How do you get notified when a visitor arrives to meet you?

Today I was asked by Jeff from Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in Florida how can he have a message triggered to two people when a visitor signs into the visitor management kiosk, it got me thinking about some of the features that have been released over the past 9 years and also some of the ways we have solved problems getting messages to the host/hosts when a visitor signs in, so I thought I would build out a few examples of some of the clever things that can be achieved today.

What I know from assisting customers across Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada and many other countries is messaging to a host when a visitor arrives has common problems no matter the country that need to be resolved.

I will first share the three different ways a host can be notified when a visitor arrives.

  • Email – an email is sent to the email address assigned against the profile of the host.
  • SMS – an SMS is sent to the mobile/cell number assigned against the profile of the host. We also use SMS with the evacuation app designed for fire wardens.
  • Push Notification – a push notification is sent to the host who has previously downloaded the employee app. Push notifications are free and remove the cost of SMS

Each employee/host can have their own settings to receive messages the way they want, if you only want to receive emails you only turn on email notifications for the host. These features can be turned on in bulk when required. Typically email is turned on when a customer sets up an initial database, decisions are then made internally about whether SMS or push notifications will be used.

Here are some examples of how we extend the messaging system to solve common problems.

  1. One of the most common requests we will get is the boss does not want to get the message can we send the message to the PA or EA instead, sometimes we get asked can the boss get the message when a visitor arrives and can we also send the message to the PA or EA….the answer is yes, in the profile of an employee you can set who the messages go to when a visitor arrives, you can set the message notifying the host of the arrival of the visitor to one person, 2 people or many when required.
  2. One of my favourites was when an organisation with 40 locations asked for a message to go to 6  key people when a particular person signed in. Lets call her Mary. It was explained to me that Mary would turn up at the head office without prior notification, I was asked could we set up a message to go to 6 key people every time Mary signed in…..the answer again is yes. This style of request has come to me multiple times over the past few years this is why it is a favourite.
  3. My number 1 favourite that we have helped many companies with actually occurs when a visitor or contractor signs out of a location. The common problem I hear is we don’t know when the person left site, this occurs more with contractors than visitors. When a visitor leaves a location often they are still being escorted, sometimes a visitor is left to walk to reception or the lobby themselves, some customers have turned on to be notified when a visitor leaves the location. The contractor however is most often left alone, they are not escorted, so a contractor can leave site and no person knows if the contractor has left site or not, often when this problem is explained to me the person sharing the issue explains that they wanted to talk to the contractor before they left. The solution is to create a sign out message that goes to the host and includes the mobile number of the contractor in the message, this way the host can call the contractor directly from their smart phone.
  4. Watchlist – send alerts when specific visitors sign in or out. You can create “lists” to alert nominated people of their presence. Some examples could include: banned employees, banned visitors, sex-offenders list, VIP list or valued customers. How helpful would it be to receive an alert to your phone every time the CEO visits.
  5. Red Flag Alerts – Another cracking example is when customers set up a question for the visitor or contractor asking them to confirm how long they are going to be on site for, the visitor or contractor will notify the length of time they expect to be on site, as soon as the visitor or contractor has exceeded the time nominated for example 1 hour, Once the 1 hour has passed we can send a message to the host 10 minutes after the expected time on site has passed if the visitor or contractor has not yet signed out their presence on site.



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