According to data collected from the IBM Survey and Kiosk Marketplace Surveys, this is what your digital-first guest looks like today: Eighty-eight percent (88%) expect digital engagement. Sixty-One Percent (61%) are willing to use a completely automated experience. Seventy-eight percent (78%) say their experiences using an automated service was positive, and fifty-two percent (52%) indicated that they prefer self-service tech over human interaction.
A good place to start is to identify the moments that can drastically alter your guest’s perception of the experience. These moments might seem obvious, but a Cornell Hospitality Study has shown that you can have two identical hotels, equally beautiful, pleasant, and comfortable, and the one single thing can affect your customer’s satisfaction by up to forty-seven percent (47%): check-in time. If the wait time to check-in is over 5 minutes, customers don’t just not like it, they hate it. The solution? First, let them check themselves in and pay for their stay, upgrades, services, and add-ons with a self-service kiosk.
Second, think about all the moments after check-in where your hotel policies/procedures might serve as an inhibitor to your guest getting to what they want to do. Perhaps it’s too complicated to order room service (self-order kiosk), or check-out (self-order kiosk), or get the internet password (display on kiosk post check-in), or find the concierge (wayfinding kiosk). Whatever the issue, identify those friction points and start fixing them.
Let’s focus in on self-check-in. Several chains are moving to automated (or after-hour) check-in kiosks. If done well, not only will it guarantee a speedy process and, but case studies show that often when people have privacy, they are more willing to consider up-sells and add-ons. And since a kiosk can process payments without a human or a cash register, there’s nothing but upside. It’s one thing to serendipitously “discover” a great upgrade deal as you’re checking in, and quite another thing to feel as if a person is trying to push you into the decision… “an upgrade for a small price of $XXX.” But let’s take it further – why can’t that experience go from awful to fun? What if instead of the front-desk being the place to go for “check-in and random complaints,” it now was a lobby of beautiful interactivity with hosts available to help? What if guests could easily schedule wake-up calls, get extra keys, make show reservations, all on their time without creating a line? What if you used interactive stations as an opportunity to introduce voice to remove friction? The possibilities are endless.