Visitor Management System for a Coworking Space: Catchall Implementation Guide
The visitor management system for a coworking space is software allowing community managers to automate the reception area. This type of system incredibly boosts the visitor experience and brings multiple benefits to those who use it.
Read on and learn more on the subject — why do you need a visitor management system for your coworking space, what types of systems are available in the market, how to choose a visitor management system for your coworking space, and more.
- Why Do You Need a Visitor Management System
- Benefits of Visitor Management App
- Common Use Cases of Visitor Management Software
- Types of Visitor Management Systems
- How to Choose the Best Visitor Management Software for Coworking Space
- Visitor Management System Example
The core of any visitor registration app can be described in a simple sentence. It should quickly and efficiently check in visitors, capture key visitor information, and let hosts know of visitor arrivals.
I am not saying that front desk managers fail to cope with their job. On the contrary, most of them are pretty good at what they are doing but they are just humans who can handle only one task at a time.
The truth is that coworking spaces generally don’t have a lot of staff, they simply don't need it. A flexible workspace is usually packed full with members working on their own projects and interacting with one another, customers, partners.
How many people manage your coworking space?
Probably the answer is one or two. What would you prefer — a community manager staying at the desk all the time greeting the incomers or a manager engaged in high touch activities? Most probably you want a manager to do both, greet people, and facilitate building a community. With an automated check in process across all your multiple locations, you can attain the ultimate efficiency of your small crew.
Don't make the manager feel torn trying to be at two places simultaneously.
Multitasking simply doesn't work in some cases. Just imagine your manager talking to the members or troubleshooting an issue when a guest walks through the door and requires immediate attention. Setting priorities in such a situation is needless, as a visitor kiosk lets the guest feel welcome without interrupting the workflow and stressing the manager.
Does your coworking space sponsor workshops and informal gatherings aimed at encouraging community-building among members?
These events provide great opportunities for promotion. You demonstrate to clients, prospective members, and visitors what the workspace has to offer. Directing guests to check in at an automated kiosk allows your community manager to run the show, shake hands, and establish connections.
Coworking software boosted by a visitor management system not only simplifies managers' life. Your coworking space needs it to build a digital database of possible connections (visitors input their personal details during check in.) When you know every visitor of the gathering, there is no shame in a follow-up phone call, handwritten note, or an invitation to learn more about the membership benefits at your coworking center.
Modern people are more comfortable with high tech than with humans.
Most people prefer self-service gadgets to direct personal communication. This is getting even more evident in the post-COVID-19 world.
- They prefer to use a self-service system even when a person is available. This is the best way to make sure that your info is entered correctly.
- A visitor will not interrupt if a manager is busy with some other activity. But waiting results in a poor user experience. A self-service option solves the problem as assists the visitor immediately.
- Managers can't work 24/7 and they don't have to. Digital check in to visitor systems work instead of them and registration becomes a matter of minutes no matter of guests coming time.
- A decent visitor management system automatically notifies the host about guest arrival by voice call, text message, email, or Slack. This allows the host to personally greet their guests.
I have already covered some of the benefits a visitor management system can bring to a coworking space. Here I am going to structure the ones mentioned above and supplement them with several new items.
- You know who are your visitors which helps you reduce risks and enhance office security. A visitor management system allows your host members to preregister their guests and enter all the relevant details. You can quickly process their details beforehand and put both planned and unplanned visits under control.
- Send notifications and prepare for the visits better. When the visitor gets preregistered, they receive a notification with all essential details on their mobile phone or email. This helps to speed up check in at the security gate. When the visitor checks in to the premises a notification about the arrival is sent to the receiving party as well.
- Supply visitors with e–pass or paper pass. Some visitor management systems offer options to create either an e-pass with access rights or a paper pass (as well as badge printing) for visitors with the following information — visitor name, photograph, contact details, organization name, and escort name. It also contains records of all the carry-on materials and visitor's ID-proof for adding an extra layer of security.
- Get utmost control over visitor access. One of the most important benefits of a visitor access management system is easy control. By entering visitor’s credentials (pin code, palm vein, fingerprint, RFID card, QR code, whatever), you can restrict visitor's access and permit entrance only to scheduled and selected areas.
- Stop entering the same data every now and again. Maintain visitor database with the software. Mark returning visitors. This will help you create a visitor pass quickly, avoid entering the same user details every time, and save hours.
- See the live status of visitors. The visitor dashboard displays the current status of the visitors. It provides real-time data of visitors inside the premises, the status of registered visitor passes, preregistered visitors, new visitors, rejected passes, expired passes, and more. This info is essential for enhancing coworking space security.
- Observe substantial growth of business health parameters. Another huge benefit of using an automated visitor management system is that you can generate various Excel, PDF, CSV, Word, and RTF reports. For instance, you can view reports of visitor punch details, preregistered visitors, visitor access denied, enrollment status, pass validity, and more.
