Virtual check-in hasn’t just emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sure, an increasing number of hotels are turning to it to adhere to new government health and safety guidelines, but it was on the rise even before coronavirus reared its ugly head.
This is because there are plenty of other benefits that come with implementing tech like this into the check-in process. Not only does self check-in free up the amount of time reception staff have to focus on hospitality, but it can also help hotels drive revenue - something that’s particularly important in these difficult times.
Here’s how virtual check-in is improving many hotel processes.
Labor efficiency is key in a hotel.
Workflows should resemble a well-oiled machine in order to keep guests happy and to ensure staff are on top of activities at all times. Unfortunately, a lot of reception staff in particular find themselves spending an increasing amount of time stuck in administrative tasks dealing with guests check-in.
For a long time, this has been one of the most time-consuming parts of their job role, especially when guests are able to arrive at all hours of the day. As a result, reception staff have a limited amount of time to focus on hospitality activities that improve guest stays and create an overall more efficient establishment.
Virtual check-in decreases front desk traffic by about 20%. It saves time by sending a check-in link before the guest even steps foot on the property. This helps them avoid lengthy check-in queues and means staff don’t have to spend time going through the required documentation with the guest.
The end result is that reception staff no longer have to spend most of their working hours on repetitive admin tasks. Instead, they can focus on providing guests with an enjoyable and memorable experience.
It also creates a happier front desk workflow because it streamlines the process. Reception staff get all the information they need without having to actually be there when the guest fills out the documentation.
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you replace guest interaction entirely - this is still a really important part of running a successful hotel with returning guests. 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 - but virtual check-in removes the arduous, boring tasks and lets hotel reception staff actually focus on interacting with guests.
Canary Technologies’ virtual check-in solution sends out a check-in link at least 12 hours before a guest arrives onsite. The guest can then fill out their details and scan their ID in their own time before they get to the hotel, saving the time they otherwise would have spent queuing at reception.
Reception staff simply have to check that everything is okay and do a visual inspection of the guests against the ID they submitted, before giving the guest their key.
Maintaining high levels of guest satisfaction is crucial for hotels. It means that 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.
For starters, guests have to queue for precisely zero minutes at reception with virtual check-in. All the documentation is done beforehand, leaving guests free to start their stay as soon as they arrive.
In fact, this is so important for guests.
Research shows that 60% of travelers are more likely to choose a hotel that has virtual check-in, and 55% of hotel guests would actively 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 form isn’t a good way to welcome them and it can start their stay off on the wrong foot. As a result, you’ll have to try that much harder to get things back on an even keel.
This has been proven in studies. Check-in and check-out satisfaction rates are much higher with guests that use virtual check-in.
On top of this, guests that have a good experience are more likely to leave a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp. 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.
When 96% of travelers consider reviews important when researching hotels and with 79% reading between six and 12 reviews before they book a stay, it’s clear to see just how important reviews are in the booking process.
Provide guests with the information they need before check-in to streamline the process. Letting them enter their details, scan their ID, and check-in in their own time before they arrive means guests don’t have to hang around in reception waiting their turn when they’re tired from traveling.
Instead, they can whiz right up to their room, get settled in, and kick their stay off relaxed.
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-ins that collect information capture guest data to help hotels grow their email lists. These email lists of happy guests can then be used to send promotions to in the future. This keeps your hotel fresh in their minds and rewards subscribers with exclusive offers.
Feeling like part of a community like this increases guest loyalty too, which in turn drives more stays and more revenue.
Virtual check-ins are also an effective way to reach guests and present your top hotel amenities and activities. For example, directing them to an amenity store after they check-in can help them personalize their experience with different offers that they might not have known about otherwise.
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.
Canary Technologies’ “amenity store” lets guests browse your services and book extra activities right after they’ve checked-in. This captures their attention while they’re thinking about their stay (because they’ve just checked in), so they’re excited about customizing it to meet their needs.
The amenity store 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 loyalty and satisfaction.
As you can see, virtual check-in brings a whole host of benefits to hotels. Not only does it free up reception staff time 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 goods and upgrade their amenities during their stay with you drives more sales from each guest while allowing them to create their own unique stay. 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’ virtual 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.
How It Works
-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
It’s Simple to Get Started
Virtual Check-In is easy with Canary Technologies. It’s quick to set up and lets you check guests in safely right away - no training needed! A range of integrations with property management systems, payment providers, and mobile key solutions ensures it ties in with your long-term holistic solutions.
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