A guest’s arrival at your hotel is an important moment in the guest life cycle—it’s your first chance to make a positive in-person impression, and will help guests feel confident in their choice to stay at your property. One of the easiest ways to mess up this first impression is to keep guests waiting needlessly to check in to their rooms.
To ensure a welcoming arrival, you want to streamline the check in process as much as possible, without compromising the quality of your service. A good Property Management System (PMS), with efficient front desk technology, allows you to provide a guest-centered arrival and ensure things start off on the right foot.
Upsell in the Pre-Arrival Stage
When a guest has their first face-to-face interaction with your hotel, they may be tempted to inquire about additional services, amenities and room upgrades. Overall, this is positive for your hotel: you want your customers to be interested in more lucrative services and spend as much money on-site as possible. However, walking guests through these options at check in can have a few negative effects:
- It can lead to disappointments, if guests’ preferences aren’t available last minute.
- It can also create a more tedious check in process, resulting in longer wait times for other guests as your front desk staff accommodates each last-minute need.
To avoid these frustrations, you should use the pre-arrival stage to upsell features and amenities that can enhance your guests’ stays. From room upgrades to in-room extras like champagne or massages, you should make these options available to guests both during the initial reservation process and in correspondence leading up to their stay. This way, your guests will know exactly which services are available to them before they reach the check in counter—and your staff can be prepared with their preferences and needs logged in your PMS well before their arrival.
Implement Smarter and Speedier Technologies
Technology, more than any other resource, is capable of speeding up check in times without throwing the process into disarray. The right PMS can facilitate seamless check ins by making sure all guest information is relevant, up-to-date and in the correct profile.
For starters, you’ll want to make sure your PMS has built-in functionality that allows it to bring various customer details into one centralized database. Your PMS shouldn’t put extra work on you—instead, it should be able to automatically clean data and flag any potential duplications in the system, so that you don’t accidentally log two different profiles for the same guest. It should also track all instances of guests’ previous stays and any information gathered from various hotel touchpoints during those stays. This way, your front desk staff won’t waste valuable time finding the correct guest information at check in, and will always have guests’ preferences on hand to facilitate smoother stays.
Invest in Your Front of House Staff
It’s possible to fill a hotel lobby with mobile check in kiosks and eliminate the front desk entirely, but guests still enjoy the experience of interacting with an official whose only job is welcoming them to the property and facilitating their stay. Even with the most advanced technology in place, hotels must be able to rely on staff who are highly-trained and totally committed to friendly and knowledgable service. A smart system can do a lot to improve speed and satisfaction—and set your front desk staff up for success. Property management technology that has your front desk staff in mind will come equipped with a number of features, from phonetic spelling to help pronounce guest names, to logged guest photos to ensure that they can easily match these names to faces. By investing in tech that will help your front desk staff excel at their jobs, you can ensure a more seamless check in experience for all.
First impressions matter, especially in the hospitality industry where consumers have almost as many options as they do personal preferences. The check in process may be one interaction out of many, but it has a huge influence on how guests feel about their stay. Start by making plans for improvement and setting benchmarks for check in times and guest satisfaction. Using your PMS, you can track how successful you are at both streamlining the check in process and turning one-time guests into repeat and loyal customers.
The team at RoomKeyPMS is on a mission to optimize every aspect of hotel management. Our solutions start at the front desk, but they extend to every corner of a property. If you’re ready to learn how our features can upgrade speed and service at the same time, contact us today.
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