In recent years, the hospitality industry has embraced technology to improve guest experiences. A standout advancement is contactless check-in, which lets guests skip the front desk and check in seamlessly using their mobile devices or self-service kiosks.
This article explores the numerous benefits of contactless check-in for hotels and highlights why it is becoming increasingly popular among both hoteliers and guests alike.
Contactless Check-In And How It Works
Hotels offer a variety of digital guest journey options for contactless check-in, depending on their level of technological advancement. These options cater to the preferences and needs of guests.
On one end of the spectrum, some hotels provide a mobile key via a native app, which guests need to download. This app often offers additional benefits to the guest but might reduce the adoption rate. With the native app option, guests install the hotel’s dedicated app on their smartphone. After confirming their reservation, they receive a digital room key through the app, allowing them to unlock their room with a simple tap of their device.
On the more advanced side, certain hotels offer mobile keys through a web app that communicates with IoT locks, ensuring all information remains secure in the cloud. Guests can access this web app via their smartphone’s web browser. Once their reservation is confirmed, they receive their digital room key and can unlock their room by a simple swipe on their smartphone.
For those who prefer a more traditional approach, there is also the option of obtaining a physical key card. These cards can be acquired at the hotel’s reception desk and are used for unlocking rooms in the traditional manner.
These varying options provide flexibility and convenience, allowing guests to choose the method that best suits their preferences and the hotel’s level of technological advancement for a contactless check-in experience.
The Top 5 Advantages Of Contactless Check-In At Hotels
Contactless check-ins in hotels offer a host of benefits that make the experience more convenient and safer for guests. Here are the top five benefits of implementing a contactless check-in system in a hotel.
1. Increased Efficiency & Reduced Wait Times
The inconvenience of check-in queues, particularly during peak hours, often results in frustration and leaves guests with negative impressions. Contactless check-in effectively addresses this issue, enabling guests to use their smartphones for a seamless check-in experience that significantly cuts down wait times at the front desk. Guests can complete the check-in process before their arrival, not only saving valuable time but also allowing staff to concentrate on delivering personalized service instead of handling paperwork. This approach also minimizes the potential errors associated with manual check-in procedures when verifying guest information.
“…A study completed by Software Advice in 2015 found that more than five years ago 50%+ were already more inclined to choose a hotel that let guests check in via a smartphone.”
2. Improved Guest Satisfaction & Convenience
Travelers crave convenience, and contactless check-in delivers just that—a seamless and stress-free experience. With a few taps on their smartphones, guests can complete check-in and access their rooms using digital keys, giving them greater control over their stay.
Implementing contactless check-in frees up valuable time for hotel staff to add a personal touch to each guest’s stay, whether it’s accommodating special requests like extra pillows or addressing dietary preferences. This personalized approach fosters a sense of belonging, making guests feel genuinely valued, ultimately leading to more satisfied and loyal guests.
3. Enhanced Safety & Hygiene Measures
Safety and hygiene have become paramount considerations for travelers. Hotels that offer contactless check-in play a crucial role in addressing these concerns by minimizing physical interactions and reducing the risk of transmission. By eliminating the need for guests to handle physical documents or interact closely with hotel staff, contactless check-in helps maintain social distancing guidelines and promotes a safer environment for everyone.
4. Cost Savings & Environmental Impact
Implementing contactless check-in reduces the need for front desk staff, thus streamlining operations and allowing hotels to allocate resources more effectively.
Additionally, contactless check-in aligns with hotel sustainability efforts. Going paperless for check-in forms, hotel room keys, and other documentation significantly reduces environmental impact. This eco-friendly approach makes hotels more appealing to environmentally conscious travelers.
5. Data and Insights
Contactless check-in systems provide valuable data on what guests like and how they behave during their stay. For example, they can tell which rooms or services guests prefer. This data generated by property management systems helps hotels offer better experiences, like providing the guest’s favorite amenities ready when they arrive. It also helps hotels in marketing and sending special offers that match guest interests.
The collected guest data also tells when lots of guests are checking in, allowing hotels to ensure there are enough staff to help. It can also tell when most guests want to check out, so cleaning schedules can be better planned.
Implementing Contactless Check-In At Your Hotel
To successfully implement contactless check-in at your hotel, follow these best practices for a smooth guest experience:
1. Invest in User-Friendly Technology: Choose a cloud-based PMS to improve room management. It should be software with a shallow learning curve for faster adoption.
For guests, consider mobile apps or web interfaces that will make the check-in process contactless and hassle-free. They should have a well-designed interface that minimizes confusion and frustration to enhance guest satisfaction. As a contingency, installing self-service kiosks as an alternative is recommended so that guests can still check-in even without using their phones or getting help from the staff.
2. Provide Clear Instructions: Communicate clear instructions to guests through emails or text messages, outlining the steps for seamless check-in. Offering support channels like live chat or a dedicated helpline can assist guests who face difficulties.
Using an AI-powered chatbot is also highly advisable because of its advanced capabilities and availability around the clock. AI chatbots can help guests book rooms, check availability, and provide real-time pricing information. Aside from providing general assistance on how to proceed with mobile check-in, they can also make personalized recommendations for dining, entertainment, or sightseeing based on guest preferences.
3. Monitor and Improve: Continuously monitor and evaluate the online check-in process. Gather guest feedback and analyze data to identify areas for improvement. Regularly refining and enhancing the contactless check-in experience ensures high guest satisfaction and keeps you ahead of the competition.
“With the right technology, implementing contactless check-in is relatively painless. It does, however, take some proactive communication with guests so that they know what to expect before arrival.”
- Contactless Check-in For Hotels by Hotel Tech Report.
Final Thoughts On The Top 5 Advantages Of Contactless Check-In At Hotels
As hotels continue to adapt to the ever-changing needs of travelers, mobile check-in will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of the industry. By embracing this technology and implementing best practices, you can streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and stay competitive.
The era of contactless check-in has arrived, and it is here to stay. Embrace it, and your hotel will reap the rewards. As the hospitality industry continues to navigate through unprecedented times and adapt to new norms, 4SUITES is dedicated to providing innovative solutions to enhance the guest experience and ensure the safety of both guests and staff.
Our cloud-based mobile key technology enables digital check-in and keyless entry to hotel rooms, eliminating the need for physical keys and reducing queues. Our cloud-based property management system also gives you real-time monitoring and access control, giving hotel staff full control over who enters different areas of the property at any given time.
And here’s something neat: if you have old locks that need a tech makeover, we offer upgrades to turn them into smart, cloud-connected devices. It’s all about making your hotel experience better and smarter with 4SUITES.
With our intelligent access solutions, hotels can unlock their full potential and provide a seamless and secure guest experience. Contact us today to avail of our service or book a demo to learn more.