Visitor management refers to the process of managing, tracking, and analyzing visitor flow within a specific establishment. Historically, the process started the moment a visitor entered the building and ended when they left. However, as we integrate into a more digitalized world, it instead starts when a visitor checks in, either physically or virtually.
Visitor check-in, also referred to as visitor login, encapsulates the process of a person informing business staff that they have arrived. For example, visitor login can refer to when a person signs in at the front desk of a hospital or when a visitor checks in digitally for an upcoming appointment at the hair salon.
Effective visitor login can help businesses streamline their check-in process and improve the customer experience. However, to develop an effective experience, businesses must look at the visitor journey as a whole and adopt processes that improve the visitor login process.
Here are eight ways businesses worldwide are mastering visitor management:
1. Relying on Innovative Tech Solutions
Technology has transformed the world around us and has dramatically impacted how businesses operate. Those who leverage technology to streamline processes and enhance the customer experience are often those who survive – and even thrive in – today's overwhelmingly competitive market. The first step to mastering visitor management is identifying which technologies can help your business improve its customer flow. Depending on your industry and individual operations, different technologies offer various solutions to meet your needs.
Technological solutions such as visitor management systems electronically monitor and record information about visitors and staff. They make the visitor check-in process more efficient, accurate, and consistent by documenting and gathering information about a visitor's whereabouts in the establishment as well as storing visitor information in a database.
2. Using Occupancy Control Solutions
Visitors to your store or office want to feel as though their space is being respected. When places are overcrowded, they may feel that your establishment is unorganized, decreasing their confidence in the visit. For example, long check-in lines often deter individuals from visitor-specific locations. Therefore, businesses should rely on occupancy control solutions to enhance the visitor journey, from start to finish.
Occupancy control solutions, including Ombori Gird Occupancy Control, track visitors entering and leaving a business through people counter software. This type of technology can help a business decide whether to add people to their staff for busy times, open additional checkout lanes, etc. It also integrates entrance controls, which automatically close entryways when occupancy reaches its maximum level.
The analytics offered by occupancy control solutions help businesses understand visitor traffic flow and schedule staff accordingly. During peak visitor check-in times, they can increase staff to ensure shorter queues.
3. Leveraging Queue Management Systems
Queue management systems (QMSs) help businesses address and improve productivity and turnover, all while improving client satisfaction. They offer digital solutions to replace physical queues with virtual queues.
Here's how they work: Visitors can join a virtual queue via an app or web-based platform prior to their visit or via a self-service kiosk, NFC tag, or QR code scanner at the location. Once done, the visitor is placed in a virtual queue and sent a confirmation via SMS or text. When it is their turn to enter, login, or checkout, they receive a notification. On arrival at the location, they can check in face-to-face using a mobile ticket or via a QR code.
QMSs are often used at entry points to help streamline visitor login processes. Instead of visitors standing in a traditional queue waiting to speak with designated staff, they can check-in digitally and wait at a more convenient location.
4. Integrating Booking Appointment Software
Most queue management systems today integrate booking appointment software. This software enables people to schedule, edit, or cancel appointments online before their visit. For example, numerous industries today have come to rely on Ombori Appointment Booking. This solution increases customer satisfaction by offering choice and convenience while reducing costs by optimizing staff time. It also helps eliminate queues at visitor login by enabling digital check-in.
Online booking tools put your business calendar online and remove receptionists from the scheduling process. In short, your clients can create, modify or cancel appointments without having to contact you. In addition to managing appointments and staff availability, booking appointment software can also send automated reminders to prevent no-shows.
5. Enabling BOPIS and BOPAC Solutions
BOPIS, "buy online pick up in-store," and BOPAC, "buy online pick up curbside," are two solutions that help streamline the entire customer experience. Using the Ombori BOPIS tool, customers can shop online and pay for their items via a virtual checkout process. They can then select a pickup slot, asking employees to prepare the order prior to their interaction. Customers are notified when the products are ready, and they have the option to cancel when necessary. Such features have improved the online shopping experience for customers, providing them security and direct access to purchased products.
BOPIS and BOPAC have also expedited the customer journey, combining the check-in or login process and the checkout process. Customers are offered the ability to quickly retrieve their products at their convenience and avoid queues altogether.
6. Focusing on Omnichannel Commerce
"The future of retail isn't a choice between bricks and clicks. The future is a unified experience [that] allows for flexible customer journeys [covering] both online and physical elements." In other words, the future of retail relies on omnichannel commerce.
Omnichannel commerce can be leveraged in various ways to help businesses meet changing consumer demands. For example, omnichannel commerce can include in-store guided selling technology that enables customers to shop for items at a kiosk while in the store. They can use the system to find the item in-store or purchase the item online and have the item delivered to their home. This omnichannel approach allows customers to experience the shopping journey but removes the hassle of purchasing products and bringing them home.
7. Offering Manned Checkout and Self-Checkout
As mentioned, improving customer login or check-in does not mean strictly focusing on that particular moment of the customer journey; instead, improving the entire process can help every aspect. Therefore, focusing on the exit process is just as crucial to enhancing the shopping experience.
Expediting the checkout process can help businesses improve customer flow overall, and offering both manned checkout and self-checkout can be impactful. Manned checkout refers to traditional checkout methods where an employee oversees the exit process. This can include a cashier who aids a customer in paying for an item or a healthcare employee who helps a patient schedule their next appointment. On the other hand, self-checkout incorporates a kiosk that allows the customer or visitor to check out on their own. For example, in a retail store, the customer can scan their items and complete the transaction at a payment station; in a healthcare facility, a patient can browse a calendar to schedule a follow-up appointment.
8. Using Data Analytics to Improve Visitor Flow
Technological solutions offer the ability for businesses to collect and analyze data to improve operations. They can identify peaks and troughs in visitation, allocate staff and resources accordingly, and ultimately improve visitor flow – and bottom line.
Using this data, retailers and healthcare providers can take an honest look at the customer journey, pinpoint what is working and what isn't, and make improvements to serve visitors' needs better. These insights allow businesses to see visitors more clearly and uncover critical touchpoints that drive loyal customers away and discover opportunities to attract new leads and delight current customers.
Why a Visitor Login System Is Important for Any Business
Businesses that leverage visitor login systems in tandem with visitor management technology can ensure customer safety, provide staff critical data to be better prepared for peaks and troughs, enhance customer flow, and improve their bottom line.
A visitor management solution can serve not only as a framework for controlling customer flow but also as an opportunity to deliver a great customer experience. They can create a welcome mat for people entering your store or office, and they can offer a reprieve for staff who do not have time for disruptions. They can assure that your facilities will continue to run smoothly, even in more chaotic times. Proper visitor management sets expectations and ensures a defined and reliable process for welcoming people into your establishment.