- Ability to integrate with your current systems
- Availability of support
- Customisability of features
It looks like there are many things to consider, but let’s go through them one by one!
Regardless of your organisation’s nature, be it places of worship, offices or residential aged care facilities, there are some legislative requirements and restrictions that you will need to follow. Especially with COVID, government restrictions have been more strictly enforced to ensure the safety of Australians.
Further, with Australia being such a vast country, there are different visitor restrictions for other states, making it more difficult for organisations to commit to a visitor management solution that is not up to date with the restrictions.
Taking the aged care industry as an example, there are tons of visitor restrictions aged care providers need to comply to. For Queensland, residents can have as many visitors as the aged care facility allows. Aged care providers in Queensland are also required to collect and keep contact information about all visitors for contact tracing purposes for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum period of 56 days.
However, there are different visitor restrictions in Victoria. Even though there are also no limits to the number of visitors, visitors must wear face masks. Unlike Queensland, all Victorian care facilities need to keep a record of visitors for 28 days.
With such complex restrictions, organisations have to consider the issue of legal compliance before picking a visitor management solution. Visitor management solutions, like Zipline that is updated continuously with government restrictions, are crucial for organisations to be able to comply easily, while also ensuring ease of use for end-users.
You also have to keep in mind that you will be responsible for their safety once visitors arrive at your facility. When considering a visitor management solution, organisations have to be very mindful of security. Before deciding on one, ask yourself or your provider, where are all the data being stored? Is it safe from hackers, and are there any specific functions that have been considered?
Evidently, organisations like aged care facilities, hospitals and schools have visitors come and go daily. With an influx of visitors moving in and out of your facility, a visitor management solution must add extra layers of security.
Visitor management solutions can increase your organisation’s security level with features such as facial recognition, emergency notification, temperature checks (in light of COVID), photo badge printing, and many others. With so many different systems out there, it is best to look for one with software that provides the above features.
Not only do you have to be watchful of visitors’ physical safety, but data security is also critical. Especially with COVID, organisations, especially the aged care industry, have to collect visitors’ details for contact tracing purposes. Any data provided by visitors should be kept safe and secure.
With these in mind, it is best to look for a visitor management solution that guarantees your organisation and visitors’ safety and security. A breach of data security and safety is the last thing your organisation and visitors want!
Ease of use
Is the software easy for visitors to use?
User-friendliness should be a deal-breaker when considering a visitor management solution. When paying a visit or going for an appointment, visitors don’t have a lot of time to spare to stand around while figuring out how to use the visitor management solution. It needs to be intuitive and easy for visitors to use.
Likewise, you also don’t want to train your employees for a long time to navigate the system. A visitor management solution is supposed to improve staff efficiency – having a visitor management solution that is tough to navigate for the employees defeats the purpose of having one.
Whether it is the pre-booking of visits, the user interface of the system or the self-check-in kiosk, you have to keep in mind that it should be easy to navigate. When you have already chosen a visitor management solution for your organisation, you will have to take your staff through training before letting visitors have a go at it! You should avoid the systems that are overly technical and difficult for both staff and visitors to use.
Ability to integrate with your current systems
Technology has had an impact on just about every industry on the planet. With the onset of COVID, it is evident that technology has become necessary for organisations to work effectively and efficiently.
Regardless of your organisation’s size, it is without a doubt that you already have other systems in place, be it Slack, Google Calendar or Microsoft Office. The visitor management solution that you choose should be able to integrate with your other systems.
For instance, when visitors pre-book a visit, the booking should go straight into the calendar of whoever they are visiting, ensuring that there is no miscommunication between visitors and staff. Further, specifically for the aged care industry, it is crucial that you consider visitor management solutions that can integrate with residential management software.
A comprehensive visitor management solution should ensure that integration with other systems should be possible and easy to implement. With this possibility, adopting a new visitor management solution for your organisation will be very seamless.
Availability of support
Even with the importance of technology in today’s world, technology is not always foolproof and can be subject to malfunctions once in a while. Before deciding on a visitor management solution, you will have to ensure that the provider has at least 9 am-6 pm support daily from Mondays to Fridays.
With so many visitors going in and out of your facility, the system is bound to have some hiccups here and there. Thus, it is vital to have support available whenever you need, so that visitors will not be affected. A visitor management solution with quick support response is something you should keep into account when making your decision!
Customisability of features
Depending on the nature and needs of your organisation, you should choose a visitor management solution that is able to adapt accordingly. There is no such thing as a one size fits all system. With different types of visitors for all businesses, it is impossible for one solution to manage all kinds of visitors.
A customisable system allows you to incorporate different types of features and tailor-make your approach to visitors, again, depending on your visitors and the organisation’s needs. Some of the other features include branding and design, badge printing and visitor reporting.
For instance, when visitors are greeted with your organisation’s logo and colour theme from using the visitor management solution, it helps with your branding. Visitors will have a better first impression! Your company’s branding experience can start right from the entrance, setting you apart from your competitors.
Last, of all, don’t go above your budget! The last thing you want is to justify breaking the bank over a visitor management solution! You should consider a cost-effective solution and of good quality. Also, you should avoid those that have hidden charges!
While some people think that expensive equates to quality, it is not always the case. There are visitor management solutions out there that are affordable and provide just enough features or qualities that your organisation requires.
Affordability includes factors such as the cost of staffing and any other long-term cost needed to keep the system in operation. It would help to consider the cost of installation and the running cost for the system before committing. These additional costs should matter, and the potential service provider should be candid on any other hidden cost.
In the wake of COVID, visitor management solutions have become increasingly crucial, especially for organisations that receive many visitors daily. All visitor management solutions need to meet the purpose they are designed for and tick off your specific organisational requirements. When choosing one out of the many dozens in the market today, it would be helpful to consider the seven factors beforehand.