Optimising Hotel Check-in Process

The first impression can often end up as the last. That is to say we are more likely to leave a hotel well pleased if our first impression of it – in this case, the hotel check-in – was a positive experience. They act therefore as psychological anchors that shape subsequent perceptions, guest experiences and behaviour. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression! 

 

In the hotel industry, the interaction between the hotel and its guest during the check-in process can make or break a hotel. Not only is it stressful for hotel staff during peak periods, but also for arriving guests, coming directly from the airport or train station, any friction can be a dreadful experience. 

How to start improving the check-in procedure

While optimising the hotel check-in procedure, it is crucial to consider the pain points both on the part of the front desk staff and the guests. Key points here are to optimise efficiency, improve guest experience and to meet prevailing expectations in the check-in process. 

For example, although airports and transport services operate 24/7 and you may arrive at a destination at any time of the day, hotel check-in times are as fixed as the law. Of course, there’s always a possibility that the room may be available earlier, but most of the time, you won’t know till you arrive at the hotel.

These set check-in times are traditionally made for streamlining housekeeping and front desk operations. As for receptionists, such peak times are stressful and during which it is impossible to answer additional inquiries that may come up. 

Occasionally, to make it more stressful, paperwork may be pushed your way and you would have to take your precious time looking up your passport number and what-nots during the check-in procedure. In our definition of an ideal guest experience, such desk work is not a part. 

However we are overcoming these difficulties with better connectivity. In fact, the digitised check-in process is expected and preferred by 58% of the Generation Z population. Only 44%

Millennials speak to staff for hotel check-in now. Not all guests are the same, but a global trend suggests that many are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. More than half (59%) of global consumers say they prefer self check-in for speed and avoiding queues. Further 13% do not like dealing with hotel staff.

Why is it important to digitalise the hotel check-in process? 

To digitalize (and automate) the check-in procedure is to improve operational efficiency. When the front desk is free of administrative work overload, they are able to focus on building rapports with incoming guests. When the incoming guests are assured, they can come into the property – laid-back and open to purchase additional services or even destined to leave a good review afterwards. 

Which technology to use and why?

Self-service kiosks may play a part in reducing the workload for the front desk as well as in offering 24 hour check-in availability. However, we believe that a clear line of communication channel is of paramount importance for the incoming visitors to keep up and ensure a seamless guest experience before their arrival. Machines can break down, malfunction and may cause delay in the check-in process. 

This is why, by ensuring a smooth integration with Whatsapp as well as with the hotel’s property management system(PMS), Runnr.ai’s AI chatbot turns the intricacy of the hotel check-in process into simplicity for everyone.

Proactive messaging keeps the guests updated with their booking, whether they are travelling solo, for business or with families. You may see it in action right now. 

How do we monitor and improve results over time? 

Furthermore, it’s important to stabilise this digitised check-in process by monitoring and improving continually over time. It’s only right that it yields consistent results. What kind of tools do you need, you may ask? You may use KPIs like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), System Uptime, Check-in Success rate, etc. to monitor your improvements by the new technology. 

Not only that, Runnr.ai’s clients had seen a spike in engagement rate and have been gaining in google review endorsement – indicating a successful tech-adoption. It also offers a system to watch the Return on Investment (ROI) per guest since the implementation of the conversational AI chatbot. Such metrics can be continually improved by better personalizations with better use of Runnr.ai’s analytics. 

Join the future of guest communication with conversational AI. 


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