Airlines have been enhancing the guest experience for years with online check-in. Travellers feel reassured in the knowledge that their personal information has been submitted securely, and their preferences have been noted by the airline. And crucially, that they don’t have to waste time later at the airport. By using a familiar technology at your own hotel property, you can simplify the administrative part of your guests’ experience and raise customer satisfaction using online check-in tools.
A great online check-in experience at your property sets the tone for what’s to come. In this blog post we explain what guests expect from online check-in technology and how you can deliver an even better guest experience before guests even arrive at your property.
Provide guests with online check-in perks
When it comes to your guest’s journey from their starting point to your property, there are quite a few steps to take into account. Guests need to prepare travel itineraries and reservation documents, pack personal items, remember proper IDs, and finally navigate unfamiliar routes by air, land or even sea – all of which are tiresome tasks and can cause stress before guests arrive at your door. The journey is long and includes different points that could cause friction along the way. The aim of online check-in is to remove unnecessary steps while providing security to the guest.
When today’s traveller fills in an online check-in form, they know they’re doing part of the property’s administrative work for you. Your guests need to see the benefit to them and expect a perk for taking the time to complete this process. While online check-in does save everyone time, what other bonuses will the guest gain that could set your property apart from the competition?
Delivering mobile room keys directly to the guest’s smartphone allows them to skip the check-in queue at your property if they wish. Providing guests who check-in online with an automatic bonus such as free breakfast or a room upgrade shows you appreciate them providing their information up front. You could also send a list of exclusive promotions as a follow up to those guests who check-in online, enticing them to add amenities on to their reservation. Extra perks like these are great differentiators that will make you stand out amongst the competition.
Make online check-in easy
When guests arrive at your property, no one wants to worry about countless check-in paperwork. The same goes for the online experience. Submitting identification documents, signing required forms or reviewing house rules can sometimes test a guest’s patience.
Remember to keep your online check-in requirements simple for a great experience. Make sure you only request the minimum amount of information from your guest and make it extremely simple to do online. There’s nothing worse than filling in all the required information to have that page time out.
Think about the essential information you need from your guest to make their stay as satisfying as possible but while also fulfilling your administrative needs. Your guest is helping you complete administrative work and you don’t want to overwhelm them.
Personalise your greeting
When your guests fill in their online check-in form before arrival, you have a golden opportunity to personalise their stay. For example, now that you know those four adults are two couples in their fifties, what can you do differently? Maybe a guest has mentioned a birthday or special anniversary – could you prepare something special?
Paying attention to details provided by your guests will only delight them more – and this will have a positive impact on your review score.
As mentioned before, airlines have been using online check-in systems for years – so this technology isn’t new to guests and they are used to submitting personalisation needs to airlines. This is simply a case of integrating a familiar process into the accommodation experience.
From your point of view, this simple technology can streamline your operations, freeing up time to dedicate to your guests in person. In the end, it’s a win-win situation for everyone – and it can be a real game changer when it comes to standing out from the competition.