How to improve your hotel's check-in experience

The check-in is the first step in the overall hotel experience, the first impression you deliver to your guests. Usually just a tedious formality to be passed, which takes time and in cases leaves guests waiting, until all their data have been filled. Maybe not a significant amount of time, yet once a guest walks in, most likely they would prefer to head for their room as soon as they can. The check-in procedure under the words: “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, has pretty much remained unchanged or with modest improvements since it was created.

There are two approaches on how to improve this experience, both reshaping and redefining the current landscape drastically.

Mobile keys

First the mobile key one. Since in this day and age almost anything can be performed from a smartphone, why not attach to it the feature of an unlocking key for a room. Clients basically reach for the front desk and check-in via their smartphone and in the process a mobile key is generated. With that done in a matter of seconds they can head straight for their room, and unlock it with the generated key. This method is also safer when it comes to security, outshining by a mile in performance keycards. Yet there is one significant downgrade, has it truly improved the guest experience?

It makes the job easier definitely, for both the staff and the clientele, but it takes something from the overall experience, there is no interaction with the guest. Furthermore huge chain hotels and smaller boutique ones have decided to move away from this method and look for something else. It is crucial for “a connection” between the client and the staff to be formed, so they know who the personnel is and feel at ease to ask and interact with them. The importance of maintaining a balance between tech and guest experience is paramount in today’s and future’s hospitality.

Instant check-in & check-out

The second approach to the improvement of the check-in experience, is what Softmogul brings to the table with its application, Reception. Among the many features of the app, one which is truly impressive when you experience it for yourself (as I had the pleasure to), is the instantaneous check-in and check-out process, with the careful implementation of the human touch.

How does it work?
By using the iPad’s camera the software reads the guest’s ID details and immediately fills all the needed data, just like that. When the guest wants to pay, he simply swipes his card on the elegant and compact card reader which Softmogul provides for free and is already integrated with Reception. All these actions and more are ready to be performed with the upmost flexibility and simplicity, from any space and environment of the hotel, since Softmogul’s platform is entirely mobile and cloud-based, allowing you to focus more on your guest.

No staff member wishes to be trapped behind a huge desk. The Softmogul way empowers and facilitates their job, without hindering the guest experience and making it feel “too techy”, yet still performing needed procedures such as the check-in, in considerable better times. Those hotels that upgrade and refine their check-in experience, by making it instant and easily approachable are on good position to receive a well-deserved feedback from their guests.

Albi Zhulali
CEO of Softmogul