We all see online ads and top 10 lists for visitor management software but what exactly is visitor management software? Visitor Management software is a relatively new software to the business world. It is one of the latest systems to improve customer service and gather information about customers or visitors to a business. Generally, the software is built to replace a sign in sheet with a touch screen kiosk and log visitors into a database. It is often now referred to as a 'Check In System'.

The advantages of a check in system include organization of visitors, gathering information about visitors and the ability to recall the information about visitors through reports. Each check in system brand has it's purpose, whether it's documentation, gathering marketing data or sorting visitors to notify someone.

Documenting Visitors

Some of the most simple visitor management systems are an electronic replacement for the sign in sheet. They are specifically made to replace older paper sign in sheets that are often unreadable, less accurate and take filing space. Documentation is easy when the sign in system directly records the visitor information into a database and time stamps the entry. Accuracy and readability are two of the best features. Reports can be generated at the push of a button giving the documentation needed for legal or government regulations as well as analyzing business trends.

Gathering Marketing Data

Extending the visitor check in system, the same kiosk can ask questions about the visitor and there needs. Check In Systems that gather information about visitors can have one long form like a website or they can separate the questions into individual screens and guide the visitor through a logical progression based on the answers. The form style systems tend to have smaller type and need a keyboard. The system presents a website looking form, placing all the text boxes on one screen. The second type of system is more planned, having one screen for each question or input. The software guides the visitor through the process keeping it simple and direct. The planned presentation, one question per screen , is generally faster as the screen moves to each question automatically. It is also easier for people that may not be able to see small type from a distance because the screen is dedicated to one question and presents a larger font. Both systems can record data but beware they generally take longer to check in.

Visitor Queuing Systems

The queuing system is a visitor management system engineered to organize customers and provide business flow. It is usually not so focused on a lot of information gathering but rather getting the customers in line and notifying the right department or employee that someone is waiting. Generally the queuing system just needs a name and reason for visit but sometimes will ask one other identifying question such as date of birth, student id or company name. Queuing systems have live displays for the staff to monitor and TV displays to keep the customer informed.

When researching and purchasing a visitor management system, be sure the establish your needs and compare the features of each brand. Sometimes simple is best.