- Charge for visits easily. Some coworking spaces allow a limited number of visitors for free and restrict their time inside accordingly. For instance, a member can invite up to 5 guests a day and those guests can stay in the coworking space for up to 2 hours without paying extra money. As the visitor management system logs guests' check in and check out time it's really easy to add due amounts to members' monthly bills.
- Better first-touch experience with your brand. Since guests don't have to wait for the manager's assistance, explain who are they and what is the purpose of their visit and can self-register immediately at a visitor display, they feel welcome at your coworking center and note your advanced technology and premium hospitality. This way you shape up a positive brand image in their heads and maybe even attract prospective customers.
Sure enough visitor management systems are used not only in coworking spaces. An office, office center, school, educational institution, hospital, business/government/non-profit agency, and so on also take advantage of the software functionality.
Visitor management software is certainly a useful tool for checking in clients and partners, but its capabilities go far beyond that. For instance, when you use the system for guest registration, you actually impress them from the very beginning.
The guest signs in at the service kiosk and the visitor management platform sends a text, email, or Slack notification to the community manager/host member in real-time. If the guest is required to sign any documentation prior to entering the meeting room, they can quickly complete the form on the kiosk or iPad and get to work right away. Filled forms are saved directly to the database and can be easily accessed.
Your guests will love using visitor management software for check in when they arrive for their working day or a business meeting. This helps to avoid the awkward moments when a person doesn't know where to go or where to sit if the community manager isn’t available.
Visitor management software helps you keep your coworking space, members, and staff secure, especially when you couple it with an access control platform. It can stop unwelcome visitor before they get in. You can configure the system to alert security about unauthorized guests.
Sometimes you need to invite a contractor to do a certain job for you (software maintenance, installation, bugs fixing, repairing, whatever). Your visitor management platform can manage those contractors as well. It will validate them, ensure they have a place to work, and know where to go. When a contractor checks in via an iPad or service kiosk, the host gets an immediate alert. The contractor can receive a badge and be assigned to a workstation where they can get to work right away instead of waiting for personal attendance.
You can check the digital visitor logs to see when and where they are planning to work. Besides, you can also see if a contractor has left for the day or never shows up.
There are three types of visitor management systems. Continue reading and know more about each type, its pros and cons.
- The first type is the most familiar one. It's a pen and paper visitor management system.
Pros: This system is cheap and easy to start. All you need is a pen, a notebook, and a receptionist who will put in the records.
Cons: Waste of paper. The system doesn’t integrate with anything, doesn’t notify members about visitors, doesn't contribute to building a positive coworking brand image.
- The second type is your own custom-made software.
Pros: A software solution tailored specifically to your workspace needs gives you the utmost flexibility and can be deeply customized to your requirements.
Cons: It's rather expensive to develop and maintain custom visitor management software. Moreover, it will require a custom integration with your main workspace management platform as well as any other system for coworking space.
- The third type is a white label visitor management system such as andcards, Greetly, The Receptionist, and Welkio.
Pros: The software is affordable. (In the case of andcards, you get a visitor management system at no additional cost as it comes in one package with the main workspace management software.) Flexible and customizable connects to coworking software to notify members.
Cons: Failed to find any. You tell us.
Firstly let's utter what exactly a good visitor management system should do for you —
- sign in/sign out visitors,
- allow preregistration of guests,
- send automated notifications to visitors/hosts,
- keep a record of visits,
- keep track of guests during their visit,
- enhance your brand positions,
- provide identification for guests to wear (optional).
Now we can pass over to choosing a perfect visitor management system for your coworking space. Ask yourself these questions before making a final decision.
1. Is the system easy to use for people of all skill levels?
Eye-feasting client-facing features are important but your visitor management system should be user-friendly at the backend as well. Don't make administrator struggle with the check in process, badges, and reports design. Opt for a visitor management system that offers a great user experience and features like drag-and-drop interfaces, wizards, and robust customer support that can respond to questions quickly. Even better, consider only the programs that have a free trial period before making a long-term commitment.
2. Does the system streamline the visitor management process in general?
The best visitor management system not only assists in the check in process but helps with printing visitor badges, playing safety videos, alerting hosts that their visitors have arrived, in a word, replaces the front desk staff.
For example, andcards allows host members approve visit requests and communicates every step to guests via the check in tablet. This is great as a visitor is 100% confident that the host knows they’ve arrived and that they are safe from the odds of wandering into the office unannounced.
Some more helpful features are "returning visitor" (allows to store visitors information and check in quicker next time), preregistration (eliminates manual data input on coming), customization of the check in fields, and screens to suit your coworking space brand style.
3. What hardware do I need to implement a visitor management system at my coworking space?
The most essential devices necessary for running a visitor management system are a tablet, a tablet stand, and Wifi connections. This is not too much if you don't need to think about hardware compatibility. Beware of the visitor management systems that don't support cheaper Android tablets as your estimated hardware costs will inevitably go up.
4. Is the system able to seamlessly integrate with your coworking software?
Why is it so important for a visitor management system to integrate with your coworking software? Because it saves you money and frees you from many unexpected disappointments.
