The quality of your hotel guest experience starts at the check-in point. As such, you must strive to make good first impressions. Furthermore, you must make your guests feel recognized, valued, attended to, and welcomed. You must ensure that the first physical interactions with your guests are smooth and convenient for them.
With this in mind, there are many factors to consider when thinking of how to improve the hotel check-in process. Improving the check-in process for your guests indeed calls for more than just offering a free drink when your hotel guests arrive. However, while you want to put your clients' needs first, you also need to account for the efficiency of your business. Here are some tips to help you strike a balance between the two sides of the coin.
Provide An Easy Booking Process
Your guests come from different parts of the country and the world, and it's only fair that you provide them with the information they need when they need it. For example, ensure your hotel website contains as much information as possible about your hotel. Moreover, upload high-resolution photos and videos for a visual representation of your premises. The images should be appealing enough to attract your guests' attention, making them book directly from the website.
While at it, consider integrating a booking engine to allow your guests to book quickly. Give them different contact options to reach you with their questions. Meanwhile, remember that how fast you respond to their questions is crucial. Maybe you can have a website chatbot to respond to queries to save you time and effort.
Allow Remote Check-In
Did you know that travelers love being provided with options? Besides, they love using technology for added convenience in making their plans. Undoubtedly, these two factors will come in handy in helping you improve the hotel check-in process.
One way to make remote check-in possible is to provide hotel software that allows your guests to check themselves in. They can use their mobile devices for mobile check-in. Likewise, you can use it as a tool to casually market your hotel by educating your guests more about your premises and offering exclusive offers. Consider integrating your social media platforms on the software for seamless customer engagement.
Be Flexible with Hotel Check-in and Check-out Time
Another way to improve the hotel check-in process is to allow travelers to control their check-in and check-out schedule. After all, the 3 p.m. check-in time seems to be outdated. So, why not let your guests have some room to wiggle? For a small extra charge, you can allow for late or early check-ins and late check-out, depending on the guest's preferences.
Fortunately, this is becoming the trend and will not be anything new to your business. Well-known brands like the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Marriott, and Hilton use this as a perk to generate ancillary revenue.
With a flexible online check-in system, your guests can access your hotel at any time, using various methods like:
- A lockbox
- An around-the-clock doorman
- A safe with a keypad containing the room key
Consider this as a means to increase direct bookings. Most importantly, you will lighten the load on your employees while improving customer service.
Incorporate Check-in Kiosks in the Hotel Lobby
The integration of automation in your hotel will give you a business advantage. In fact, customers love the benefit of self-service check-in kiosks, as they allow them to bypass the line at the reception desk. This is, without a doubt, a desirable thing, especially now when there is Covid-19 and social distancing is required. On the other hand, automated check-in reduces the business operational costs for you.
Ideally, these check-in kiosks should be in the lobby. Farther on, ensure they have the technology that allows guests to do more than just finish their hotel check-in. It should empower them to:
- Check the available rooms.
- Make any necessary edits, for example, room upgrade
- Program their room keys
- Review their reservations without assistance from your front desk staff.
Granted, with these tips, your visitors will have no reason to line up at the reception, and you'll make a stellar first impression.
Use Digital Signage
When thinking of how to improve the hotel check-in process for your guests, don't forget about digital signage. Without a doubt, people have become accustomed to quick and easy ways of doing things. That desire has given digital signage a footing in all industries, the hospitality sector included. Accordingly, there is no reason why your hotel should be left behind in embracing digital signage in improving the check-in process.
To illustrate, you can incorporate digital signage in your hotel to serve as a virtual concierge. It will help your visitors adjust to their environment. With digital signs, you can provide information about the hotel, help them register for activities and events, and show them directions to nearby amenities. Similarly, they will appreciate information such as:
- Hotel daily events
- Weather forecasts
- Additional amenities and offerings of the hotel
- Snow reports
- Local events details
- Beach reports if yours is a beach resort
Furthermore, digital signage is an excellent way to inform your guests about:
- Dining options
- In-room entertainment
- The conference directory
- Entertainment in waiting areas
- Directions around the hotel
Digital signage is a powerful driving force behind the hospitality industry. In short, it is the one thing that improves the image of the hospitality sector, which is why it continues to be a hit for hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses.