In the age of convenience, self-service kiosks have become commonplace in fast food restaurants, retail outlets, international airports, and increasingly at hotels.
The hospitality industry prides itself on providing personal service, so it’s understandable that some hoteliers believe installing self-service check-in kiosks might erode that experience. In truth, a growing number of travellers value the independence, flexibility and freedom that self-service technology offers them during a hotel stay.
With that in mind, here are five ways your hotel can benefit by implementing self-service check-in kiosks at your property.
1. Say Goodbye to Queues
The most obvious benefit of a self-service kiosk is that guests can start enjoying their holiday sooner. During the traditional check-in process, they have to stand in line and fill out paperwork that often involves information already supplied during the booking. With a self-service kiosk, they can check-in by simply looking up their name, email, booking number, or by scanning their passport.
Kiosks such as Enzosystems hospitality kiosks also let guests select their room and create their own room keys. Suffice to say, this scenario is a huge advantage for weary travellers looking for a hassle-free experience on arrival.
There are obvious benefits to providing an automated check-out process too. For instance, cruise ship guests or anyone running late for a flight can depart quickly without worrying about getting caught up in a long queue.
2. Easier to Interact with Guests
There’s a misconception that self-service takes away from face-to-face human contact. On the contrary, it actually frees up staff so they can have more personal and meaningful interactions with guests.
With an automated check-in kiosk, your hotel team have more time to focus on the moments that matter. That might include providing advice to a guest as they head out for a day trip, attending to an urgent service issue, or simply taking the time to engage with guests through friendly conversation.
All of these interactions allow your hotel to build rapport and offer helpful assistance to enhance the overall experience of staying with you.
3. More Upsell Opportunities
Automated check-in solutions also increase upsell opportunities. Using a kiosk, guests can upgrade their room, redeem special offers and purchase additional extras, all in a leisurely and effortless way.
Of course, because your front desk staff are freed up, they can step in and suggest upgrades and additional services in a more natural manner. If guests are approached when they’re more relaxed and settled in, they’ll feel less pressured and be more likely to make a purchase.
In addition, guests can find information about hotel amenities and services at their own convenience, which creates more opportunities for impulse purchases. In contrast, a hectic front desk team might simply not have the time to provide all the relevant hotel information on arrival.
4. Increased Personalisation
Self-service kiosks are able to collect a wealth of invaluable guest data, such as room preferences, past purchase decisions, and special requirements. Because the kiosk is connected to the hotel PMS, this data can be quickly accessed to help hotels provide more personalised experiences.
This stored information can also be used to devise personalised marketing emails, featuring enticing offers that appeal to the preferences and needs of different guests. Hotels can also ensure previous requests are catered for ahead of time to enhance the guest experience and exceed their expectations.
5. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
An increasing number of people want to interact with companies and services on their own terms. In fact, research has found that 66% of customers prefer self-service over traditional interactions with retail sales associates.
Providing the option to check-in via kiosk simply meets the expectations of consumers who are used to flexibility, endless choice and instant gratification in their digital lives. Put simply, providing guests with the degree of control they have elsewhere can only help to improve overall satisfaction levels.
Some kiosks also have the option to select multiple languages, so anyone travelling from overseas will have a much smoother experience when they check-in at your property.
The Role of the Self-Service Kiosk
Self-service kiosks allow hotels to enhance the guest experience in numerous ways. A frictionless check-in experience means more convenience, more control and the elimination of frustrating queues.
In addition, hotel staff have more time for face-to-face interaction where it matters most — from making a great first impression on arrival, to encouraging upgrade and additional purchases in a timely manner.
Kiosk can also reduce labour costs, not only at the front desk but also in the back office. The automation that kiosk’s provide eliminates much of the behind the scenes processing of data, reducing the workload for the night audit and finance teams.
Of course, many guests value personal interaction and the traditional check-in process still has its place. Self-service kiosks shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for old fashioned service, but as a way to enhance the modern-day hospitality experience.