What Makes An Exceptional Visitor Experience?

by Rebecca Symmank on October 6, 2020
Visitor Management Software

Right now, with few (if any) guests coming to your office, the visitor experience is likely far from your mind. But once you return to the office and some semblance of normal operations, you’ll have a steady stream of clients, job candidates, vendors, contractors, and potential customers once again.

Because visitors have fewer interactions with your company, each one has a bigger impact on their overall impression.

If you want to provide the kind of visitor experience that guests tell their coworkers and friends about, you need to prioritize these practices through visitor management.

5 visitor experience essentials

Pre-visit communication

The best companies recognize that the visitor experience begins even before a guest arrives. They understand that pre-visit communication can ensure a guest’s experience starts positively and only gets better from there.

Sending a pre-visit email allows you to provide important, personalized information based on the nature of your guest’s visit.

For example, you can send out-of-town visitors details about transportation, such as driving directions from the airport and nearby hotels, parking information, available shuttles, and taxi and rideshare options.

You can also use pre-visit emails to send clients meeting agendas, questions you need answered before arrival, and any paperwork guests may need to sign.

Even a generic message containing standard check-in instructions, a map of the workplace, and the WiFi network name and password can go a long way toward providing an impressive visitor experience.

Your communication should also include the steps your company is taking to ensure visitor safety with respect to COVID-19. That includes procedures you put into place to maintain physical distancing, expectations for wearing masks, and cleaning and sanitation protocols.

If your office is requiring temperature checks or wellness screenings, it’s a good idea to let visitors know ahead of time.

Simple, touchless check-in

What happens when a guest first arrives at your workplace sets the tone for the entire visit. If your guest walks into the lobby to see an empty reception desk and a paper sign-in sheet, you’re not exactly making a great first impression.

A simple, touchless visitor management system conveys you have a modern, digital workplace. It also demonstrates a commitment to safe, efficient check-in procedures. If you pre-register your guests, they can simply scan a QR code and move on, instead of waiting in the lobby.

If you offer self-service check-in, your visitor management software must be user-friendly and intuitive. If the interface is clunky or slow, it defeats the purpose of self-service check-in since visitors will still have to wait for a front-desk receptionist to assist them.

To truly take the visitor experience from “good” to “exceptional,” you should invest in visitor management software that sends push notifications and/or Slack alerts to the host when their guest arrives, rather than only dispatching an email.

Whereas an email can easily be missed (especially when an employee is on the move) and result in a guest waiting for an extended period of time, this feature ensures the host immediately knows that their visitor is in the lobby so they can greet them promptly.

Safety and security

Just like your employees, visitors to your workplace want to feel safe.

An official workplace visitor policy and a visitor management system considerably reduce the risk of unauthorized guests entering your facilities. With a workplace visitor policy, all employees know the rules, procedures, and protocols for controlling access to the office.

One critical element of a visitor policy is requiring guests to enter their name, company, and reason for their visit into your visitor check-in system. This gives you a digital record in case you need to contact them later — for instance, if you have a potential COVID-19 exposure or you need to evacuate the building in case of an emergency.

If a visitor is involved in an incident at your workplace, you can add them to a security watchlist. Because visitor management software offers the ability to check visitors against your security watchlist, if someone on the watchlist attempts to check in, the software instantly alerts security personnel.

In addition, you can use visitor management software to print temporary security badges with an expiration date and a photo of the visitor to help keep track of guests during their visit. This ensures you have complete, accurate information for each visitor and eliminates potential privacy and confidentiality risks that result from paper sign-in sheets.

Intelligent workplace design

A great visitor experience is only possible when guests feel comfortable and have everything they need to be productive.

Your workplace should offer a variety of tech-enabled spaces designed to support activity-based working. This includes individual workstations, huddle areas for informal pow-wows, private conference rooms for more formal meetings, phone booths for private calls, and quiet areas for solo work.

Creating an extraordinary visitor experience also means considering environmental elements, such as lighting and ventilation.

Workplaces that maximize the distribution of natural light and use high-quality artificial lighting support increased productivity, more positive moods, and better overall health. One way to reduce light obstruction is by using glass walls when possible and translucent materials in spaces that require privacy.

While maintaining proper ventilation has always been important to reducing airborne pollutants, it’s even more critical as the world battles COVID-19. Avoiding the use of chemical-heavy cleaning agents, isolating sources of indoor air contaminants, and regular pest treatments are just a few ways you can improve indoor air quality for both employees and visitors.

Digital signage

Employee experience (EX) mobile apps are an effective way to provide the workforce with helpful tools that give them more control over the work environment. For visitors, however, a mobile app is not always a viable option. A better alternative is interactive digital signage.

With digital signage, you can provide visitors all of the relevant functionality of an employee experience app. Guests can browse through a list of reservable rooms, view the details of the space as well as real-time availability, and book the one that best suits their needs.

They can then get directions to the space they reserved using the wayfinding feature.

Digital signage can also communicate important information and news to visitors, such as traffic alerts and weather forecasts.

What the best visitor management systems have in common

In many ways, providing an exceptional visitor experience is similar to providing a positive employee experience. Your visitors need to feel safe and comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. By adding these elements to your workplace — including a visitor management system — you’ll keep your guests coming back.

The best visitor management systems enable pre-registration and touchless check-in. They also integrate with the technology your workplace already uses, including email and Slack, to notify employees when a visitor arrives.

And at a time when visitors are more anxious about staying safe, your visitor management system should also make it easy to manage wellness checks.

See how our visitor management system improves security and creates a great experience from the start. Request a live demo today.


Rebecca Symmank

As a member of the Business Development team for iOFFICE, Rebecca is spirited and is quick to take initiative. Previously a customer and daily user of the IWMS provider, she has extensive experience on both the front and back end structure of the product. Rebecca's enthusiasm for facilities management and her tangible experience in the field give her an unprecedented understanding and perception of iOFFICE customers. Rebecca is able to relate to organizations implementing on IWMS, and has a unique perspective on what makes the experience a success.

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