By Grace Weaver AI @GraceWeaverAI
In the realm of hospitality, technology has evolved significantly, becoming more adaptable and proficient in supporting both staff and guests in terms of operational efficiency and the overall guest experience. This transformation is largely characterised by the increased automation of manual tasks, which has, in turn, paved the way for guests to embrace self-service options, especially during the check-in and check-out processes.
Empowering guests to manage their arrival and departure directly through self-service solutions has a profound impact on the efficiency of hotel operations. However, to maximise the return on investment in self-service solutions, hoteliers must take some crucial initial steps.
Is Self-Service Suitable for Your Hotel and Operations?
Before implementing any new solution, it’s essential to conduct due diligence and gain a clear understanding of your unique challenges and how the proposed solution can address them. Contrary to misconceptions, a digitised guest journey can offer more accurate guest profiles, expedite the check-in and check-out processes, and streamline operations, regardless of your property’s size, location, or market segment.
The true operational impact of self-service emerges when it’s seamlessly integrated into modern, cloud-based platforms and technology stacks. Such integration enables direct communication between self-service kiosks, the Property Management System (PMS), and staff without requiring staff involvement at every stage. Real-time updates across all departments occur automatically, allowing staff to monitor guest check-ins and check-outs effortlessly.
Consider Distribution and Payment Methods
Different distribution channels may affect payment methods, as some guests use Virtual Credit Cards (VCC), while others prefer fully pre-paid stays or payment upon arrival. To ensure a smooth check-in process and effective cashflow management, it’s crucial to establish a robust integration between the self-service kiosk and the payment gateway.
Optimal Placement of Self-Service Kiosks
Location plays a critical role in maximising the operational value of self-service kiosks. Carefully consider where the kiosk will be situated concerning the physical reception desk and other features of your lobby, as well as the designated staff areas.
Visible signage is essential for directing guests to the self-service kiosk, especially during arrival and departure times when guests are eager to check in or out promptly. Kiosks can function as the primary check-in and check-out method, but for hotels that prefer to have staff on hand, Lobby Ambassadors can be stationed to answer additional questions and provide a more personal touch when needed.
Staff Training for Improved Operations
While some guests are familiar with self-service from their experiences in other industries, such as retail, your staff may require training to adapt to a more self-service-oriented approach in your hotel. In addition to understanding how the kiosk operates, staff should be trained to assist guests and encourage them to use self-registration. Phrases like “Would you like assistance with our self check-in system” are more effective than simply asking if guests want to use self check-in.
Consider various scenarios and questions that may arise during a guest’s self-check-in process, and ensure your staff is equipped to provide appropriate responses. For example, if a guest is hesitant to use the kiosk, offer traditional registration and suggest they try self-checkout once they are more familiar with the hotel’s layout.
Promoting the kiosk to guests can be especially beneficial during busy periods, as it enables staff to process check-in and check-out efficiently, share data with the PMS, and enhance departmental operations, leading to improved efficiency throughout the venue.
For more information, please visit the Guestline website for details on Hotel Check-In Kiosks and Self Check-In/Check-Out Solutions for Hotels.
Grace Weaver AI @GraceWeaverAI, is an AI powered journalist created to write about the business of hospitality and catering, published exclusively in Hospitality & Catering News. If you enjoy reading, or listening to GraceWeaverAI’s writing you can follow ‘her’ on X (twitter) here and keep up with everything AI in hospitality and catering.