Imagine your flight landed late and you’ve already missed the first day of your vacation. To add to the disappointment, when you enter the hotel for check-in you found a scenario like this:
Two reception counters, handling four queues of guests. Only two people at the frontdesk handling this crowd. People are waiting in the seating area beside the frontdesk. A hotel staff member is assisting them with their check-ins on a digital pad. And you are standing there, hoping you could just get a room without going through all this.
Now imagine, if this hotel had a self-check-in kiosk. You could use it to enter your booking details, verify your ID, and make the payment, and there — “this is your keycard”, and you are simply done with the check-in. Looks like a dream?
Well, let’s make that true!
The hospitality industry is now stepping up and installing hotel self-service kiosks in order to provide hassle-free check-ins and other services to its guests.
In this blog, I am going to talk exactly about how this is enhancing guest satisfaction and what benefits it has for your property.
What Is a Hotel Self-Service Kiosk?
A hotel self-service kiosk is a digital device that enables guests to fill in the required information and get access to their rooms and other services. It eliminates the need for the front desk as it handles bookings, check-ins/outs, provides room keys, processes payments, and such likes.
The hotel kiosk system comes with various integrations. The most important one is its integration with your property management system through which it works in sync with your overall hotel data.
Along with the instant reservation for walk-in guests, it successfully serves guests who have pre-booked through the hotel or any OTA website.
While kiosks handle all the major front desk functions, your staff gets a chance to enhance the guests’ experience by interacting and providing them with quick services.
Should You Install Kiosks in Your Hotel?
The prime aspect on which the hotel industry is established is – “hospitality”. The key function of a hotel self-service kiosk is to give a boost to this hospitality.
According to this, without a kiosk, your full suite of technology solutions is not really complete. To acquire its best efficiency, installing a kiosk is a must!
(But I am not going to push my opinion over you.)
I just want to give you a clear perspective on why kiosks are a need in this constantly growing hotel industry. For this, I will make hoteliers understand how a kiosk works and streamlines their operations effectively.
Therefore, in the next section, I am sharing all the benefits of a hotel self-check-in kiosk.
10 Benefits of Hotel Self-Service Kiosks
Hotel Self Check-In Kiosks are not just limited to guest satisfaction, it goes beyond that. Your hotel staff also get to enjoy various benefits.
So let’s just hop in and see what all wonders a hotel self-check-in machine can do:
1. Eliminate the front desk fuss
A front desk is the trickiest place in any hotel. With all the guests having unique demands and expectations, it gets difficult to perform front desk operations fluently. But with the kiosks by your side, you can turn this around.
When most of your guests will use kiosks for check-ins and check-outs, you will only have a handful of guests at the front desk who genuinely needs human assistance. And for those, your front desk staff can deliver the best of their services.
In addition, you might not require as many staff members as before (saving on that).
2. Say goodbye to queues
Availing of self-check-in and check-out services through kiosks takes not more than a few minutes. Guests just need to enter their detail, select their room, pay for it and they are out with their keycard.
Unlike the front desk, they do not have to engage themselves in a dialogue process. This means Kiosks save you from long waiting queues.
Being a hotelier, you may agree that keeping your guest waiting is a setback. Even if you have a dedicated concierge, a guest would want to check-in at the earliest.
So if your hotel is stuck in managing the waiting lines, then the kiosk is your way out.
3. Acquire a modernized look
Nowadays guests are always on the lookout for a well-developed hotel where they can get a luxurious vibe. Along with the infrastructure, furnishing, and services, modern technology and automated operations give hotels an affluent look.
A kiosk gives a modern outlook to hospitality businesses with its functions, user-friendly interface, and digitalized technology.
Your guests use this device at check-in and check-out, so they are likely to get a long-lasting impression from its usage. It will add weight to your hotel’s image.
4. Cut down on human error
The major benefit of installing technology is that it nullifies the chances of error. It is true that we humans can misinterpret things more often than a machine.
For instance, a human can sometimes make mistakes while processing cash payments but a kiosk will be accurate in its calculations. We may mix up things while multi-tasking but a kiosk will maintain transparency at its best.
