Contactless Check-In, Is It Right for Your Hotel?
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the landscape of the Hotel Industry. In an effort to combat the spread of the virus, travel restrictions were put in place and as a result hotel occupancy hit historically low levels. Hotel technology solutions were no longer just an option, they became a vital part of sustaining the Industry. Hotels invested heavily in contactless check-in as a means of ensuring that safety measures were in place due to COVID-19. Contactless check-in enabled guests to check in from anywhere and allowed hotels to maintain proper social distancing rules. But is it the right choice for some hotels?
Contactless Check-In is In Demand
In 2019 Deloitte conducted the Global Mobile Consumer Survey, which polled 44,150 people in 28 countries across 6 continents and found that 90% of adults owned a smartphone and 95% of these smartphones were used daily. The survey also estimated that in 2019, 1.4 billion smart phones were shipped to customers worldwide. A study conducted by technology provider Criton, found that 80% of hotel guests would download a hotel app that would enable check-in and 62% would prefer to check-in using a mobile app. While the pandemic expedited hotel contactless check-in, it was hotel technology that consumers were already showing an interest in.
Hotel Contactless Check-In Can Help to Establish Brand Loyalty
Hotel technology trends are a hot button topic right now, and hotels can show that they are in touch with the latest technology by investing in contactless check-in. Contactless check-in allows guests to check in online before they arrive for their hotel stay. In such difficult times when travelers are still hesitant to travel, it’s critical that hotels have the ability to offer guests a seamless check-in experience. Investing in contactless check-in allows guests to better manage their bookings, guests can have the option to add or remove amenities. And can also make requests to tailor their check-in and check-out times in order to fit their needs. If the check-in experience was safe and secure, then guests are more likely to keep returning in the future.
Contactless Check-In is Safe and Increases Hotel Efficiency
During a difficult pandemic, when hotels have to adhere to strict safety protocols, it’s especially important that hotel staff are able to carry out their duties efficiently. Contactless check-in reduces crowding at the reception areas and limits the interaction between guests and hotel staff, which can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It also reduces the amount of time that guests would normally spend during the check-in and check-out process. Hotels will also have access to data that can identify customer trends in order to take advantage of marketing prospects.
Contactless Check-In Removes Personal Attention
Hotels began investing in contactless technology in an effort to limit interaction and to minimize contact with high touch areas that could potentially spread the virus. Hotel contactless check-in is convenient, but the downside is that it limits the interaction that guests would normally have with employees and some guests depend on that personal attention during check-in. Contactless check-in allows guests to check in online by using their computers or by using mobile devices and some age groups are not technologically adept and could find this process difficult, especially when they encounter issues.
Contactless Check-In, Does it Offer Flexibility
Contactless check-in allows guests to check in to their hotels online by using their computers or their mobile devices. This is a convenient way for guests to check-in from anywhere around the world before they even set foot on the hotel property and it also requires them to pay upfront. Guests may choose a flexible cancellation policy that allows for cancellation on the same day as check-in but in some cases, guests may need to cancel reservations after they’ve already checked in but are still within that cancellation period. This may pose a challenge for guests who have already paid, checked in online but had to cancel their booking.
Hotel Contactless Technology is Not Always Affordable
Mobile key is a contactless solution that many hotels have implemented, and it allows guests to access their rooms by using their mobile devices. 2020 was one of the most challenging years for the Hotel Industry and most hotels are still struggling to stay afloat. Many hotels are still financially strapped, they simply do not have the money in their budgets to implement certain contactless technology, such as mobile key. To implement mobile key, each room door would have to be upgraded and some older hotels cannot afford the expense.
Hotel Front Desk Roles Are Changing
The role of front desk staff will change as a result of Contactless Check-in, as many are no longer processing transactions for guests. They are now lobby ambassadors, who greet guests and make themselves available to answer any questions that guests may have. This is a great way to still offer guests that personal touch that may have been removed by contactless check-in.