The technology revolution had allowed the hospitality industry to evolve and transform completely from their traditional operation model into a personalized seamless customer-oriented experience, starting right when the customer journey begins. The epidemic has sped up the implementation process as well as the intervention of customers’ acceptance, opening a new chapter of the contactless era in hospitality. A digital check-in has become a new normal, an imperative in complying with the strict hygiene and distance regulations post COVID-19 while allowing hotels to understand their customers’ preferences pre-arrival.
How does pre-check-in actually work? Why isn’t pre-check-in frequently offered enough? Are you planning to introduce this technology to your property? Let’s cut the queue and dive down into what this technology is really made of.
The ultimate guide to hotel pre-check-in
Hotel Pre-check-in, what is it?
Pre-check-in allows the hotel guests to proceed with their check-in process on their mobile devices prior to their arrival. Hotels usually activate the pre-check-in functionality on their app 24 hours ahead.
Pre-check-in is the latest feature developed for our CiHMS Guest App, a part of our CiHMS PMS. We specially designed this functionality to simplify the checking-in process for staff while offering guests the flexibility to handle the check-in in whichever way they indulge.
Guests have to fill in their contact details, their reservation information and provide personal identification documents. A full-face selfie can be mandatory for verification, it automatically syncs this data to the guest profile on the hotel’s database and enables guests’ facial recognition as soon as they arrive at the lobby.
Depending on the hotel’s preferences and policies, guests can also select the desired vacant hotel room, early check-in or late check-out request, luggage storage payment, other added-value hotel packages such as spas, meals, city tours, etc. A medical declaration can be submitted in this process by attaching your vaccine passports or government-approved vaccination documents (green card certification issued by PC Covid).
Once completing the check-in procedure, guests may receive their room’s number and digital room key right on their app’s confirmational screen, or choose to pick up their room key physical card at the front desks. Many hotels prefer not to offer guests room numbers until they physically make it to the lobby, in order to give flexibility to their rooms’ allotments.
What are the benefits of pre-check-in?
Your guests just love it
A Data-Driven Look at Hospitality’s Recovery in 2020 report had shown 71% of consumers are more likely to stay in a hotel offering self-service tech. Imagine after the long commute to your destination, the last thing you would want to do is get in line and do all the paperwork onsite. Not ideal for anyone in particular. Say goodbye to the long busy waiting queue at the front desk, get instant access to the hotel room upon arrival. It’s definitely convenient.
Hotel staff adores it
The pre-check-in reduces the administrative workload for the front desk staff tremendously, much faster with group pre-check-in. A pre-check-in functionality integrated into your hotel PMS, like CiHMS deliver reliable automation, smooth synchronization, and alleviate labor shortage issue with delightful traveler’s experiences. Guests are asked to provide their expected arrival time, which allows hotels to better plan and allocate hotel staff’s availability to welcome guests.
Improving customer relationship
As the pre-check-in has done the majority of the work, like collecting guests’ ID, contact details, booking information, etc., your staff can focus on connecting with the customers at a much higher level, taking time to actually understand their personal needs and expectations, overall, better cater to your guests with exceptional comfort.
A great way to upsell or cross-sell
Guests might be skeptical during the booking process where they often compare prices, features, hotel services before making the final decision. However, they are most inclined to purchase a room upgrade, spa treatments, city tours, pick-up service, set meals closer to their arrival date. The decision-making can proceed much faster at home rather than at the busy front desk.
Social distancing compliance boosts guest confidence
Pre-check-in is the perfect solution to keep your hotel in check with the social distancing regulations. It limits physical person-to-person interaction to a minimum, making guests feel safe and secure. Hotels might integrate contactless/cashless payment or facial recognition technology to take this up a notch. With a cloud-based hospitality management solution like CiHMS, this can easily be done.
Any disadvantages to putting into reconsideration
Less human contact and interaction
While the advantage of pre-check-in is allowing guests to feel safe and secure by avoiding physical contact with hotel staff altogether, it can’t help create the invisible untouchable personal bubble surrounding guests throughout their stays. For business travelers, things can be tough as they have been used to communicating and exchanging stories with hotel employees on their trips in the past. Many would prefer the traditional check-in process, as they truly enjoy human interaction.
Unstable internet connection
Similar to any hospitality contactless technology, it is required to have sufficient good quality internet coverage across your properties. Otherwise, the cloud computing hospitality management solution won’t be synchronized and unable to work properly. Making sure no internet disruption and an outage is significantly important in implementing pre-check-in technology.
New software investment and comprehensive training for the front desk
Your current hospitality management might not offer pre-check-in functionality, merely because they haven’t started with the development yet. Looking out for a new pre-check-in software installation might be messy, expensive, and simply insufficient for your current hotel operations at the moment. Leveraging whether this upgraded feature is worth the process.
Should you or should you not?
Pre-arrival is an essential touchpoint in the customers’ journey. It happens to be the first impression guests have of your hotel even before they get there. Offering guests, a pre-check-in service shows your efforts and intentions in delivering complete customer satisfaction and tapping in personalized customers’ experiences proactively.
Hospitality is known for its competitiveness, if you fail to keep up with the comparable competitors in the area offering the latest technology there is, most likely, your guests will choose them over you in a heartbeat. Being a highly customer-centric industry, adopting innovative technologies to deliver experiences that your customers are happy with, as their demands grow. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-check-in technology allows the hospitality industry to embrace safety measures to protect guests from any unexpected harmful threat while comfortably enjoying their stays.
It might surprise you how easy it is to get started with pre-check-in. There is a wide range of hospitality management solutions offering this feature as an added feature in their system. Ask your hotel PMS providers for this option, or contact our team to book a demo to discover the possibilities of contactless pre-check-in for your hotels.