One way to improve your overall visitor management process is by printing and issuing visitor ID badges.
But is it really a necessary part of doing business or is printing ID badges an unnecessary inconvenience for your visitors? After all, the process of printing an ID badge can be time-consuming and even confusing if the instructions aren’t clear.
In this article, we’ll explain why printing visitor badges is a best practice for all workplaces, both big and small. The added layer of security offers peace of mind to your visitors and office workers alike, and the process of printing out visitor ID badges can be surprisingly painless. Let’s break down the significant benefits you’ll gain by adding this extra step to your visitor check-in process.
Identify Your Visitors
The first benefit is perhaps the most obvious one. Visitor badges provide you with instant information about your visitor right away, without them having to say a word. For starters, you’ll have their first and last name, but you can also design your badge to provide you with additional information, such as:
- The name of their organization
- Their position at the organization
- The name of the person they’re visiting
- The reason for their visit
- The type of visitor they are (vendor, contractor, temporary employee, etc.)
- What time they checked in
- A photo to confirm their identity
Having access to all of this information from their ID badge is a game changer. Instead of asking the visitor a ton of questions, you can simply glance at their badge and get the answer you’re after.
Make It Easy to Spot Who’s Who
Because the ID badge can provide a lot of information about your visitor, you will be able to identify visitors by type. Simply indicate the visitor type or the purpose for their visit on the ID badge. You can even design different badges for each type of visitor to wear. Visually distinct badges will make it easier for you and your staff to spot visitors by type immediately.
You can go one step further and color code your badges. For example, make vendors’ badges blue and contractors’ badges yellow.
Provide a Secure Workplace
Security is more important now than ever before. Implementing visitor ID badges into your registration process can give or restrict access to a non-public area. This allows you to control the flow of traffic throughout your facility.
You can use your visitor ID badge system to quickly surveil the area and spot if a visitor is in the right location or if they’re lost and need your assistance.
You can also use ID badges to decide if the visitor may be a potential threat. A visitor wearing an expired ID or one that doesn’t match their appearance is a giveaway that they may be there for the wrong reasons. Your staff can visually confirm if the visitor is legitimate by their badge alone, and if not, your staff can then contact security to handle the matter.
If everyone wears badges (including visitors and employees), it will be easier to spot people who aren’t wearing a badge. These visitors who aren’t wearing badges will not only stick out like a sore thumb and prompt your team to act.
Build Trust With Your Visitors
In addition to actually making your office a safer environment, asking your visitors to wear ID badges communicates an important message. It shows that you take workplace safety seriously for everyone, including your workers and vendors. This gesture provides another layer of trust.Asking your visitors to wear ID badges shows that you take workplace safety seriously for everyone. Click To Tweet
Document Who’s In and Out of Your Organization
Maintaining photo ID records of all of your visitors is a best practice that has become even more popular over the past few years. You can use this information to create a more complete record of who’s on your premises. It can also come in handy in case you need to use it for a criminal investigation in the future.
Having a photo ID on file is also practical from a host’s perspective. The host can see the visitor’s photo ID record prior to meeting them. This can help the host recognize in an instant exactly who to greet. This extra touch can make your visitor feel special.
Unfortunately, if you ask a visitor to take a photo for your records, you will likely be met by automatic distrust. Visitors may wonder what you plan to do with their likenesses.
However, if you share that you’re using their photo to print a photo ID, you’ll be met with a lot less skepticism. Of course, if you plan to keep the photo for your permanent visitor records, you must also disclose that information as well.
Make It Easy for Your Visitors to Check Out
You can add specific elements to your visitor badge that can help your visitor check out of your building when they’re ready to leave. A popular element to add to your visitor ID badge is a QR code.
A QR, which is short for quick response, is a machine-readable barcode that can be scanned by a digital device. The QR code can be printed on a visitor ID badge and then be linked directly to the check-out process. Before the visitor leaves the building, they can simply scan their unique QR code and then get prompted to complete their final steps, which may be to schedule their next appointment or to call their car from valet.
Extend Your Branding
Not only does issuing visitor badges create a great first impression, but it also provides an opportunity for you to extend your brand. A brand is your business’s personality.
You can design your visitor ID badge to show off your personality and convey your identity to your visitors. Implementing a visitor badge shows that you care about your visitor’s experience. But it also shows that you’re a modern and innovative organization that’s willing to take an extra step toward safety and efficiency.
It Gives Your Visitor Something to Do as They Wait
A potential drawback of visitor ID cards is that it takes a while to print them. But this is a good thing. Although the process of printing an ID can add a few seconds or even a few minutes to the visitor’s check-in process, it can also shave off the length of time that they’ll passively wait. This can alleviate their feelings of frustration since they’ll be mentally occupied with the badge printing process.
Best Practices to Follow When Issuing Visitor Badges
Keep the following in mind when designing and implementing a visitor ID badge program in your organization:
Make It Easy on Your Organization
Instead of cobbling together multiple systems to print visitor badges, use our all-in-one solution, The Receptionist for iPad. This visitor management software does everything from photo and ID capture to QR codes to two-way communication between visitor and host.
Your visitor can check in through our self-service kiosk and obtain their printed ID at the same time as their registration.
Other benefits of using The Receptionist for iPad include:
Offer contact-free check-in – Don’t force your visitors to physically interact with your registration kiosk. Allow them to check in or out using our digital receptionist. They can even sign in from their phone.
Provide enhanced security – Are you still asking your visitors to sign a physical visitor’s logbook? That’s a privacy nightmare because everyone can see who else has logged in along with other personal information, such as address and phone number. With our visitor management system, all of your visitors’ information is stored safely in the cloud and only accessible by authorized personnel.
Give Them an Expiration Date
One major benefit of issuing visitor badges is that you can also implement an expiration date. Your visitor’s badge can expire in a matter of hours, at the end of the day, or at the end of a week. Always add an expiration date to your visitor’s ID badges to eliminate confusion for your staff so they know who’s valid.
Reduce Wait Time
Part of the visitor’s wait time is waiting for the host to travel from their office to the visitor’s location. However, if you issue a visitor’s ID badge and provide signposts to guide your visitor safely to their destination, you will dramatically reduce their wait time. Plus, the visitor won’t need an escort because their badge will give them authority to move within designated areas.
Adding visitor badges to your check-in process will increase your level of security within your workplace. It will also convey a strong message to your visitors that you care about their overall experience.
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