By Debi Prasad Sarangi
Gone are the days when guests used to stand at your front desk or lobby in order to check in to their rooms. The old school “standard hotel check-in procedure” involving guests filling out registration forms at your front desk is no longer applicable to today’s guests. They wouldn’t appreciate it if you make them wait once they reach your hotel.
Check-in procedure in your hotel is an initial, yet critical point of interaction between you and your guests. This is one of the most important elements that helps you lay a strong foundation for overall guest satisfaction. Because, your guest’s early impressions are formed on your overall services based on the kind of experience you provide them during the check-in process.
Here is a stat that clearly shows why you must have a hassle-free and speedy check-in process in your hotel. Pay utmost attention to this if you are a US-based hotelier and struggling to increase guest satisfaction level –
1According to Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the “wait time” to check-in has a significant impact on guest satisfaction. Its research showed that US guests’ satisfaction levels goes down by 50 points if they have to wait near your front desk beyond 5 minutes. Similarly, their satisfaction level 50 plus points higher if you help them check-in to their rooms within 5 minutes of arrival.
Since we now know how critical it is for your hotel to have a quick and streamlined check-in procedure, let’s explore some of the ways to implement the same. –
1. Allow your guests to check-in remotely using mobile phones
Mobile phones and apps have revolutionized the way today’s guests are dealing with their accommodation providers – hotels. 3In 2017, around 54% of hotel guests were demanding mobile check-in and 45% of them wanted a mobile key to be sent on their phones.
That’s why you must allow your guests to download your hotel app on their smartphones. Guests with existing/upcoming bookings can check-in remotely before walking into your hotel. This will allow them to avoid your front desk, your staff just needs to walk them to their rooms.
In order to realize this, you can come up with your own hotel app that can be integrated with your existing Hotel PMS. Or, you need to check with your PMS partner if they can custom-build something like this for you.
With such an arrangement, you not only offer your guests a faster check-in facility, you also get to attract more guests. See this 4– 60% of guests are more likely to opt a hotel that offers mobile check-in and mobile key.
2. Use a mobile hotel PMS
Using a Mobile PMS, you can handle most of your hotel operations on the go. Right from accepting reservations to allocating rooms to managing housekeeping, everything is at your fingertips. It helps your front desk staff to see rooms that are vacant and ready to occupy. They need to approach your guests the moment they arrive. While greeting the guests, they just have to key-in guest details and scan their passports. Once this is done, they can select and assign the right room to your guests. And it’s done. You have checked in your guests in just few minutes.
3. Add self-service kiosks
If you are using a smart and new-age cloud-based Hotel PMS that comes with an integrated self-service kiosk, then your worries are over. It serves as an alternative for your hotel’s front desk. Upon arrival, guests can bypass the front desk and walk up to those kiosks directly. They can key-in their personal details, scan their IDs, select their room, and check-in. It drastically reduces their wait time and adds to their satisfaction. Guest can use them during checkout, too.
To be noted here, guest data entered in such kiosks gets updated in your PMS. It helps you to identify repeat guests, their room preferences, etc. This is great way to implement a faster check-in process with your PMS.
Not convinced? Take a look at this – 2according to recent survey by Statista, 24% of business travelers in North America opted to use self-service kiosks during check-in and checkout.
Guest expectations are constantly changing and as a hotelier you must ensure that you stay competitive and relevant to fulfill them. By implementing faster check-in process, you are not only serving your guests, you are creating a “niche” for your brand, too.
If you are looking for options to decrease guest wait time at your lobby to offer them faster check-in facility, you must leverage the power of a smart cloud PMS like Hotelogix. Hotelogix offers you a mobile hotel app that allows you to expedite the check-in process on the go.
Sources – 1 Lost in transition: cross-country difference in hotel guest satisfaction – Cornell University of Hotel Administration 2 Leading hotel technology innovations for business travelers in North America as of September 2016 3 Hospitality Technology 4 Software Advice