Why use online check-in?
What is online check-in?
Online check-in can be defined as the completion of the check-in procedure prior to the client’s arrival from a mobile device, that is, before the client arrives at the hotel. This procedure is composed of multiple elements that guarantee the quality of the client’s stay as well as their arrival at the hotel. It also allows to confirm the information provided beforehand and provides you with a guarantee of payment. This innovating solution is available with a PMS with advanced features, which provides the necessary information to the management module. This procedure can be fully done online, hence having a simple and efficient user interface is important.
The complexity of this solution comes from two main elements: payment and key handover. For the former, online payment is the most popular option. For the latter, it will depend on the type of key used at the hotel, such as magnetic keys, keys with a code, classic keys or QR codes, etc. The easiest option is to use a magnetic key, which can be retrieved at a welcome kiosk. This kiosk can complete and automate the procedure. If you are not equipped with welcome kiosks that have a key retrieval function, you can alternatively dedicate a special express check-in line at your front desk. Clients who have checked-in online beforehand will be able to directly go through this special line upon their arrival.
Additionally, combination door locks or QR codes are other options to make your clients more autonomous. Once their online check-in is complete, they will receive a code or a QR code which will allow them to access their room.
What is the main advantage of online check-in for clients?
The main advantage for clients is that they no longer have to present themselves to the front desk upon their arrival, having to wait in order to retrieve their room key. This way, you guarantee a reduced waiting time upon their arrival. Even if the client has to present themselves to the front desk in order to retrieve their room key, the procedure will be faster, especially if the hotel has set-up a special front desk line for clients who have checked-in online beforehand.
This gain in time is an undeniable advantage for a client. If your client is a business traveller, they will be able to go to their meetings earlier, while if they are here for leisure, they will be able to enjoy the services you offer faster. For recurring clients, online check-in is also a major advantage as they are already familiar with your hotel and will not require a member of your staff to walk them through the new procedures set-up at your hotel.
In some cases, online check-in can offer other advantage, such as being able to check-in outside the conventional front desk check-in hours. This can be appropriate if the front desk is not open at night. It can also be advantageous when you offer multiple furnished units across a city, as the client will be able to immediately check-in without having to visit the front desk which could be located far from their furnished unit.
What is the advantage of online check-in for the hotel?
The hotel using this technology can benefit from many advantages. Firstly, they will be able to significantly reduce waiting times at the front desk. This wait can unfortunately negatively impact the client’s perception of your hotel upon their arrival. Reducing this waiting time can also allow your staff to provide a better and lengthier service to other clients and ensure they are available to respond to any requests.
There is also an advantage when it comes to staff management. The number of staff members assigned to the front desk can be reduced, or you can re-allocate their role and responsibilities. Your staff will then avail of more time to inform clients, thus allowing you to provide a concierge service which you could not have afforded prior to this resources’ re-allocation.
You can also make your hotel more autonomous if you have set-up the necessary technology. Your clients will be more independent and will be able to access their room without having to visit the front desk.
This is an excellent way to make the most of technology!