Picture this: After a long day on the road (or in the air), with luggage and maybe kids in tow, you finally pull up to your hotel. Visions of hot showers, room service, and sinking into plush, luxurious pillows fill your head—until you arrive at reception and there’s no one there to greet you. Instead of beelining it to your room, now you have to wait for someone to check you in. Cue big sigh.
Check-in is a key customer touchpoint, but small hotel owners have a lot to manage and they can’t always be at the front desk waiting for guests to arrive. Few things are more irritating (for guests and for hotel staff) than long lines or delays at reception, whether they’re the result of your usual front desk staff being busy handling other responsibilities or because of slow, outdated software or legacy systems.
With the right check-in software for your hotel, busy small hotel owners can provide a quick check-in experience that is painless for your guests and hotel staff. Hotel check-in software can help automate time-consuming tasks and digitize key stages of the check-in process so your guests can get to their rooms faster, your staff can get back to your other responsibilities, and you can reduce your operating costs while streamlining your operations. Talk about a win-win-win.
In this post, we’ll take a look at three key reasons you need small hotel check-in software, including:
- Providing a better guest experience
- Increasing your revenue
- Improving your property’s efficiency
Let’s get started.
1. Providing a Better Guest Experience
Check-in is often your first in-person interaction with your guests, and it can have a significant impact on their experience and overall satisfaction. A pleasant check-in experience can start someone’s vacation off on the right foot—or, if they’ve had a rough journey, it can be the first step on their path to relaxation and enjoyment. A bad check-in experience, on the other hand, can make an already stressful time feel even more dispiriting.
Small hotel check-in software can help streamline the check-in experience in a number of ways so you provide a smoother, even contactless experience. For example:
- You can schedule pre-arrival emails inviting guests to check-in online prior to their arrival, with options to purchase add-ons, add early check-in, or upsell other bundles and services that will increase your revenue
- Guests can submit key information online like contact information, identification, and credit card information before they arrive to save time at reception and speed up the check-in process. With hotel check-in software like innRoad, guests can even sign registration forms online.
- Offering completely contactless check-in. Whether your guest simply prefers fewer touchpoints in a post-pandemic world or they just don’t want to interact with more people after their journey, hotel check-in software can enable a contactless check-in process that allows guests to check themselves into their rooms on their smartphone—all guests will need to do is collect their key at the front desk. If your property uses digital keys, you can also integrate these systems with your hotel check-in software.
2. Increasing your revenue
The check-in experience may not be the first thing you think of when you’re looking for ideas to increase your small property’s revenue, but there are actually a number of opportunities to increase your earnings at this key stage of the guest experience.
With providers like innRoad, hotel check-in software can be incorporated into an all-in-one property management system (PMS) that integrates all of your daily functions into one easy-to-use platform, including:
- Reservation management tools so you can see important guest information in the same platform, with key information automatically added to your system as soon as guests make a booking (even if they book from OTAs).
- A seamless booking engine so guests can easily make bookings online, either directly through your website or through their favorite OTA.
- Revenue management features so you can set goals, automate rate changes, and review your property’s progress against those goals.
- Payment processing tools that enable you to take payments directly through your PMS, reducing 3rd party costs and processing fees.
- Reporting features that make it easier to review your financials so you can spot opportunities to reduce costs and take advantage of every opportunity to increase revenue.
Check-in software for your hotel also creates more opportunities to upsell revenue-generating features like early check-in, as well as offer other products or bundles that will enhance your guests’ stay, such as a welcome bottle of champagne or scheduling spa visits.
3. Improving your property’s efficiency and saving your staff time
Small hotels often have fewer staff, and you may not have a dedicated front desk manager available to check guests in whenever they arrive. If you’re busy operating your small property, handling guest check-in on your own can be time consuming and cause a number of hiccups, either to your own to-do list or your guests’ experience.
The best hotel check-in software will reduce the time it takes to check in guests, improving your efficiency and freeing up time to focus on higher-value tasks. With certain providers like innRoad, small hotel check-in software reduce check-in time by:
- Automatically sending pre-arrival emails that share arrival instructions and key information about the check-in process, such as directions or parking information
- Prioritizing tasks such as housekeeping based on guest arrival time
- Integrating with payment processing software so you can collect any outstanding balances due at check-in before guests arrive
- Collecting key guest information online before their arrival so front desk staff only need to assign a room to complete the check-in process
These features can help you and your staff spend less time behind the front desk, reducing your labor costs and freeing up more time to spend on higher-value tasks, such as reviewing your property’s financials and improving the guest experience. Look for these key time-saving features as well:
- Cloud-based property management tools that let you access and manage your hotel operations from anywhere with an internet connection. Whether you are traveling between properties or attending an off-site meeting, cloud-based hotel check-in software like innRoad keeps you in total control of your hotel’s operations from wherever the workday takes you.
- Unlimited users so your whole staff will have access to your property management and check-in software, making sure no reservations get lost or confused. This means anyone can handle check-in in case key staff members are busy.
- Mobile accessibility so you and your staff can manage reservations, task assignments, payments, and check-ins from any device.
- Dedicated implementation advisors, 24/7 technical support, and unlimited training for all hotel staff.
Small properties need powerful hotel check-in software to manage guest information, bill your customers, and perform other daily tasks. Cloud-based systems like innRoad’s all-in-one property management system integrate all your daily operations, including check-in, into one easy to use platform. With no annual contract, no upfront costs, or hidden fees, you can access our all-inclusive hotel check-in software, as well as all the tools you need to position your small hotel for success and achieve your long-term goals.