Learn five different ways where self-service can help your hotel become more profitable and solve the challenge of recruiting more staff.
Many hotels in Europe and the US struggle to re-hire staff as occupancy has started to revitalize. Every crisis poses a danger to a business but is also an opportunity to embrace change and do things differently. We believe the Covid pandemic can serve as a chance to change how we process guest arrivals and departures in hotels. The traditional way of checking a guest in (and out) has virtually been unchanged since the first hotel opened.
Many of our customers enjoy the benefits of an efficient self-service solution, helping them become more profitable and productive without the need to augment their current staff.
Advantage One – Hotels can close the front desk at night
Challenge for hotels that (would like to) close at night
Many hotels check most of their guests in during the late afternoon and early at night. The front-desk staff has to stay around for hours only to welcome a few stragglers arriving later than the rest of the crowd.
Advantage of using unattended outdoor kiosk check-in
A weatherproof outdoor kiosk is a perfect complement to your regular check-in. It is available 24/7, always in a good mood, and will never complain about waiting up for that last guest to arrive in the middle of the night.
Our durable 24h check-in kiosks allow the guest to book a room, pick up a keycard after a mobile pre-check-in or do a regular check-in with existing reservations. The kiosk allows the guest to scan an ID or passport (if required), complete the registration card, add breakfast or other product upsells. Secure payment is made with a credit or debit card, and the room key is automatically encoded (magnetic or RFID) or dispensed (classical keys).
Using an outdoor self-service kiosk for check-in will reduce your staff cost by letting late arrivals check themselves in. As a bonus, expect some additional revenue by selling your last remaining rooms and experience increased guest satisfaction.
Advantage Two – Peak periods
Challenge for hotels experiencing peak periods with long lines of waiting guests
Most hotel guests check-in during a few busy hours in the late afternoon (and out during a few hours in the morning.) These peak periods create a real challenge for the hotel, and you as a hotelier need to decide if you want to add extra staff or risk low guest satisfaction by letting people queue for their check-in. Did you know a 5-minute wait can cause guest satisfaction to drop by 50%?
Advantage of using self-service kiosks and online check-in solutions to handle peak hours
We sometimes call our kiosks and mobile solutions "force multipliers." Adding self-service options to your hotel will allow your employees to multi-task and process more arrivals and departures. The advantage of "being available" while assisting your hotel guests with unattended kiosks or online check-in is a significant advantage. Especially beneficial compared to the tradition of doing all of the processing manually. Stress levels will go down, and guests will still feel the personal touch hotels are known for.
"When I go to a hotel, I want to feel like a guest in a good friend's house. I want to be treated nicely and have every whim catered to."
- Ian Schrager, hotelier, and co-founder of Studio 54
Advantage Three – Pre-check-in
Challenge for business hotels
Most experienced and frequent travelers prefer to be left to their own devices and have little need for personal assistance to check in or out of a hotel. It puts them in complete control of their journey and gives them a sense of "it's taken care of" when the check-in-done message arrives in their inbox. Knowing a specific room is reserved and ready – just waiting for your arrival – is an excellent way to decrease travel-induced stress and removes the fear of a long wait to get to your room.
Advantage of using mobile check-in for hotels with experienced travelers
Allowing guests to check in using their mobile phone or PC even before they arrive at the hotel is a very efficient solution for hotel guests and staff.
Completing check-in before arrival ensures the hotel has all of the required personal details of the guest. Knowing their estimated arrival time (to plan accordingly), capture a full card payment or do a pre-authorization, and even allow upselling products and packages is essential to increase ROI. Knowing the guest's arrival time will enable the hotel to optimize housekeeping and staffing at the front desk.
Guests can enjoy a stress-free check-in experience at a convenient time, using only their favorite web browser – no app installation required! The correct room will automatically be assigned on the day of arrival, and guests will be notified their room is ready. An easy-to-use QR code is scanned to do a key pick up on one of our indoor kiosks in a matter of seconds after entering the hotel. Safe, Simple, and Convenient!
Advantage Four – Check out, the forgotten journey
The challenge of guests leaving without checking out
Many hotel guests have the habit of leaving without checking out. This makes housekeeping less efficient since they have no simple way of knowing if a room is still occupied or not. Disputed or unpaid room charges and other practicalities are easier (and more pleasant) to solve with the guest actively involved in the check-out than after some time.
The advantage of offering mobile or kiosk check-out
Unattended check-out is easy to use and takes less than a minute. Kiosk or mobile check-out allows the guest to review room charges, update their contact information and business address (essential for business travelers), pay using the card on file or choose to pay with another credit or debit card.
The hotel PMS is immediately updated once a guest completes unattended check-out, and housekeeping is ensured up-to-date information for optimal efficiency. Front desk staffing can be kept at a minimum during check-out hours since most of the job is done automatically by the guests themselves.
Advantage five – the repurposing of staff
The challenge of having dedicated staff at the front desk
Many hotels need to have a dedicated team at their front desk 24/7 with the sole purpose of checking guests in and out. This lack of flexibility causes inefficiency and can also decrease work satisfaction. Many tasks need to be taken care of in a hotel; serving breakfast, storing luggage, cleaning rooms, arranging transportation, sharing advice about the local area (or giving directions), booking the next stay, and many others.
The advantage of using unattended self-service solutions to give your staff freedom and flexibility
Offering fully automatic and unattended self-service options for check-in and check-out allows guests to arrive and leave with a minimum of staff assistance. Yes, sometimes guests will need help for various reasons, but adding a simple way to contact staff, will allow your team to be more flexible and spend the majority of their time on other duties. Knowing that no one needs to wait for you to return after refilling the coffee machine decreases stress and increases everyone's efficiency.