Procurement 14 September 2018

Making the visitor experience count in the age of GDPR

visitor experience GDPR
If your business still uses the traditional book and pen, your compliance stops before anyone can even make it past the lobby

Writing for Business Advice, Dan Harding, director of Sign In App, explains how businesses can collect sign-in details from visitors in the age of GDPR for an effective visitor experience.

Let’s set the scene. You’ve pulled up to the offices of the company you have your morning meeting with. You make your way to the building’s entrance and walk into a lobby with a waiting area, an unmanned reception, and a guest sign-in book. No instructions, no direction and more importantly, no idea what to do or where to go next.

Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than not. And even when reception desks are manned, the process is often far from seamless. In today’s digital age not only is the experience out of keeping with almost every aspect of an individual’s daily life, but it exposes businesses to all sorts of data protection and privacy breaches.

With GDPR and the UK’s Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 now in effect, if your business still uses the traditional book and pen, your compliance stops before anyone can even make it past the lobby.

For compliant’s sake

Having all your visitors’ data sitting visible at your unmanned front desk is no longer an option for businesses. With strict regulations in place regarding what data businesses can obtain and store from individuals and for how long, having years’ worth of names, contact details and guest preferences at your fingertips, is just no longer viable. And what happens if that data sitting at your reception desk ends up in the wrong hands?

Businesses often take a siloed approach when it comes to visitor data gathering. Those in finance may want bank details, those in IT may want account log-ins and receptionists may want car registrations. And it all has to be GDPR and DPA compliant. So, how can businesses effectively provide a seamless and detailed sign-in process for visitors that meets the digital age experience and being GDPR compliant?

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The visitor experience

A guest sign-in book is what most of us are welcomed with, and indeed used to, when visiting a business’ premises. But what about first impressions? And second and third impressions for that matter. How do visitors know where to go once they’ve signed in if you don’t have a receptionist? Do they need a badge to proceed? What if they need to sign your data policy or an NDA prior to progression?

Many of us are guilty of making snap judgments when walking onto a company’s premises but if your visitor experience leaves people uncertain – even uneasy – you’re starting at a disadvantage, and the real question is – is it worth the risk?

The solution

What many businesses are unaware of, is that both the GDPR and visitor experience aspects can be tackled with innovative technology, and the deployment of electronic visitor management solutions is key. There are now numerous smart solutions to streamline the visitor sign-in process with data protection readiness already built in, so there’s really no excuse for non-compliance.

So, let’s set the scene again. You’ve pulled up to the offices you’re having your morning meeting at. You make your way to the building’s entrance and walk into a lobby with an unmanned reception, where you notice a screen displaying the name of the business you have your meeting with.

Following the on-screen prompts to sign in, you enter your car registration, contact details and read and sign the necessary documents on screen. Your photo is taken and an identification badge printed simultaneously as you follow the directions on screen to get to the correct floor and meeting room you require. Meanwhile, your hosts have been informed you have arrived, and are already on their way to greet you.

Not only is this visitor experience in keeping with today’s digital age, it’s seamless and personal. Guest information is preloaded into the solution prior to arrival and what’s more, the solution is GDPR ready.

It’s time to bring the visitor experience in line with the technology available.

Dan Harding is director at Sign In App

GDPR factsheet: It isn’t just about customers, it matters for employee data too

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