Free vs. Paid Visitor Management Software [A Guide]

December 18, 2020

Table of Contents

It’s safe to say that in our current situation, visitor management has become more crucial than ever. For businesses to safely operate, and by extension, remain open at all, proper visitor management measures need to be taken. 

The problem is that running a business is already taxing enough without the extra restrictions. Businesses are having to delegate extra staff and resources to comply with many of the new requirements. For those who are stretched thin as it is, this can quickly spell trouble.

free-vs-paid-visitor-management-software

 

So what steps can you take to help alleviate some of the pressure? Surely there must be a solution to this common problem?

Enter visitor management software. 

Now, the visitor management software market is flooded with different options to choose from. Having to pick the perfect one for your specific business or industry would almost certainly add an unwanted task to your already long to-do list. 

Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best visitor management software out there, both free and paid options.

Some of you might be thinking: “Whoa, back up. What on earth is visitor management software?”

Relax. Before we get into our picks for the best visitor management software, let’s go over what that entails. However, for those who are already well-informed about visitor management software, don’t worry. We’ll let you skip to our top picks.

Skip to the List

We get it. You’re busy and looking for a quick solution without having to read up on all of the benefits of visitor management software. 

Here’s our list of the best free and paid visitor management software:

Free:

  1. Envoy
  2. LobbyTrack
  3. VisitDesk

Paid:

  1. Skiplino Appointments
  2. Sign In App
  3. SwipedOn

What is Visitor Management Software?

visitor-management-software

 

In order to understand the benefits, and more importantly, what exactly visitor management software is, first we’ll need to get a fundamental understanding of what visitor management means.

“Visitor management” is essentially the practice of tracking the people who enter and exit your premises. 

We’re not just talking about customers here, either. Other common visitor types include:

  • Contractors
  • Delivery people
  • Meeting attendees (interviews, business proposals, etc.)
  • Business auditors
  • Employees not scheduled to work or coming in at odd hours

The information you collect from these visitors will likely vary based on the industry you’re in. For example, the airline and travel industry would likely require vastly different credentials as part of their visitor management systems than, say, a hospital waiting room. 

So where does visitor management software fit into all of this? 

Well, before the advent of technology, businesses would rely on an old fashioned pen and paper visitor management system. Visitors would have to manually record their names alongside any other pertinent information required by the business. 

It goes without saying that in today’s digital age, relying on pen-and-paper systems for just about anything is unreliable. From appointment scheduling to visitor management, ditching the physical booklets in favor of digital alternatives should be at the top of anyone’s priority list, given all the issues they can cause. 

But why is the pen-and-paper visitor management system so hated?

  • It’s inefficient
  • It creates long line-ups of people waiting to sign in
  • It causes privacy issues, with people being able to read all of the information from other visitors before them

While the physical sign-in book is certainly a cost-effective solution, when you factor in all of the issues associated with its usage, it seems like a no-brainer to try and find a new method for visitor management. 

This is where visitor management software comes in. 

Obviously, visitor management software is fairly self-explanatory: Software that allows managing visitors. However, choosing the right visitor management software can provide you with so much more than just a digital method to record visitor data. 

Visitor management software presents several benefits that not only help to remedy the aforementioned problems above but also help you go above and beyond. 

The question is, what are these benefits? 

Better First Impressions

Sitting in a waiting room is bad enough as it is. However, it’s even worse when clients are meant to wait in line in order to sign in before they even make it to the waiting room. In fact, let’s just say that people despise waiting in general

With visitor management software, you can leave a far superior first impression on your visitors. And when it comes to customer service, first impressions definitely last. In fact, up to 76% of people believe that the implementation of visitor management software increases visitor satisfaction. If that isn’t enough to help you understand the importance of first impressions regarding visitor management, we’re not sure what is.

Far More Secure

visitor-management-app-security

 

As we’ve mentioned already, visitor privacy can be an issue with pen-and-paper style visitor management systems. What’s to stop someone from reading all of the information written down by past visitors? We certainly wouldn’t blame people for being a little worried about this lack of privacy.

Thankfully, visitor management software eliminates this problem entirely. Your visitor information is stored within the cloud, meaning that it won’t be visible to anyone else. Your visitors can rest assured that their private information is completely safe and secure. 

