One challenge faced by many hotels is delivering quality service at the Reception Desk during peak hours while operating with leaner staff. While guest engagement begins long before the guests step foot in the hotel, we know that the arrival experience is one of the most important steps of the guests’ journey as it is the first physical interaction between the hotel and the guests.
The Check-In often symbolizes the true beginning of the vacation and has the ability to shape the entire relationship with the hotel. It also provides opportunities for hotels to connect and upsell services to guests. If the first experience with the reception is tedious, the wait is long or guests find themselves facing a busy reception with minor eye contact before finally receiving their room keys, the experience starts off on the wrong foot.
Duve works with hospitality brands around the world, offering guest management solutions designed to help the hospitality industry automate and personalize guest communication and take advantage of their number one resource- their guests.
The platform interacts with guests at each step of the guest journey using automation, allowing hoteliers to communicate with guests through their preferred channels such as WhatsApp, SMS or emails and upsell services as if they are paying personal attention to each guest.
As a veteran in the industry, I am familiar with the complexities of the hospitality business and the importance of seamless solutions that will suit the inner workings of hotel operations. We have seen remarkable results with one of our recent clients – The Setai Hotel.
The Setai hotel in Galilee is part of the international Setai group, a modern luxury resort with 158 rooms and villas. While each villa enjoys private facilities, the hotel offers extensive spa services, dining options, and additional amenities such as bicycles that are available throughout the property.
The check-in process is lengthy because not only does the reception desk have to go through the process of filing the paperwork, the reception staff also shares additional information about the extensive hotel facilities and the locations of the different areas throughout the resort. In addition, the extensive services offered by the hotel lead to multiple follow-up questions, and the reception was often occupied, requiring guests to wait a long time during peak hours.
How Pre-Arrival communication improves the experience at the hotel
One of the main goals set at the start of the collaboration between the Setai and Duve was to improve the arrival experience by eliminating the paperwork completed upon arrival.
In order to customize Duve’s online check-in process to the hotel’s needs, our Customer Success team configured the system along with the hotel’s Organizational Consultant and Reception Manager to make sure the online check-in includes all of the necessary steps to allow the team to avoid unnecessary paperwork.
The online check-in steps include the collection of all personal guest contact details, arrival time, ID or passport scans, E-Signature Contract, car registration details for parking purposes, and payment processing that is optional though not mandatory. All details provided by guests are automatically sent back to the PMS reservation system, allowing the staff to operate seamlessly.
With the online check-in customized to the hotel’s needs, manual steps like scanning the guest passport, or having guests sign registration cards are all streamlined with efficient automated workflow. The result was considerable time savings for the team, allowing them to decrease the amount of time spent on paperwork with every guest, thus reducing waiting time at the reception to maximum 3 min.
The online check-in request is sent to guests several days prior to their arrival and includes smart reminders sent via SMS and Whatsapp. The conversion rate reaches over 70%, with 78% of guests completing the online check-in during the month of April.
Dina R, Organizational consultant for the chain said that: “Duve was a game changer for our customer service. I knew the platform would help us connect with guests but I was amazed at how cleverly simple it all is, even guests who are not very tech-oriented use Duve to communicate with us. It saves us so much time every single day because our staff does not need to manually enter everything into the system, and they no longer spend half of the check-in process eyeing the computer screen.”
The automation has not only allowed the hotel to reduce waiting time but also allowed the reception team to have a more personal interaction with guests, making more eye contact and enjoying a quality interaction.
The importance of digital communication
Since the digital process already encourages guests to engage with the hotel from home, we also saw the need to include solutions that will allow the hotel to do more than just collect guest details in advance. To provide a truly outstanding experience, guests can share their needs and learn more about the hotel services from their Guest App.
With pre-arrival communication in place, we made sure that upon completing the online check-in process, guests were also able to chat with the hotel before arrival, read about the facilities in the guest app, and engage with the hotel before physically arriving.
Guests were able to share their needs more easily via chat with a very positive impact on the hotel services as they are able to handle more inquiries through the unified inbox, about 3X more at any given moment compared to telephone.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for hospitality businesses to operate continuously. We have seen firsthand how this can be achieved using smart automation tools, allowing hoteliers to be more efficient, highlight their brand and improve the experience they offer to guests in a way that will allow them to reach long-term results.