Virtual check-in hasn’t just emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, many hotels used it to adhere to new government health and safety guidelines over the past few years, but the truth is it was on the rise even before coronavirus reared its ugly head.
This is because there are plenty of other benefits that come with using technology tools like this to create a modern check-in experience. Not only does self check-in free up the amount of time front desk staff have to focus providing a personalized service, but it can also help hotels drive more revenue — something that’s particularly important when hotels are still making up for a couple of hard years.
Here’s how virtual check-in is improving many hotel processes.
Labor efficiency is key in a hotel. And this is especially true at a time when the industry is going through a historic labor shortage.
Workflows should resemble a well-oiled machine in order to keep guests happy and ensure staff are on top of activities at all times. Unfortunately, a lot of reception staff in particular find themselves spending a large amount of time going through administrative tasks when a guests checks-in.
For a long time, this has been one of the most time-consuming parts of a front desk agent's job. As a result, reception staff have a limited amount of time to focus on hospitality activities that improve guest stays and create a better and more personalized overall experience.
Virtual check-in decreases front desk traffic by about 20%.Canary Technologies’ virtual check-in solution sends out a check-in link to guests at least 12 hours before a guest arrives onsite. This link enables them to take care of all of the administrative tasks involved in checking, such as filling out their contact details and scanning an ID., on their own time. When they arrive at the hotel, all they have to do is grab their keys and head up to their room.
Thanks to this streamlined check-in process, Canary Virtual Check-In customers are able to boost front desk efficiency by 35%.
Here's a real customer quote from Christian F Ix-Caamal, Sales & Reservations Manager at the Rosas y Xocolate boutique hotel:
“We saw about a 35% increase in staff efficiency. It’s really nice to have a tool provide the exact value you expected it to, and Canary does just that. And guests love it.”
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you replace interpersonal interactions with guests entirely — this is still a really important part of running a successful hotel! Instead, virtual check-in works to enhance the guest experience by streamlining workflows and creating a slicker process for everyone involved.
Superior guest service always involves some element of human interaction — after all, humans today still crave connections with other humans. Virtual check-in simply removes the arduous, boring tasks from from the process and lets hotel reception staff actually focus on interacting with guests.
Maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction is crucial for hotels. Fully satisfied guests are more likely to come back and stay again, recommend the hotel to their friends and family, and leave positive reviews in prominent places. And most guests today want a virtual check-in option.
Research shows that 60% of travelers are more likely to choose a hotel that has virtual check-in, and 55% of hotel guests would rather check-in via their mobile device.
Think about it. Guests might have been traveling for hours. All they want to do is take a shower and chill out with some room service. Making them queue for half an hour to deal with admin items like providing payment info and filling out a reg card isn’t a good way to welcome them. In fact, it can start their stay off on the wrong foot. And if that were to happen, a you’d have to try that much harder to get things back on an even keel.
This has been proven in studies. Check-in and checkout satisfaction rates are much higher with guests that use virtual check-in.
And as stated before, guests that have a good experience are more likely to leave a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp. In fact, research has shown that a one-star increase in a hotel’s review profile corresponds to a 5-9% increase in revenue. And it's also been shown that if a TripAdvisor score is improved by 10 percent, bookings can increase by 9-15%.
When you look at it this way, virtual check-ins can work as inadvertent but powerful marketing vessels without too much effort on your part. And when paired with a Contactless Checkout solution that enables the happiest guests to easily leave reviews, you can boost 5-star review by up to 350%.
And when 96% of travelers consider reviews important when researching hotels, and 79% reading between six and 12 reviews before they book a stay, it’s easy to see just how important reviews are in the booking process.
Virtual check-in can have an incredibly positive effect on revenue (not least because guests are more likely to book hotels that offer it).
In fact, there are plenty of ways mobile check-in can play into other marketing activities and workflows to squeeze out more revenue from each and every customer.
Firstly, virtual check-in can capture guest contact information (e.g., emails and phone numbers) to help hotels grow their email lists. And this even applies to guests who booked through OTAs! These email lists of happy guests can then be used to send promotional and guest loyalty offers in the future. This keeps your hotel fresh in customer minds and rewards loyal patrons with exclusive offers.
Feeling like part of a community like this increases guest loyalty too, which in turn drives more bookings and revenue.
Additionally, the check-in process is the perfect time to expose guests to any upsell packages and add-ons your property might offer. This might include activities like booking a table for dinner where they might have gone out to grab a bite to eat, or booking in for a massage that they otherwise wouldn't have known you offered. It can also, include things like early check-in and late checkout. The only limit to what a hotel can upsell is the imagination of its management team.
Canary's Dynamic Upsells solution enables guests to browse your add-on services and book upsells right as they're checking in. This captures their attention while they’re thinking about their stay and presents enticing offers at a moment of key buying intent.
Dynamic Upsells allows hotels to set up an eCommerce page that guests automatically get redirected to once they’ve filled out their check-in information, scanned their ID, and had everything confirmed.
From there, they can purchase additional services on their account, like meals throughout their stay, welcome gifts like champagne or a massage, and other onsite activities.
Each additional activity booked or amenity that’s requested results in an increase in revenue and allows guests to create their own unique stay — which, in turn, increases guests satisfaction and loyalty.
As you can see, virtual check-in brings a whole host of benefits to hotels. Not only does it free up reception staff so they can focus on providing an excellent and enjoyable experience for guests, but it can also dramatically increase revenue.
Directing guests to an online amenity store where they can purchase upsells and add-ons during their stay drives more sales from each guest while allowing them to create their own unique experience. This increases guest satisfaction and creates a following of loyal guests that return in the future, recommend your hotel to their friends and family, and post positive reviews for future guests to see.
Canary Technologies’ Check-In solution lets you seamlessly check-in guests without exchanging credit cards, IDs, or registration forms. You can get started in 10 minutes and start checking in guests right away.
-Automatically send check-in links via email or text message to all guests that are due to arrive
-Guests submit their credit card information, upload their ID, and sign the hotel’s registration card all in one place before they arrive
-Canary verifies the information and enables the hotel to check the guest in
Virtual Check-In is easy with Canary Technologies. It’s quick to set up and easy to use! And a range of integrations with leading property management systems, payment providers, and mobile key solutions ensures it ties in seamlessly with the rest of your technology stack.
Last Updated Oct. 18, 2022.
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