More Efficient Check-In Process

Pen-and-paper visitor management systems mean that there’s only one point of access for the information you need. All of your staff will have to reference that book in order to keep track of appointments or look up any vital information needed.

An effective visitor management app changes all of that. Since most visitor management software has some sort of dashboard accessible from desktop or mobile, the information you need is far easier to access. Therefore, improving overall efficiency. 

 

Meeting Compliance

Being audited can be scary. How do you know if you’re prepared? Do you have all the proper logs and reports on hand to present to the auditors?

Unfortunately, with a traditional visitor management system, it can be difficult to keep track of the reports needed should you receive a compliance audit. This is to be expected from such an unorganized and inefficient system. 

Visitor management software is based in the cloud, meaning your visitor information is not only secure and protected but properly logged for the occasions where you’ll need it for a compliance audit. These audits can be incredibly stressful if you aren’t prepared. Thankfully, when you implement visitor management software, you’ll no longer have to worry. 

As you can see, moving from an outdated visitor management system to visitor management software comes with many benefits that make the upfront cost (should you choose a paid variety of software) completely worth it. Both your staff and your visitors will thank you for providing an effective method of managing visitors and the information needed from them. 

 

Pen-and-Paper Visitor Management 

Visitor Management Software

Clunky and unimpressive for visitors

Gives you a chance to provide a top-notch first impression to visitors

Private details from visitors easily leaked to subsequent visitors

Data stored in the cloud is secure and ensures your visitor’s privacy

Inefficient and wastes both visitor and staff time

Multiple points of access greatly improve efficiency

Lack of automated reporting means compliance audits can be stressful

Reports and logs kept for compliance purposes ensures the audits can go smoothly and worry-free

The Best Visitor Management Softwarebest-visitor-management-software

 

So out with it. What are the best visitor management software options on the market? 

Now that you’re well-versed in just how beneficial visitor management software can be for your business, it’s time to choose the right provider. 

The problem is, the sheer amount of options on the market can leave you with decision paralysis. 

Lucky for you, we’ve identified several options that we consider top-of-the-line when you’re ready to make the switch. Not only have we included options that include a free tier of service, but we’ve also listed some paid options that simply couldn’t be ignored. 

Free Visitor Management Software

When talking about the best free visitor management software on the market, it’s important to note that while all of these apps have a free version, they also have paid tiers as well. 

Make sure the features listed under the free tier are suitable for your needs. Otherwise, you’ll need to look into some paid alternatives instead. 

Envoy

When reviewing Envoy as a free visitor management software, one of the things that jump out at you immediately is the 50 employee sign-ins available. While many free versions of SaaS products place limitations on the number of staff logins at your disposal, Envoy breaks this trend. 

 

Prices are accurate as of November 2020.

 

There are a few features you’ll get with the basic, free version of Envoy. Some other features worth noting include:

  • 23 different languages for sign-in information
  • Multiple sign-in kiosks
  • Custom branding
  • Interactive floor map creation (with the Envoy Desks add-on)

The custom branding features are definitely a standout here. We’ve already mentioned how visitor management software can be used to create a great first impression, and having on-brand digital sign-in software can help to foster that positive impression. 

One notable omission from their free version is the capacity limit enforcement feature, which would certainly come in handy, especially with the current pandemic situation we find ourselves in. 

Lobbytrack

Instead of limiting features with their free tier, Lobbytrack instead limits the number of visitors to 100 per month. So, if you’re not expecting many monthly visitors, Lobbytrack might be worth considering for your business. 

However, even if your visitor load may grow beyond that, being able to extensively test Lobbytrack for free is certainly a plus. From there, moving to their next tier of service is $50 monthly. 

 

Prices are accurate as of November 2020.

 

As you can see, other than the visitor limit, the differences between the basic and starter tiers are few and far between. 

Some other core features of Lobbytrack include:

  • Pre-registering visitors (or the ability to register visitors upon arrival, your call)
  • Visit confirmation notifications
  • Photo capture for ID badges
  • Watchlist checks
  • Visit agreement creation

Jam-packed with features, Lobbytrack is worth considering if you’re in the market for free visitor management software. However, one thing to note here is that the free version (and also the next tier up) lack the usage of the employee app, which is a helpful little thing to have. 

But, if you can do without the app and don’t have many visitors monthly, Lobbytrack is worth checking out. 

