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Finding Balance: Automated vs Personalized Visitor Experiences

At your workplace, do you greet a staff member the same way you greet a delivery driver or the CEO of a business partner? Hopefully not, here’s why.

The key to a good welcome is personalization.

When someone visits your workplace, their experience - and therefore, how they view your business - starts from the moment they walk in the door. That’s when you have the biggest opportunity to influence their first impression of your business and lay the foundations of your entire relationship with that person.

However, in a busy, modern world, people aren’t always available to personally greet visitors. Sign in technology on a tablet or iPad is common, but often lacks the personalization that makes a greeting warm and genuine (and on brand).

But what if we told you, you can have both?  In this article we explore why the visitor experience matters, and how you can leverage cutting edge tech to automate the visitor experience without compromising a personalized welcome.

Why Visitor Experience Matters

A HubSpot survey revealed 82% of sales professionals say building relationships is the most important part of selling. And we all know first impressions last, meaning a good visitor experience is an essential part of the process.

The way someone is greeted into a workplace is a critical part of the overall experience, shaping how a visitor perceives your workplace. Your values and principles are immediately on display in the way you greet a visitor, and that has a very real impact on your business dealings together.

The Rise of Visitor Management Systems

A visitor management system (VMS) is a software-based technology that allows businesses to better manage and monitor the movement of people through the workplace. It is typically hosted on a tablet or iPad at reception in place of a paper visitor book and standardizes the check in and check out process for all people coming into a premises in a hands-off way, reducing the administration involved while tightening data privacy.

A VMS also doubles as a security tool, authorizing all visitors and providing an accurate register of all people on site at any point in time - which is particularly useful in an emergency.

As businesses all over the world look to modernize and become more efficient with technology, visitor management systems have become more and more mainstream.

The Power of a Positive First Impression 

When it’s done well, the visitor experience in any workplace can lead to huge benefits. It helps to create long term relationships, repeat business and brand loyalty, but when it’s done poorly it can harm relationships and put off potential clients or partners.

Visitors can be incredibly quick to judge the likeability of an organization based on any number of factors; the vibe of the office, the music that’s playing, the art (or lack of it) on the walls…the list goes on. 

The key is finding a way to make a universally impressive first impression that sets the standard for what’s to come.

SwipedOn Reception 3

The Downside of Impersonal Automation

As technology increasingly impacts more and more aspects of our daily lives, human interactions are being increasingly valued. This is summarized by Matteo Pittaluga in Forbes:

“As technology, particularly AI and automation, has advanced, there seems to be a growing desire for human contact and personal connection.” 

While it’s great to have sign in technology at the front door, it can leave visitors feeling unloved. Even a small personal touch goes a long way.

Striking the Balance: Personalization with a VMS

So how can you use visitor management software to create a personalized experience?

How to Enhance Personalization Using Automation

When it comes to automation and personalization, you don’t have to choose between one or the other. 

By segmenting the types of visitors you might have and creating customized experiences for each segment, you can create a tailored visitor welcome that still has the benefit of being automated.

Better still, you can automate an individual visitor experience ahead of time for someone you know is coming to your workplace, showing them you’ve gone to the effort of making them feel welcome.

Features of a VMS that Foster Personalization

Your VMS can be tailored for various guests in a range of ways. All of these customizations free staff up for genuine interactions with visitors, while embracing the efficiency automation provides. 

  • Pre-Registration for a Seamless Arrival. If you’re expecting a guest and want to make it easy for them to check in, you can allow them to pre-register online, expediting the process when they arrive at your office.

  • Personalized Greetings. Load a welcome message that’s customized to the visitor, making them feel welcome from the moment they arrive.

  • Customizable Check-In. Adjust visitor screening questions for different types of guests, or even individuals, so they can sign in much faster. You can also customize the language used or tailor a sign in process according to the purpose of their visit.

For example, imagine the difficulty a foreign guest would have signing in if they don’t speak your language fluently. Contrast that feeling with the comfort they would have of being able to sign in in their own language, and how much they would appreciate being able to do so.

  • Automated Notifications for Streamlined Connections. Inform hosts when visitors arrive via email or text message, reducing wait times.

The Benefits of a Balanced Approach

Tap into the efficiency of front desk automation, while also catering for personalized visitor experiences, and get the best of both worlds.

Happier Visitors = Stronger Brand Image

By impressing visitors from the very first interaction with them, you’ll create a welcoming feeling that carries through their whole time at your workplace. It sends a strong message about your brand values, and sets the tone for ongoing relations.

Empowering Employees and Boosting Productivity

With alert notifications, staff don’t need to wait around to receive guests. Employees can be productive on other tasks right up until the moment when visitors arrive. You can also customize a streamlined sign in experience for your staff.

Enhanced Security and Streamlined Access Control

Automated sign in and out provides a real-time head count at any point in time. It prevents unauthorized guests from entering the premises and provides a unified view of visitors across multiple locations.

Data-Driven Insights for Future Engagement

Your VMS can provide data on busy visitor times and average visitor length, which are useful information for scheduling purposes. 

For example, by communicating this information to staff, they can avoid busy times to reduce crowding, or schedule meetings with visitors at times when shared meeting spaces are more likely to be available. 

Creating a Welcoming Experience

Why Personalization Matters in the Age of Automation

In today’s increasingly hybrid world, in-person meetings are much rarer than they used to be. But the need to improve customer care is arguably higher than ever. In a 2022 McKinsey survey, improving the customer experience was the fastest-growing priority area for customer care leaders.

If a customer or stakeholder is going to the trouble of visiting your premises, it’s important to make that experience a standout one. Otherwise, they may come away thinking that in-person meeting should have been a call which isn’t a good look for your business.

How SwipedOn's Solution is used for Personalized Experiences

SwipedOn’s visitor management system gives you the best of everything. It allows guests to sign in using their own phone via a QR code, or a tablet at your reception. Hosts (aka employees) are instantly notified of a guest’s arrival, minimizing wait times and encouraging productivity.

You can make the sign-in experience unique to your workplace with customizable branding and identify guests with a photo capture and printed visitor badges. 

There’s even the ability to show custom NDA’s and request documents from visitors when they sign in, taking care of paperwork and ensuring compliance all in one go.

SwipedOn Reception visitor sign in NDA

The Next Step 

In-person meetings between businesses and clients or partners are no longer the only option. While online calls are often more convenient, they lack the personal touch.

Utilizing visitor management technology to create an outstanding visitor experience allows you to capitalize on the advantage of having a meeting in person. 

With a seamless visitor management solution, SwipedOn helps you achieve an automated yet personalized visitor experience. 

What are you waiting for? Capture all the benefits of technology to make the sign in, sign out process efficient at your workplace, while impressing visitors with customizable sign in flows that are sure to set the tone for future dealings together. 

Schedule a Demo and Discover How VMS Can Transform Your Visitor Experience

Want to keep your workplace feeling fresh?  

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Lou Burton

Lou is our Brand & Content Manager at SwipedOn.

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