Impress your guests with Paperless Check-in while increasing efficiency and cutting costs

We recently blogged about our mobile housekeeping reports and how they improve efficiency, cut paper and printing costs and are environmentally friendlier — benefits that a mobile property management system can bring to all aspects of daily operations.

This week, we’d like to highlight another of our mobile features: electronic signature capture for paperless check-in. It ticks all the boxes…

>> Speeds up the check-in process? Check.

>> Cuts paper and printing costs? Check.

>> Better for the environment? Check.

>> And it’s sure to impress your guests, too. Check!

WebRezPro’s electronic signature capture feature allows guests to sign check-in receipts or registration cards digitally on a tablet or smartphone screen, eliminating the need to print check-in receipts or registration cards and speeding up the check-in process. This neat feature is available for free simply by logging in to your WebRezPro system with a mobile device such as a tablet. (You may need to upgrade to a newer version of WebRezPro – at no charge – just get in touch with your account rep.)

“WebRezPro’s new electronic signature capture feature has so many amazing benefits. First of all, check-ins are much quicker. Secondly, guests really like it… it’s something they’ve never seen before, and it makes a great first impression. From an operational perspective, being able to digitalize our registration cards allows us to be so much more efficient. Searching for past registration cards—something that used to take five to ten minutes—now literally takes seconds. Electronic signature capture also means we are using much less paper now. This is a huge cost savings. And last but certainly not least; this one new change might have had the single greatest environmental impact of any change we’ve ever made. With email confirmations and now electronic sign-ins, our Front Desk is virtually paperless.”
– Jim Copus, Montecito Inn, Santa Barbara, CA

Click here to see other ways we are embracing mobile technology to bring efficiency and cost savings to your daily operations. And for the bigger picture (if you have a few minutes), read our latest white paper about mobilizing your entire PMS.

Mobile App or Mobile-Optimized Website? That is the Question.

And here’s our answer: For independent hotels and boutique brands, a mobile-optimized website takes top priority.

There’s no denying the key role a mobile strategy should play in your hotel’s marketing plan; as Google pointed out in a 2012 study, 57 percent of business travelers and 38 percent of leisure travelers researched travel information on mobile devices last year. Hoteliers must go with the mobile movement or lose a significant (and ever growing) market share to hotels that do offer travelers the mobility they demand. Unfortunately, confusion about how to go mobile is causing many hoteliers to delay this crucial move. It’s easy to get caught up in the app fad — there’s an app for everything, right? But that doesn’t mean there should be. We think a well-designed responsive (mobile-optimized) website is a more effective marketing strategy (and revenue booster) for independent properties, and here are three good reasons why:

  • A responsive website is easier for your customers to find than an app among 900,000+ other apps (in the iPhone App Store alone). While mobile apps make sense for large, well-established hotel brands with millions of loyalty program members (like InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Hotels), independent properties lack the brand recognition required for their apps to be easily discovered by prospective guests. A responsive website built with a good SEO (search engine optimization) approach will appear at the user’s fingertips when browsing hotels online.
  • Travelers prefer to book hotels via mobile websites over mobile apps. According to the abovementioned Google research, 40 percent of leisure travelers prefer booking accommodation on a mobile website versus 12 percent via an app, and 36 percent of business travelers prefer booking on mobile websites versus 17 percent with apps.
  • A well-designed responsive website is more cost effective than a custom mobile app. Rather than paying to develop and host both a website and an app and then having to maintain both separately, a single responsive website covers all devices at once (from desktop computer to tablet to cell phone) and costs approximately the same to develop and host as a non-responsive website. Any updates (content or cosmetic) to the one responsive website are instantly viewable on any mobile device.

When choosing a place to stay, travelers on the go are using their cell phones to browse hotels online, not download gimmicky apps. They want to see your hotel’s location, rates, availability, property photos and reviews, and they want to be able to make an online reservation quickly and easily—everything your responsive website can give them, optimized for a streamlined mobile user experience. So what did you need an app for?