No one likes waiting in line. Shoppers, diners, and travelers would all rather avoid a long wait. Your guests especially don’t want to wait. A simple five-minute wait at the front desk can drop your guest satisfaction rates by 50% — which is why online check-in system is handy.
Traditional front desk procedures can cause inconveniences like extended waiting periods, long lines, and frustrated guests. The good news is that online check-in systems can help you avoid these issues.
To help you understand online check-ins work, we’re going to discuss:
- Drawbacks of traditional front desk check-ins
- Advantages of introducing an online check-in system
- How to pick the right online solution for your business
Let’s get started!
Drawbacks of Traditional Check-In
The biggest drawback to traditional front desk check-ins is the potential for long wait times. Think about this, in the past, what did you have to do to check into your hotel?
You had to:
- Head to the front desk and wait in line
- Give your name, reservation number, and ID to the desk clerk
- Listen to all of the information about timings, amenities, and house rules
- Ask any questions that might concern you
- Sign all of the necessary paperwork
- Finally, receive the key to your room
That’s a lot of steps! And each of those steps takes time. Even if each step only takes a minute or two, it can add up to a long wait time when you have a line of people waiting to check-in.
According to a recent Rochester Institute of Technology study, it takes eight minutes to finish the check-in process on average. That doesn’t seem like much, but it can feel like forever when you have a line of people waiting.
Advantages of an Online Check-In System
The main advantage of online check-in systems is that they can help you avoid long wait times at the front desk. With online check-in, guests can complete most of the check-in process before they even arrive at your hotel.
But that’s not all. Far from it, online check-in systems have several advantages:
1. Makes Guests Feel At Ease
Online check-in can help make your guests feel more comfortable and at ease. After all, no one likes feeling like they’re holding up the line. By allowing guests to complete the check-in process online, you can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.
2. Reduces Staff Workload
Instead of spending their time checking guests in, your staff members can focus on other tasks. For instance, they can help guests with questions or concerns or focus on upselling guests on additional services and amenities.
3. Increases Upselling Opportunities
With online check-in, you can upsell guests on additional services and amenities. For example, let’s say you have a guest interested in late check-out. You can send them offers for late check-out timeslots when they’re completing the online check-in process.
How to Pick the Right Online Check-In System
Using an online check-in system makes a lot of sense, right? But how do you pick the right online check-in solution for your business? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
1. Collecting Guest Data
One of the main advantages of online check-in systems is that they allow you to collect guest data. When guests complete the online check-in process, you can ask them for their contact information, preferences, and more.
The data can be extremely valuable for marketing and upselling guests on additional services. It’s also important for repeated guests.
Some 7 out of 10 guests won’t return if they feel underappreciated. With online check-in, you can track which guests frequently stay at your hotel and offer them loyalty rewards.
2. Payment Information
Speaking of data, your payment system must make collecting credit card information easy. After all, you don’t want your online check-in process to add an extra step for guests.
The last thing you want is for guests to complete the online check-in process only to be redirected to a different page to enter their payment information.
With ChargeAutomation, you can effortlessly and securely collect payment information during online check-in.
3. Integrated with Your PMS
Your online check-in solution should be integrated with your property management system (PMS). That way, you can avoid double entries and ensure that all your data is stored in one place.
Having too many apps and systems to keep track of can overwhelm hotel staff. It’s estimated that the average worker wastes 32 days a year juggling different “efficiency apps.”
The check-in solution needs to be just that – a solution, not another problem.
4. Ability to Update Room and Services
Guests sometimes need to change their rooms or services after checking in online. Maybe they want a different type of room, or they need to add an extra person to their reservation.
Your online check-in system should allow guests to easily update their rooms and services.
ChargeAutomation allows your hotel to have a customized smart guest portal, where guests can access their receipts, purchase additional services, and find other helpful information.
5. Secure Mobile App
Of course, the guests want to use their mobile devices to check in online. If you’re a host to many young travelers, you know that this is a must.
Research shows that 90% of millennials say they would gladly check into hotels through their mobile devices all the time, skipping slow and inconvenient lines.
Your online check-in solution should have a secure mobile app that makes it easy for guests to check in on their smartphones.
With ChargeAutomation, you can use our mobile app to securely and efficiently check-in guests.
Secure Check-Ins With ChargeAutomation
The traditional check-in and check-out process is time-consuming and inconvenient. Online check-in systems are quickly becoming the new standard in the hotel industry.
ChargeAutomation can be used in tandem with your payment solution, automating your workflows in the process.
With ChargeAutomation, you can effortlessly and securely collect payment information during online check-in. Our mobile app makes it easy for guests to check in on their smartphones.
Contact us today and create a free account to get started!