5 questions people forget to ask when choosing a visitor management solution

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science

– Albert Einstein.

I love this quote from Einstein because asking questions encourages curiosity and here at MRI OnLocation we encourage our team to be curious – to explore better ways of doing things, to look at problems as opportunities – by asking questions.

I’ve had the opportunity to respond to thousands of questions (via our Helpdesk or assessment form) coming from organisations deploying a visitor management solution.

We’ve done this for small, privately held businesses through to some of the largest corporates, utilities, security facilities, health care providers, schools, universities, and manufacturers in the world.

The number of questions from a potential customer can range from a just a couple through to one hundred+, which is understandable, it’s all in the context.

What often amazes us is the questions many potential and existing customers don’t think to ask.

If you are looking at a visitor management solution here are 5 questions you may not think to ask but definitely should.

When our teams put these questions to potential customers they are always surprised they didn’t think of them and are thankful we asked.

Question 1: Hazard alerts and acknowledgments

Do you want visitors to confirm they understand any hazard alerts that they are notified of at sign-in?

Why do we ask this?

If there’s a hazard needing to be brought to the attention of visitors when signing onto site.

Would you like to be able to post a hazard alert to the reception lobby teams and/or onto any of the kiosks so that visitors immediately are notified of the hazard and are prompted to confirm their understanding of it?

We have a high number of customers that did not think about temporary hazards and the ability to broadcast time-stamped alerts and warnings through their visitor management solution.

When people think about this and apply it to their own environments they quickly realise it’s a ‘must have’ if they are to manage safety awareness and incident awareness on-site.

Question 2: Compliance, auditing, and reporting

If a visitor had an accident on-site would it be useful to prove that your organisation advised the visitor of the hazard that caused the incident during the post-incident investigation?

Why do we ask this?

Compliance, compliance, compliance.

Most organisations are legally obligated to comply with good Health and Safety practices.

In the event of a workplace injury or death the ability to demonstrate good practice can be the difference between brand and reputation damage and survival.

Question 3:

If you want visitors to be pre-registered as a rule, that is you do not permit unauthorised visitors onsite, would you like your self-sign-in kiosk to advise non-approved visitors to wait until someone comes out to meet them. Meanwhile, a red flag has been sent to security or another nominated person to advise them that an unauthorised person has attempted to sign in.

Why do we ask this question? Many research centres, local and central government facilities, data centres, and other high-security sites prohibit walk-up visitors; those being people who don’t have an invite from an employee. Managing these potential security breaches by automatically alerting security to the fact a person has attempted to sign-in and is in fact on your premises in the reception area, is often a much-overlooked requirement until it’s too late.

Question 4:

Do you want specific conditional warnings, instructions or questions to be presented to a visitor, and, do you want to notify anyone internally of this?

Why do we ask this?

Say you are a food manufacturer following GMP and your visitor answers ‘Yes’ to having visited a farm in the last 30 days or ‘No’ to a request to wear a hairnet at all times while onsite.

Firstly; would you want specific warnings, instructions, or conditional questions to be presented to this visitor?

Secondly, would you need to bring their red flag response to the attention of their host, and/or any specific people in your security or health and safety team?

We obviously re-word this question when the potential customer is not a food manufacturer however you get the idea. Triggering alerts against pre-defined red flags is a must otherwise all you have with your visitor management system is a cool badge label printer.

Question 5:

Do you need to ask visitors the same set of questions every time, even if they are a repeat visitor?

Why do we ask this?

Again this a bit of a two-part question.

Firstly; do you need to ask every visitor every question, every time they visit? Or, can you capture visitor information on their first visit and then only ask them for it again after their 10th visit, or after a specified amount of time has passed (1 month, 3 months etc.…)?

We want our customers to think about creating amazing visitor experiences for their visitors and customers.

If John Doe arrives on-site for his first visit and is asked for his name, where he is from, if he is parked in your vehicle lot, who he is meeting with and his expected duration of stay it may, and then he is asked to acknowledge your NDA, evacuation procedures, and other visitor policy rules. So it ends up taking John 4 minutes to sign in. But does it have to take John 4 minutes every time?

When John comes back 9 days later do you send him through the full 4-minute visitor sign-in process again? Or do you only ask him to verify the answers he gave when he was visiting last? Or do you only ask him to verify his name and host and that’s all? And, do you set a rule that says John should be asked every question when he signs in every 3 months?

There are of course many questions you should ask, some unique to your organisation, some more relevant to different departments than others, and some to your visitors themselves.


OnLocation: Simplify your multi-tenant visitor management needs

Strengthen tenants’ confidence and trust in your property by making your lobby a welcoming environment and a thorough security checkpoint. Tenants will have a straightforward experience meeting on-site visitors with MRI OnLocation, and you’ll b…

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