Not just another Hotel Technology Blog-
How to Sell your Technology Vision

In recent years, mobile check-in apps for hotels gained popularity, due to the efficiency for guests and hotels. Since the whole check-in process is contactless and therefore more hygienic, it got an extra boost since the corona pandemic. Not only do these methods cater to the needs of tech-savvy customers, but they are able to enhance the brand reputation of the property in question. Let us now examine each of these concepts in greater detail.

Over the last 90 days I have had more questions and comments about mobile check-in, and mobile keys from every type of hotel. Of course, this is being driven by Covid19 and how to provide a more hygienic interaction with guests. So as mentioned in my previous blogs, these services are no longer nice to have it’s a necessity to quote Hospitality Magazine.  Now, something that should also be noted, your guests want this technology: 47% book with their phone and over 50% want to use mobile check-in, note that was a stat from 2018.  Now, what do you think it is? It’s higher. So, your guests want it. It saves you money, increases bookings, amenity upgrades and better information on your guests allowing you to increase guest experience, i.e. Return bookings 😊

Before I run through my top 4 as everyone else has, below are a few nuggets for selling this to your GM or CFO.

What is Mobile Hotel Check-in?

Mobile check-in can be done on a phone or a kiosk.  You can also extend easy key creation and even full-on mobile key features. With the right partner, you can set a plan for a phased approach based on goals and budget.

How do Mobile Check-In Services Function Within Hotel Settings?

This technology already exists, look at any major food service, transportation product, or what most of us do every day engage through smartphone to make our life more convenient. Note on the mobile key you get an electric key to your phone scan it to open the door, FYI most locks can be upgraded to do this feature. This also opens up 24×7 access to check-in.

Top 4 Benefits and Internal selling points

  1. Elevate the Customer Experience

You must offer a new more streamlined approach to guest services. All of these tools, mobile check-in, mobile key, mobile food ordering is already a requirement. Ensure your guests know you are there to meet their needs in a timely fashion.  Here is a little nugget: the mobile communication will connect you and provide better information on your guests, i.e. better more personalized service.

  1. Sales and Marketing Opportunities

You must upsell to drive revenue, and this is what this technology was meant to do, 24/7 no excuses or training necessary. Here are some top features:

  • Easily design your check-in process to offer instant upgrades to first time guests or returning guests
  • Preferred restaurant bookings
  • Special offers and packages
  • Spas, workouts, and new ways to focus on health and profits
  1. Hello, Competition

Google search mobile key, Hilton, Marriot are all now running to fill the need Covid19 has created and honestly what guests have wanted this whole time. In any business, if you are not in line with your customers’ needs then you are on the losing end. Even smaller hotels are understanding the power of its marketing appeal, you have to cater to the new normal and the tech-savvy guests.  So, get on it, you will recoup this cost inside of 12 months if done properly.

  1. It’s about the Benjamins and Brand Loyalty

I am just going to use this section to lay out what you can do to explain and advise your management on the future and what it can hold for your hotel.  Let me do this old school style for you first.  Brand engagement, loyalty, and experience:

  • Provide guests memorable experiences
  • Personalized services
  • Reduce complications and inconvenience
  • Help them perceive savings and see a real sense of value

You want loyalty well here it is the first-time customers are 36% more likely to view your hotel in a favorable light with mobile check-in and services that drive digital convenience.  I.e. better chances of booking again in the future

Now let’s wrap this in a bow for you:

  • 42% of travelers book through their mobile device
  • 57% want and agree that mobile and Kiosk check-in is highly convenient & reduces the hassle
  • 62% are willing and want to use mobile or kiosk to check-in to the hotel (this will likely increase with pandemic)
    • According to Hospitality Technology magazine’s 2016 Lodging Study, “mobile check-in streamlines the front desk while also giving guests control over the check-in process.”

The biggest statement, technology departments must explain to management:

Technology automation is no longer a nice to have, they are now a necessity; your guests already want these services and with Covid19 it now becomes core.

Speaking their language:

  • RevPAR- Service Charge– With mobile and kiosk check-in guest can arrive 24/7 you can even offer this as a service charge allowing them to check-in early or late
    • Example Standard hotel charges 5% surcharge for check-in any time packages
  • RevPAR- More Room Upgrades– Mobile and Kiosk products always provide enticing upgrades on rooms or other special offers 24×7 to guests
  • RevPAR- Book Direct Enticement- Free 24hour check-in can be a great way to get guests to book direct as an added feature
  • RevPAR- Reduce Staff Interaction- Providing pre-stay notifications through mobile, where they need to go, what is open, how to navigate to their room utilizing kiosk or mobile key, reduces staff interaction time
  • RevPAR- Amenity Sales- Technology allows you to utilize staff more efficiently, self-service tools will increase convenience for guests, and lets you provide more amenity sales opportunities
  • RevPAR – Return Guests– personalized interactions before, during and after- the more customer interacts with technology the more ways to get real information and data, building a better profile for each guest, and allowing better service on property and for future retargeting

Other trends:

Instant Message & Video Conference

  • 41% would happily instant message a hotel
  • 40% percent would order room service on a mobile device
  • 38% would accept push notifications with hotel & destination information

Here is the kicker, with OmniExperience you can implement mobile and kiosk check-in for around $50k including hardware, kiosk and mobile app, integration with your PMS. Note your larger PMS provider really loves their software, on average you will spend another $25k in modules and upgrades to activate this service. So, how do you sell this when your rebuilding? Do a bundle! We offer the whole kit and caboodle starting at $1500 per month including your PMS upgrades (Oracle, Infor, Sabre customers). Nothing’s stopping you from this first step. What’s really cool is, once you implement these services – mobile key, mobile food ordering, etc. it becomes easier, less expensive and you can start seeing all of this really pay off.  Reach out, we will provide you a little study and a matrix so you can put in your numbers and see ROI on these types of services.  Thanks for reading, we love to talk to customers of all size and happy to help either way.

Douglas Ralston is a Technology’s, hotel owner etc. etc.

Video: Hilton’s Mobile Check-In

Below you find a video about why Hilton’s mobile check-in means staff can focus on customer delight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8muzfDM0dTo&feature=emb_err_woyt

https://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/rs/hilton-honors-mobile-app/

Video: Pass the hotel Check-In Line

Below you find a video which compares the traditional check-in vs. a mobile check-in procedure.

https://youtu.be/G1pYte8oH0o

https://www.assaabloyglobalsolutions.com/en/products/mobile-access/solutions/app/

The Marriott Bonvoy Check-In App

The mobile check-in app from Marriott lets you check-in before you arrive. You can even do it from the middle seat on your flight, giving you something to look forward to.

https://youtu.be/zE0fuBLTKks

https://mobile-app.marriott.com/en-us

References:

https://www.revfine.com/mobile-check-in-app-hotels/

https://www.littlehotelier.com/r/hotel-check-processes-strategies-software/