Gone are the days when queuing at the front desk was a mandatory part of the guest experience. Nowadays guests expect a full contactless check-in and check-out experience.
It is great for the guest, but also a big relief for hosts who no longer need to be available or stay up and wait for the guest to arrive.
Here’s everything you need to securely hand over the keys to your property while ensuring your guests feel welcome and feel at home.
Get on the Same Page
Nothing sets guests at ease more than having a clear understanding of what to expect from their stay… which is why you should set the scene immediately after you receive a booking.
If you receive a direct booking, make sure that your confirmation includes all the necessary check-in instructions. If you receive a travel agency booking – make sure you are able to reconfirm all details, including check-in instructions, as soon as possible – in your own words!
At first, most of the guest relationship building will likely be through emails and/or text messages, so it’s important that your property management software handles the basics when it comes to guest relationship management to help you nurture your guests through automated personalised communications.
Most software will present some level of integration with Facebook, WhatsApp or other social media platform of course – but what is most important, if you want maximum results with minimum time is automation! That is the ability to send timely messages automatically, throughout the booking journey, with just the right information, and a personalised tone of voice.
How does one meet & greet their guests successfully with zero face time?
If you are nervous about letting people through your doors without meeting them first. Don’t panic! By collecting all the necessary information upfront via contactless check-in options, you can put your mind at rest.
Ask your guests to fill out a simple registration card ahead of time. It is best to ask them as soon as they have made their booking! If they do not respond, ask again a few days before arrival, and ask them to reconfirm ‘on the day’ as they make their way to you by car or train, or while they are waiting in an airport lounge. It is a good use of ‘dead travel time’ and, if there is any upset in their journey, they will be able to let you know.
eviivo suite gives you full contactless check-in options and the ability to automate all these exchanges. And if this is not enough, you can also integrate advanced check-in solutions from specialist partners like Chekin, GuestTalk or Wishbox. Some go as far as asking guests to scan their passport and post a photo, so that their identity can be checked using facial recognition!
Nothing makes a worse first impression than a stressful arrival at the very start of your stay! Ensure the moment your guest arrives, they are able to get into their room as smoothly as possible. No queue, no complications, easy to understand instructions on how to access the property and a smooth, contactless check-in process.
For a start, consider including clear directions and even photos in your check-in instructions. And you can facilitate access by using a lockbox system that will house your keys. Or you can go one up by installing smart locks and using a property management system that can automatically issue secure door codes to guests at exactly the right time. Look for seamless integrations with leading smart lock companies.
If you’re running a vacation rental, provide guests with a ‘Property Handbook’ to help them adjust when they arrive. These invaluable guides can help them work out how to operate the dishwasher or turn on the air conditioner. As well as provide information on local transport timetables, shopping and what to see or do in the neighbourhood. Make sure the handbook is structured, inviting, and easy to read. It’s all worth the effort as it can seriously make life so much easier for your guests during their stay! Stop by your local tourism office, they usually produce lots of useful seasonal leaflets you can include in your folio.
A Local’s Recommendation
You are special and know your area. You want to make sure guests who stay with you leave with a wonderful story to tell! A unique local experience is usually the stand-out in what makes a trip really memorable. You may remember a 20-foot tall Saguaro cactus in Arizona or the unique Gaudi architecture of Barcelona. You will also remember savouring an unexpected local dish, enjoying a local beer, wine, fruit or cheese you never tasted before, or simply discovering an amazing local custom or legend. Make sure you do all you can to share these stories and recommendations with your guests. This personal touch adds something special to the contactless check-in experience!
In general, travellers are either looking for peace and convenience (especially business travellers), or for something extraordinary! You need to cater for both, so learn to read your guests.
Regardless of where you’re located, you are uniquely qualified to provide a local’s point of view. Your advice is expertly suited to your guests according to their needs and demands. This is the best welcome present a guest can ask for!