For instance, successful integration frees you from managing two user databases as they are synchronized. Coworking software will serve a list of members to choose a host and can save guest list.
Moreover, host members can be notified with a push notification inside the coworking app. Usually notifying with SMS costs extra money. Configuring Slack for the purpose is too complicated. But coworking members already have a smart mobile app installed, they already use it for bookings, payments, communication, etc. so they can just receive a push notification that someone's at the door.
5. How does the system protect customer privacy?
No doubt that the visitor management system is much more private than a paper log. Yet, advanced software takes privacy to the next level automatically removing visitor data at custom intervals (at the end of each day, week, or month).
Customers appreciate such an approach as not all of them want you to store their info for a lifetime. This becomes even more topical if you keep GDPR items in mind.
6. Can the system grow with your business?
No one likes to start over with completely new software when the company outgrows the capacity of a particular visitor management system. So, the software of your choice is the one that can expand to meet the requirements caused by growing visitor traffic, changing facility layouts, and additional company locations.
7. Can the system help you produce keen reports on the fly?
Insightful reports give you valuable information on the ways of UX (user/member experience) improvement and further market expansion. They show you who is visiting your facility, for what reasons, and when they tend to arrive. This data helps you prepare in good time and plan your marketing strategies appropriately.
Some software show how visitors are interacting with the system, i.e. how long it typically takes them to check in and which pages they spend the most time on. With this knowledge, you can continue to improve the check in process.
8. Is the platform cost-efficient?
I have already mentioned above that estimated hardware costs may increase if a visitor management system doesn't support cheaper Android tablets. Also, think well about the scope of features you really need — do you need a package manager, café ordering, printing visitor name badges?
And a piece of advice that will narrow and smoothen your choice. Check your coworking software provider and find out what visitor management systems they support. Usually, they have a good relationship with visitor management system companies and can even get you a special deal. Or better yet, coworking space management software may already include a visitor management system among the offered features. In this case, you won’t need any third-party technologies at all.
This is probably the most thrilling part of the entire guide. It’s time to finally choose the best visitor management platform for your coworking space. You already know so much about the technology, its characteristics, and possible approaches to picking out the most advantageous option.
If I were you, I would consider the easiest and the most cost-efficient solution that will give an unmatched experience to coworking space members and guests and free managers from ALL manual operations related to the process.
Consider visitor management system from andcards that comes inside the main product (coworking space management software) together with other awesome solutions like booking, billing, membership plans, services marketplace, events showcase, communication feed, and more.
Why andcards Visitors?
- Specifically developed for coworking spaces.
andcards visitor management is a unique technology developed specifically and exclusively for coworking spaces. The functionality is deeply incorporated into the main workspace management app, which 100% guarantees you from any compatibility issues.
- Doesn't cost you any extra money.
Since the visitor management system is a part of the main product, you don't pay a cent for using it. Besides, admins don't have to run a separate user base or switch between the apps to maintain it. It's very convenient to have a unified platform for every single workspace need. Members will also appreciate that the functionality is available inside the app they use for bookings and they don't have to download one more app on their smartphones.
- Addresses all visitor management issues at your coworking space.
Members preliminary register their guests via familiar mobile apps they use for desk and meeting room bookings. Guests get invites on their emails with visit details and pin codes for speed check-in. When visitors arrive, they go straight to the registration tablet at the reception desk and input their invite code. Members get immediate push notifications on their smartphones that their guests are at the door.
If a member doesn’t preregister a visitor for some reason, a person just fills in a simple form on the tablet to get their authorization and come in.
- Saves hours of managers’ time.
The platform is fully self-service, so managers don’t have to spend a single minute on manual workflow. All notifications and messages to members and guests are fully automated as well.
- Boosts security at a flexible workspace.
Only coworking space members can register guests in the system and only authorized people that have their visit code can access the workspace.
- Elevates customers’ experience and enhances brand positions.
Coworking space members can invite guests without asking the community manager, they control the process and know when their guests arrive. Visitors don’t have to wait at the reception while somebody helps them with registration. They just do it themselves, which leaves a positive impression after the first touch with the brand.
- New leads for your business.
The system collects visitors’ contact details, so workspace managers can use them for reports and promotional campaigns.
Wrapping up all the above, you would want to use a visitor management system:
- to add your business a modern and innovative vibe,
- to streamline procedure at reception,
- to make impression on your customers,
- and enhance the security of the enterprise.
A coworking space of the present day should implement a visitor management app and selecting the right one is of great importance.
Look for check in app featuring top-notch security, utmost compatibility with all services, apps, and programs you utilize. The system should not break the bank, require easy-to-find hardware, and provide unlimited capacity without the necessity to hire somebody to maintain it.
A high-tech way to check in and manage visitors coming to your coworking space is a giant step to a five-star service member-focused approach paving the way to prosperity, growth, and development. Nothing can stop you from following up with your guests later and building community enthusiastically.
Do you feel like andcards can be the best solution for your flexible workspace? Schedule a free one-on-one consultation with our expert to discuss what exactly the system can do for your business.