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The hospitality industry is one of the rapidly evolving industries in the world. However, there is a fierce competition in this sector as well. That’s why hotels come up with creative ways to enhance customer satisfaction, with the expectation that the customer climbs higher up on the ladder of loyalty.
The hospitality industry served the baby boomers by providing them with a reliable human interface. However, generation Y or millennials have a very different taste.
Millennials are well-accustomed to using quick and efficient self-service alternatives in various aspects of their lives, including supermarket check-outs, airline check-ins, rental cars, and online bookings. They expect no less from the hospitality industry.
While most hotels do provide online booking facilities, the same convenience and flexibility are needed to facilitate the check-in process. In fact, self-service kiosks can enable hotels to gain a competitive advantage. This is, without a doubt, the next step in making the hotel more tech-savvy, particularly in the eyes of millennials.
Here are 5 ways self-check-in kiosks can set a hotel apart from others:
1. No Waiting Lines
People often have to wait in line for hours to check-in at the reception desk during the busy season. However, a busy season is not the only reason guests may have to stand in a long queue before they can hit their comfy bed. Sometimes, staff shortage is the culprit, the lack of training can hamper operations too, or the front desk manager can be busy with something else and endless such reasons. Whatever the reason is, if the guests have to spend more time waiting in a line, they are less likely to come back to the same hotel the next time.
A self-service kiosk, on the other hand, allows guests to check-in in a hassle-free and highly convenient manner. Usually, these kiosks have an intuitive design, clear typeface, and simple commands, making it very quick and easy to complete the check-in process. According to a survey, nearly one-third of the people surveyed would be happy to use their mobile at a self-check-in kiosk at a hotel, rather than waiting in line at the front desk. As hotels ultimately want to be more customer-oriented, self-check-in is likely to become an industry standard in the coming years.
2. Increased Revenue Opportunities
More often than not, customers are likely to use a self-check-in kiosk, as they can use it at any convenient hour. Guests will choose a calm and comfortable moment to register themselves. Thus, the self-check-in system will be able to get their complete attention when they are checking themselves in. It is a great opportunity for up-selling other products and services. In short, hotels can not only automate the tedious check-in process, but also suggest other value-added offers, amenities, in-house services, and special packages for regular customers through the kiosk itself.
One can also save considerable amount of money spent on traditional advertising and marketing methods such as printing flyer set. In addition, it is also an eco-friendly way to generate more up-selling opportunities. Most importantly, it presents an opportunity for personalized interaction with consumers without relying on the front desk staff. Thus, hotels can make targeted efforts to improve their brand name and revenue.
3. Reduced Labor Costs
The second biggest advantage of installing a self-service kiosk in the hotel is the reduction in labor costs. Though a kiosk can’t replace the reception desk completely, it can surely reduce dependence on manual labor to a reasonable extent, particularly the night-shifts as this is usually an expensive resource. That’s why a self-check-in kiosk is probably one of the best ways to save money.
Even during the day, self-check-in systems will allow hotel staff to focus on the important tasks that need their personal interaction and attention, improving overall service quality. After all, the aim of any hotel is to enhance the customer experience during their stay. With the help of these systems, the guests can simply enter their booking details, retrieve a room key and head straight to their room without any delays. Thus, any hotel will be able to cut back unnecessary resource costs by installing a self-service kiosk.
4. Avoiding Manual Errors
How many times has the receptionist at a hotel misspelled your name? Or booked you in a honeymoon suite even if you were on a business trip? Unfortunately, we all have faced such mix ups and the consequences thereof from time to time. However, an automated check-in process can help overcome such manual errors. In fact, self-check-in systems can take customer engagement to the next level.
A self-check-in kiosk can accurately register customer information as customers themselves enter the details during the check-in process. So, the chances of errors are minimal. The staff can retrieve their information from the hotel Property Management System (PMS) for the next time the same guest fast checks-in.
Wouldn’t it be a great idea to surprise the guests with their favorite breakfast? As the kiosk will have stored all their information/preferences from their previous stay in the hotel PMS, retrieving those details as and when needed is easy. Thus, a hotel can create a personalized service platform for regular customers. Accurate data entry also eliminates the possibility of generating duplicate profiles altogether.
5. Better Use of Hotel Resources
An exceptional hotel-stay experience is a foundation for winning customer loyalty and building a bond of trust. Utilizing the hotel resources to their highest potential is perhaps the only way to achieve this. A self-check-in kiosk, when connected with the hotel’s PMS, can take customer service to a whole new level. For example, a customer can book a room as soon as it is ready. The real-time optimization will allow the hotel staff to share the data across various departments, enabling them to divert extra human resources towards other important tasks.
Though tremendous growth opportunities exist in the hospitality sector, it is often difficult to explore them due to fierce competition. Embracing new technology is one of the best ways to gain a competitive edge. However, adopting a new technology such as a self-check-in kiosk becomes a lot easier if a personis aware of its real benefits.
If you are a traveler, hotel staff, hotel boss, kiosk integrated engineer or who concerning to self-service applications, hopefully, these five advantages of self-check-in kiosks will help you generate some fresh idea in your life, those hotel equips with such device should have more advantage apart from others.