VisitDesk

VisitDesk, similar to Lobbytrack, places a limit of 100 visitors a month on their free tier. However, just like Lobbytrack, many of the core features remain intact, including:

  • Custom logos
  • Expected visitor list
  • Device checkout
  • Monthly and yearly reports
  • Visitor pass printing

One thing that stood out to us with VisitDesk was the clean and concise look of their dashboard, which is important when seeking out visitor management software. You want it to be easy to use without any convoluted or complex menus. 

 

 

One notable feature missing from their free service tier is the repeat visitors feature, which would come in handy should you have certain visitors that come in weekly, monthly or otherwise. Between that and the visitor limit, if you’re able to get past those limitations, you should check out VisitDesk as a free visitor management software. 

Paid Visitor Management Software

You’re probably asking yourself: 

If I can get free visitor management software, why would I even consider paid options?”

Well, as you can see, many of the free visitor management software options place some sort of limitations on their free service tiers. These free tiers are designed to give you a taste of the service and hopefully convince you to upgrade to a paid tier for added features. 

The bottom line is, if these limitations are going to hinder your visitor management efforts, it’s time to look into some paid alternatives. And thankfully, we’ve named a few of our favourites so you won’t have to do the research yourself. 

Skiplino Appointments

Yeah, we know. A bit of self-promotion here. But you didn’t expect us to pass on our own service, would you?

However, the truth is that Skiplino Appointments is one of the best visitor management solutions on the market. And we’re here to back up that opinion. 

Let's start with the pricing model. Instead of racking your brain for hours on which tier to go with, all you need to decide here is whether you want a discount for paying an annual fee, or if you’d rather go with the monthly payment. That’s it. One price for one set of features. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

 

Prices are accurate as of November 2020.

 

Skiplino Appointments comes with all of the key features you’ll be looking for in visitor management software, including:

  • Remote appointment booking
  • A clean and concise dashboard to manage visitor appointments
  • Appointment notifications via SMS or email
  • Customizable fields for branding purposes

However, where Skiplino Appointment really steps ahead is with the advanced reporting and analytics features. From the dashboard, you can gain valuable insight into different aspects of your business, from staff performance to customer or client appointment history. 

 

 

With all of these features at your fingertips, it’s hard to say no to Skiplino Appointments as one of the best options available for visitor management software. The core aspects are there, and the insight into your business is priceless. On top of that, you can try it out for free! 

Sign In App

With Sign In App, one of the first things you’ll notice is their pricing system. They have two tiers of service, which both renew at $380 per year. However, the big difference is that their highest tier has an upfront cost of $1250. That’s because with this tier you receive the iPad and wireless printer necessary for some of their features. Which is something worth considering. 

Prices are accurate as of November 2020.

 

Some of the features worth noting include: 

  • Unlimited staff logins
  • Phone/email/live chat support
  • Multiple integrations with other common apps (G Suite, Salesforce, etc.)
  • Contactless sign in
  • Video welcome screens

For businesses with more than one location, it’s important to know that the subscription fee only covers one site. 

SwipedOn 

SwipedOn has three pricing tiers, all of which are named for the size of business they would best serve. 

 

Prices are accurate as of November 2020.

 

As you can see, all three versions allow for unlimited visitors. The main limitations come from the number of employees, locations, and linkable iPads. For those requiring more than 25 employees, an upgrade to the business tier will be required. 

SwipedOn comes with many of the features we’ve discussed with other visitor management software options, including:

  • Contactless sign-in
  • Digital visitor agreement creation
  • Customizable branding
  • Notifications

They also have a section for recommended hardware where they’ve linked to a few pieces you might want should you choose to purchase their service. 

Visitor Management Software Summary

It’s safe to say that proper visitor management is going to be vital for the foreseeable future. With that thought in mind, we’ve got one thing to say:

Ditch your outdated visitor management system and get yourself some visitor management software. 

It’s simple. The pen-and-paper visitor management system just isn’t going to cut it anymore. And even if you’re not having trouble with it, why settle for okay when you can have excellent? 

Don’t wait any longer. With these options at your disposal, it’s time to implement some visitor management software. Both your staff and your visitors will thank you for it.

Need Some More Advice?

 

Whether you’re in need of some more information on visitor management software, or simply want to learn more about what Skiplino Appointments can do for your business, why not drop us a line? We’re happy to answer the call. 

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