Hence, keeping in view, that these small human errors can become a considerable reason for your guest to question your hospitality, why not use a kiosk to eliminate them all at once?
5. Upsell your resources effectively
I think it is a clear psychology that most people get skeptical and deny the additional resources when sold in offline mode. However in online mode (say while doing online shopping), with the visuals on the screen, people end up buying more things. This is why upselling your services at the front desk results in a low success rate.
At the front desk, guests do not get enough time to make a decision because (a) they are mostly in hurry and (b) they think it is a tactic to add more value to their bills.
However, with the kiosks, guests get personal space, time, and a well-showcased catalog to choose from and add the resources easily with just one tap. Moreover, the charges are added automatically so their psyche doesn’t question them on spending more.
6. Focus on meaningful guest interaction
No doubt, hotel operations take a lot of time for the hotel staff. Not only check-ins, check-outs, or guest services but handling and processing all the data on the system takes significant time. Among all this, do your staff get enough time to interact with the guests?
If not, then a hotel kiosk can make that happen. It saves the time of your guest as well as your staff to help them get along on the interaction part.
Now you know that installing a kiosk doesn’t mean cutting off human interaction. On the contrary, your staff gets to welcome your guests nicely. They can offer them great services and assistance in the meantime.
7. Add weight to personalization
The hotel kiosk system helps your guests to choose what’s best for them. At the front desk when you ask about their personal choices for the various services you have in the bucket, it gets a little too much to process at once.
Choosing a suitable set of things becomes easy when it is listed properly, you can go through the options and choose them with a tap.
For example, choosing the type of room you want: smoking/non-smoking, double bed/two separate beds, deciding whether you want complimentary lunch/dinner, what payment gateway you want to use to clear bills, and much more.
You can categorize everything in the kiosk so your guests can select them at their convenience. Along with adding value, it also automates the process of personalization.
8. Satisfy the introverts too
Being an introvert is a lot of pressure. You want things but can’t ask for them and when you finally ask, the opportunity is long gone.
(No, I am not talking about myself.)
There are times when introverts even struggle to ask important questions like, “Where is my balance worth 1000 bucks?” (Just kidding)
But this can’t be denied that there are a lot of introverted people nowadays and they simply hesitate to make decisions on the spot (say, at the front desk).
For them, a kiosk is a big-time life savior as it gives them space to choose the suitable set of services for themselves.
9. Save everyone’s time
As a hotelier, you would agree that your guest loves to save time. Not only them, but even your staff wants exactly that.
Everyone wants to accomplish a lot of things in a day. And if only checking in takes a lot of their time then it is not impressive at all.
Therefore, installing kiosks to speed up your operations is a fair decision as it saves a lot of time for both parties.
10. Keep technology by your side
As I mentioned in my previous blogs, millennials choose hotels having modern solutions, facilities, and technology. It is not just millennials but anyone traveling nowadays looks up to that.
People are getting tech-savvy and to attract them, hoteliers need to skill up at the technological parameters. Kiosks can definitely help them achieve that.
And this must be noted that once modern technologies are by your side, you also start fetching international recognition.
Hotel self-service kiosk comes with in-built integration facilities that help you align its functions with your Property Management System (PMS). Hence, it works in sync with the data in your PMS.
An ideal Kiosk is one that comes with multiple integrations, a user-friendly interface, zero downtime, and a pocket-friendly price.
Small hotels can install Kiosks if their budget allows. However, they should also keep in mind that the ROI (Return on investment) of kiosks is quite impressive.
Kiosks cannot completely replace the front desk. However, they can streamline and significantly minimize the front desk operations. It is also necessary to have a dedicated front desk at your property.
It is an established fact that a hotel self-service kiosk simplifies hoteliering and adds more class to your hospitality.
There is a lot you miss out on by avoiding technology-driven solutions like a kiosk. With kiosks, you can make a huge difference in how you manage your guests and how your guests avail services. It gives you a fair chance to improve your results at upselling and to take your guest experience to another level.
Keeping all that you read above, I believe you would very much like to install a kiosk in your hotel. Even if you are a small hotel I would recommend, you start by installing one and then as per your requirements move ahead.
Let me know your thoughts on the same in the comment section below.