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How to Choose the Right Visitor Management System

Particularly ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses have been looking for visitor management solutions. However, look no further than Google Trends data to see that visitor management has been on the minds of HR and office administration personnel for years and years prior. While serving a relatively simple purpose, modern visitor management systems offer an extremely wide array of options and features to not only streamline your visitors’ check-in process, but also to ensure you are going above and beyond any compliance requirements that your business may have by doing things like tracking visit information, and serving visitors legal agreements at check-in.

However, not all visitor management systems are built equally, and this is a testament to the relatively new technology enabling these workflows; much of the software is on the bleeding edge of tech, and different visitor management companies are necessarily approaching any number of problems they’re trying to solve in very different manners. As has always been the case, though, the right visitor management system for your business is the one that solves as many of the unique challenges you have in your office as possible. Whether you need a system geared towards your compliance requirements, robust host notification flexibility, or you simply need a kiosk that can handle an enormous number of visitors, there’s sure to be a system on the market that will work for you.

Compliance

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Usability

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Safety and Security

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Compliance

For many companies, particularly those operating in a sensitive industry, compliance requirements can be the number one thing driving them to adopt a visitor management system, or at the very least the implementation of a check-in workflow. Compliance standards like ITAR and C-TPAT impose incredible responsibilities on companies when it comes to things like tracking who had access to physical spaces, and when they were there. Visitor management systems, paired with check-in kiosks, are a unique adept solution at solving these problems. Virtually all visitor management systems come with reporting capabilities that allow system administrators to take a look back in time to see who was checked into their facility on any given day. Solutions like LobbyFox allow you to export these reports to spreadsheet or PDF format, and display visitor information alongside each of their “check-ins.” Furthermore, while some systems still store visitor reporting information locally, nearly all visitor management systems utilize the cloud for storing reports so that data integrity and security is maintained at the maximum degree possible.

Usability

The ease of use of visitor management systems is often one of the most important factors to office administrators looking to integrate one of these solutions in their company. This is true not only for the visitors checking in, but also for the administrators managing the backend of the system. Ideally, the “frontend” of the system–which in laymen’s terms is merely referring the check-in kiosk’s interface–is customizable to match the branding of your business, e.g., the check-in kiosk should perhaps display your company’s logo and use your brand’s colors. More importantly, though, the check-in process should be quick and frictionless for your visitors. Check-in kiosks absolutely need to leave your visitors with a positive impression of your company, so speed of check-in is key.

Office administrators that use visitor management software often find themselves checking into the system many times a day to see who’s checked into their facility, and the usability of this backend, administrative portal can be an important consideration as well. This portal is where you’ll go to add employees to the system, edit notifications, pull visitor reports, among many other things. Generally, the simpler the system, the less features are at your disposal, but be wary of visitor management systems that have complicated and unwieldy administrative portals. Providers can be quick to sacrifice ease of use if it means adding more features to an already confusing platform.

Photo of the Author
Tyler Pedigo
March 7, 2022

Tyler is the product development manager for LobbyFox, and loves finding new ways to improve the platform for customers. He has a passion for technology, economics, and science fiction. When he’s not working on new product features, Tyler can be found attempting to train his (really) hyperactive Boston Terrier, Millie.

Safety and Security

Safety of staff and security of organizational assets is always a paramount concern for businesses, and even the best-planned businesses can find themselves in difficult situations if they’re not adequately prepared. Visitor management systems offer a number of different ways to improve the security of your office. Perhaps the most well-known and cornerstone security feature of visitor management systems is the ability to track who had access to your office and when. This information is then stored in the system and can be easily accessed by administrators. Additionally, if you’re using a cloud-based visitor management system, your data is always accessible from anywhere in the world, so you can keep an eye on things even when you’re not in the office. Some visitor management systems, like LobbyFox, also give you the ability to automatically “dismiss” unwanted visitors, like solicitors, as well as hide the list of employees so that random visitors can’t see who the names of your staff.

Another security feature that is often overlooked (and not offered by all providers) is the ability of visitor management systems to serve legal agreements/waivers to visitors. When a visitor checks in, they are generally presented with a document to read and sign. This document is usually an agreement stating that the visitor is aware of the security procedures of the office and that they will not hold the company liable for any accidents or injuries that may occur while they are on site. Having a visitor management system that can print these documents on-demand can be a massive time saver for office administrators, and helps to ensure that all visitors are aware of your company’s safety policies.

Photo of the Author
Tyler Pedigo
March 18, 2022

Tyler is the product development manager for LobbyFox, and loves finding new ways to improve the platform for customers. He has a passion for technology, economics, and science fiction. When he’s not working on new product features, Tyler can be found attempting to train his (really) hyperactive Boston Terrier, Millie.

Cost

Lastly, cost can also be a factor when selecting the right visitor management system for your company. The good news is that nearly all leading solutions on the market right now are priced in the $200-$300 per month range for the standard set of features (text notifications, visitor photos, badge printing), with the exception of LobbyFox, which starts at $179 per month. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that most solutions have tiered based pricing which unlocks additional features with more premium plans. For instance, iLobby bumps their price up to $275 per month if you want the version of their software that enables you to administer multiple locations from a single account, and Envoy charges $359 per month to enable users to implement customized branding on your kiosks, and snap visitor photos. For most companies, however, price differences between leading providers is not enough of a motivating factor to go with one solution over another.

Photo of the Author
Tyler Pedigo
April 28, 2022

Tyler is the product development manager for LobbyFox, and loves finding new ways to improve the platform for customers. He has a passion for technology, economics, and science fiction. When he’s not working on new product features, Tyler can be found attempting to train his (really) hyperactive Boston Terrier, Millie.

Because visitor management solutions are such new technology, and have only recently become a staple of the American office, there aren’t too many providers to choose from. Still, as mentioned previously, the leading providers of this software approach visitor management in very different ways, even if they’re all trying to solve the same fundamental problems for their customers. While it has not historically been the first choice for companies integrating check-in kiosks in their lobbies, LobbyFox’s features have expanded enormously over the past couple of years. Additionally, LobbyFox offers a completely white-labeled solution, meaning your branding is at the forefront for your visitors for no additional fees. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that does it all, LobbyFox is definitely a contender. Check out LobbyFox’s industry leading capabilities at lobbyfox.io today.

Photo of the Author
Tyler Pedigo
March 7, 2022

Tyler is the product development manager for LobbyFox, and loves finding new ways to improve the platform for customers. He has a passion for technology, economics, and science fiction. When he’s not working on new product features, Tyler can be found attempting to train his (really) hyperactive Boston Terrier, Millie.

Photo of the Author
Tyler Pedigo
March 7, 2022

Tyler is the product development manager for LobbyFox, and loves finding new ways to improve the platform for customers. He has a passion for technology, economics, and science fiction. When he’s not working on new product features, Tyler can be found attempting to train his (really) hyperactive Boston Terrier, Millie.

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