The day-to-day experience of traveling has rapidly changed over the last two years. The travel industry has to catch up if hotels want to stay ahead. Health and safety are a high priority for guests across all markets.
Contactless solutions are one of the tools available to hotels to stay a step ahead. And the good news is that they have unique marketing and operational efficiency opportunities.
According to research from Oracle, 70% of guests were more willing to stay in a hotel that had self-service technology such as contactless check-in. 26% said that a digital key specifically would make them feel more comfortable staying in a hotel.
The value of contactless check-in for hotels
There is a lot of value in going remote for this aspect of your hotel. Here are four key reasons to consider increasing the contactless options for your guests:
- It creates streamlined experiences for guests. They can check in on the go, arrive at the hotel and skip the crowded lobby experience and head straight to their clean and prepared room.
- For cautious travelers, advertising this as a feature on your website prior to booking is a way to convince them to choose your property—and even book directly at the source.
- Contactless solutions present unique marketing opportunities. In a rush period, your front desk staff may not always be able to promote your on-site amenities. But contactless solutions can seamlessly present that information alongside the transaction.
- From an operational perspective, contactless solutions help you do more with limited resources. With more guests checking in virtually, your staff has more time to provide exceptional service to all your guests.
What is contactless check-in?
We’ve established that contactless check-in is important. Let’s break down what it truly is, because there are a lot of different levels of “contactless.” Contactless check-in for hotels means providing a method of checking in other than the traditional interaction between guest and front desk staff.
There are a lot of components to creating contactless options for your guests. Think about everything that happens when a guest arrives at your hotel: they verify their personal information, provide financial data, and receive the key to their room. All of these things can be made contactless – and just as secure as the traditional method. But you need the right technology.
One option is to have lobby kiosks, where guests can check themselves in upon arrival. There are standalone kiosk options out there, similar to what many airports have implemented. Some hotels opt to provide tablets or computers. Guests are still required to check in to the lobby as usual, although without face-to-face interaction with staff.
A second option is to have a digital self check-in via a guest’s mobile device. In this scenario, guests receive a link via your guest messaging solution to a secure portal. There they can check in, agreeing to your terms while providing contact and financial information. This option reduces lobby time on arrival; however, guests still need to come to the front desk for their room key.
A third, truly contactless option is to set up your own mobile app. A mobile app is the only way to provide a complete check-in experience. Guests can check-in and receive a digital, in-app key that lets them into their room, without ever going to the front desk.
Checking guests in via mobile app
There are many unique marketing advantages of setting up a dedicated hotel mobile app. Your own app increases customer loyalty, direct revenue, and creates a memorable experience for guests. It’s also one of the best ways to create a completely contactless, and very secure, check-in experience.
At the moment, the only way to create a digital key for your guests is via your own app. Fuel’s proprietary mobile software integrates with major digital lock providers to create a seamless in-app experience. Your guests check-in via app, provide their personal data, provide an e-signature and receive the “key” to their room. With a mobile app, they can skip the lobby entirely.
Fuel helps hotels create contactless experiences that drive revenue and guest engagement. Whether you’re looking to set up contactless web check-in on mobile, or launch a fully branded mobile app + digital key, Fuel can help. Fuel Travel has:
- Web mobile check-in interface
- White-label mobile app with a digital key interface
- Hotel messaging solution to send automated pre-stay and reminder messages