Kiosk Check In - How Do They Help Hotels Overcome the Pandemic
Self-service technology has drastically changed the way that customers interact with businesses in a variety of industries. We have seen it change the way customers shop, check in at airports, and more.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more critical than ever for hotels to leverage various kiosk check in systems to regain customer confidence and overcome the pandemic. But in what way is kiosks helping hotels overcome the pandemic? This article will present three key benefits of deploying different kiosk check in systems in hotels.
What Is a Kiosk Self Check In?
A kiosk self check in is an automated, self-service hotel service that has been extensively utilized in modern hotels. With an automated check in system, guests can check in online or use a digital key to access their room. They are typically located in the lobby and equipped with electronic check-in systems that allow guests to bypass long lines and wait times at the front desk.
In general, these kiosk check in devices are stuffed with a variety of equipment.
Payment terminal - Both the physical payment device and an interface/or connected gateway with the hotels’ payment provider.
Monitor/screen - Touch-based monitor, either through tablet or computer screen.
Key card generator - Create hotel room key cards with RFID, smart card, NFC card, or traditional magnetic stripe cards.
Passport scanner - The ability to scan the guests’ ID or passport.
AI- Facial recognition - Facial recognition to compare the guest's face to their ID/passport.
Property Management System (PMS) interface - Interface with the hotels’ PMS.
Self Service Kiosks Are Not a New Concept
The technology has been embraced by companies in countless industries worldwide and is often used to create a seamless customer experience and reduce operational costs.
For example, consumers have increasingly become familiar with self-service technology over the past few years, from McDonald’s implementing self-service ordering kiosks in all their U.S. locations by 2020 to the kiosk check in at Singapore’s ground-breaking high-tech airport terminal. These technologies are revolutionizing how we interact with our favorite brands and businesses worldwide, and it will continue to do in the hotel industry as well.
However, hoteliers have long been hesitant to use self-service technology, and most often, they assume that it will negatively impact the customer experience. But there are indications that this is beginning to change.
For example, a recent survey of 2,654 consumers by the Travel Leaders Group showed that 78% of respondents would like to see hotel kiosks more widely available for check-in. Aside from this, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way hotels perceive this technology.
Top 3 Benefits of Kiosk Check In at Hotels Right Now
Self-Service Kiosks or kiosks, often referred to in the hospitality industry, have been one of the fastest-growing trends in recent years.
Let's examine the three most important ones: promoting social distancing, overcoming operational challenges, and finding new revenue streams
1. Hotel Kiosks Promote Social Distancing
As a result of the new social distancing norm, companies are turning self-service kiosks to promote social distancing, regain consumer confidence, and reduce the need to rely on unnecessary human contact.
In the past years, we have seen airlines worldwide shift to contactless self-service solutions as a way to reduce unnecessary human interaction, increase passengers’ safety and reduce labor costs in airports. The pandemic forced hoteliers to rethink the entire guest journey, particularly as many hotels traditionally pride themselves on offering person-to-person contact at every point in the guest journey.
While the traditional check in procedure in a hotel is a tried and reliable way, it has become clear that this process can be risky for both your employees and guests during these pandemic times.
Self-service technologies, such as hotel kiosks, have proven to be a safe and effective way to promote social distancing by breaking up queues and giving concerned guests an option to avoid unnecessary human interaction.
2. Overcoming Operational Challenges with Kiosk Check In at a Hotel
The hotel industry faces one of its biggest challenges in decades. COVID-19 has halted the hotel and tourism industry, and projections show that hotels have occupancy rates at unprecedented low levels, ranging between 15% and 30%.
This has been a significant detriment to hoteliers’ profitability, significantly reducing their operating costs.
With predictions showing it will take years before we return to the pre-COVID numbers, many hoteliers struggle to find the right balance between increasing rates, maintaining occupancy, and lowering operational costs.
Hotels need to take a holistic, long-term approach to profit margins. This can include the layoff of employees, if necessary, which can reduce labor costs.
But what happens the day we return to stable occupancy levels? Don’t we have to re-hire the staff again? Thinking long-term and investing in technologies that help you reduce hotel operational costs in the long-term is another approach. Hoteliers strategically investing in kiosk check in solutions to lower operating costs are better prepared for the future.
3. Kiosk Check-In Hotel Get New Revenue Streams
Have we not all been in the “unfortunate” situation of going to KFC and ordering food from their kiosk, only to end up buying way more than what we originally intended?
For a long time, hotels have had to rely on their front desk staff to upsell to guests, but there is always this balance of selling and providing service that often makes employees uncomfortable asking upselling questions.
Whether you want to upsell guests room categories, spa treatments, or a meal at the hotel’s fabulous restaurant. One of the benefit of a hotel self-service kiosk is the ability to implement upselling functions, either as a mandatory or optional stage at the check-in.
That way, you ensure that all guests have been informed about the incredible offers at the hotel and avoid any missed upselling opportunities.
About Metasphere Technologies Inc.,
Metasphere Technologies Inc. has helped hotels to stay globally competitive for over 15 years through its market-leading product portfolio of solutions built on I.T. technologies in process management, business intelligence and service-oriented architecture. Click here to learn more about Metasphere's products.
Metasphere Technologies Inc’ has a team of talented professionals based across the world, including USA, China, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. The company’s solutions are installed in leading hotel chains and multinational enterprises worldwide.