As tech solutions have transitioned to cloud-based systems, the concept of the hotel lobby has suddenly become amenable to a complete restructuring. Without a reliance on bulky legacy systems, front-desk staff are no longer tethered to the front desk. Equipped with a tablet, they can move freely around the lobby to engage with guests in a more personable and authentic way. It’s a freedom that has resulted in a new, living-room-inspired trend for hotel lobbies. And it’s a hit with guests—who get to ditch the line and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee on the couch as they’re being checked in.
For properties using cloud-based technology, empowering front-desk staff with tablets should be taken into consideration. And once you’ve made the change (or if you already have), here are four features and products to make check-in even more seamless for guests and staff alike.
A wireless EMV card reader
Most hotels have already made or will soon be making the switch to an EMV card reader. As the standard in credit card security, these terminals are becoming a must-have. There are many options out there, but not all of them are created equal. When looking for an EMV reader for your property consider opting for a wireless version. There’s no reason to tie your staff down with wired terminals when you’ve just liberated them with tablets. A wireless card reader can be carried around by front-desk staff so guests can remain comfortably seated during the entire check-in process.
Electronic signature capture
Creating an efficient check-in experience is all about simplicity. And a PMS with electronic signature capturing technology makes signing receipts and registration cards as simple as possible. Guests are able to sign on the tablet screen, allowing staff to ditch the paper and pens altogether. In addition to making check-in faster and cheaper (no printing or paper costs), electronic signature capture is an environmentally friendly alternative sure to improve your property’s ecological impact.
Typically, front-desk staff must manually enter information into a keycard writer in order to program a key at check-in. For hotels transitioning away from a traditional front-desk, this can be a bit of a hassle (as staff certainly won’t be carrying card writers around with them). But it’s a hassle easily alleviated with an interface between your keycard writer and your PMS. As you’re checking the guest in, the PMS will send all the necessary information directly to the keycard writer. When the check-in process is completed, the staff member can simply retrieve the card and deliver it to the guest—no manual entry required.
Filling out guest profiles can be a bit of pain. Of course, if the booking is made online, guest information will have already been input. However, when hotels get a walk-in, they need to enter the customer’s name, address, and other information. It’s a time-consuming process susceptible to manual errors. With a document scanner, like the one from TTI Technologies, front-desk staff (and guests) are spared this inconvenience. The customer simply provides a piece of identification (driver’s license or passport), and the scanner will use it to auto-fill their guest profile.
Checking-in is the first in-person experience a guest has at your property. You should be doing everything you can to make it a good first impression. With new cloud-based technologies and mobile devices, hoteliers are better equipped than ever to provide a quick and easy check-in for their guests. So make sure you’re using all the tools at your disposal!