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Hotel check-in systems have certainly evolved over the years, with quick service usually reported as the one of the main priorities for any guest. Offering automated check-in ensures guests can quickly proceed to their rooms without having to wait at the front desk. Hotels that still rely on traditional manual entry methods are simply delaying travelers and risk making a very poor first impression and accusations of bad service – a tag your hotel brand would probably rather avoid.

With an automated check-in and check-out system, your guests’ waiting time will be significantly reduced. All the important details will be logged in the system even before the guest arrives, so front desk staff will be able to handle the process swiftly no matter how many guests show up at the front desk simultaneously. In fact, the front desk is one place where technology can make a huge difference to the service quality you can offer.

Four ways to create a smart front desk to simplify check-in and check-out

The use of sophisticated technologies can help hotel owners elevate every aspect of the guest experience. Smart hotel owners know the importance of going beyond a guest’s expectations to provide exceptional service, and technology makes this easier than ever before.

1. Focus on mobile check-in, kiosks, and self-check-in

Any guest who arrives at your hotel after a long journey would hope for a quick check-in, so the best strategy to maximize customer satisfaction is to allow remote check-in, bypassing the front desk altogether. The process gives complete control to your guests, and they can even select their own room online. You can make the mobile check-in system accessible to loyalty card members – it’s an added bonus which offers extra convenience and can also be used as a channel to offer additional services and promotions online.

Check-in kiosks placed in the lobby are another way to hand control back to your guests – as well as check-in, kiosks even allow guests to edit their requirements without waiting for assistance. Paperwork is reduced by automation, and registered guests who have received a barcode can easily access their rooms with no need to visit the front desk at all. The automated check-in and check-out systems simplify as well as personalize the entire process.

2. Save time by using guest data

With the help of a cloud-based property management system, a hotel’s check-in process will always be faster, particularly if the system can store guest data. Having details about your repeat visitors helps during the reservation process and also during check-ins. You can even store proof of identity documents in the system so you won’t need to repeatedly ask your guests for the same passport or ID card. It’s also easier to personalize services with the available data. Being aware of room preferences and other requests and requirements will save time for your hotel staff, allowing them to focus on delivering better services.

3. Make speedy room allocations

Not only do guests have their expectations, but they can also change their minds – and their demands – when it’s time to check-in. What happens if you face a situation where a guest requests a room upgrade or a different room on a lower floor? With the online check-in system as part of a hotel property management system (PMS) it’s easy to reallocate a room to meet last-minute requests. All you need to do is log on to the system and check the available rooms that match the guest’s preferences. You can easily fulfill a guest’s request and create a great first impression.

4. Faster billing procedures for check-out

A speedy hotel check-out is the final opportunity to make a favorable impression in the minds of your guests. With the help of a cloud-based hotel reservation system, you can automate billing procedures and simplify the entire process in no time. Bills can be easily printed for corporate accounts, or split between room sharers. It’s even possible to integrate point of sale bills from all your different outlets with a single click. You save time spent on coordination between departments and reduce the possibility of introducing errors. Guests who have an early morning flight to catch can use the hotel’s mobile check-out system. You can easily expedite the process and eliminate billing hassles with the help of smart technologies such as a cloud-based PMS.

Your check-in and check-out systems need to be in sync with the modern world. Today’s travelers demand efficiency, convenience, and great service – and hoteliers can only hope to meet those expectations, or even to exceed them, by embracing technology and using it to the maximum.

So, what have you done to simplify the process today?