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Hotel Contactless Check-In: How To Unlock the Best Guest Experience

Gone are the days when queuing at the front desk was a mandatory part of the guest experience. Nowadays hotel guests expect a full contactless check-in and check-out experience.

It’s great for the guest, but also a big relief for hosts and hoteliers, who can operate more efficiently and flexibly when new arrivals no longer need to check in at the front desk.

Here’s everything you need to know about setting up your contactless check-in hotel solution. Discover how you can securely hand over the keys to your accommodation while ensuring your guests feel welcome and feel at home.

What is contactless check-in?

Contactless check-in for hotels allows your guests to arrive and access their room without having to collect a room key or interact with a member of staff face-to-face.

You can facilitate contactless check-in by sending your guests the information they need to access their room prior to their arrival. Access codes and instructions can be sent to guests via email, SMS, WhatsApp or app.

Setting up a hotel contactless check-in system requires some corresponding hardware, typically in the form of one of the following:

  • Smart locks. A smart lock is a physical door locking device that can be controlled remotely when combined with specific software. They are more commonly used for hotel self check-ins.
  • Lockboxes. A lockbox is a compact, secured container used to store property keys. They are more commonly used in short-term and vacation rentals. You can learn more about your lockbox options in our guide for Airbnbs and other vacation rental properties.

Advantages of contactless check-in

Many accommodation owners, managers and hosts find hotel contactless check-in has a range of advantages:

  • Saves time and hassle for both staff and guests – no more queueing or authorizing IDs at the Gives guests total flexibility to check-in before they arrive and freedom to head straight to their room upon arrival
  • Reduces staff time at the front desk, freeing them to focus on delivering great guest experiences
  • Increases property safety and security – no risk of physical key losses or theft, and access codes can be updated with each new booking
  • Helps address the ongoing labor shortage issues in hospitality

What are the challenges of contactless check-in?

To reap the benefits of contactless check-in, you need to plan carefully. Think about the elements of your operations and technology that are going to change and how you can navigate those changes.

One common reservation hosts and hoteliers have around contactless check-in is that the reduced face-to-face interaction can seem at odds with what hospitality is all about. Below we cover how you can provide high-touch interactions through automated communications, all as part of your contactless check-in solution.

Remember: Your goal is to make sure that you communicate your check-in process to your guests before they arrive and that you do it in your own words to avoid any confusion.

The other critical thing to sort out before you set up your contactless check-in hotel solution is making sure you’ve got the right hardware and software for the job. This might take some research and planning. For example, going from traditional door locks to smart locks may require an upgrade or some minor updates, depending on your existing locks and your chosen smart lock provider. You may want to install a self-check-in kiosk or kiosks. Make sure your door hardware is compatible with the contactless system you are considering installing.

How to prepare your guests for contactless check-in

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. 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 personalized 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 within a minimum timeframe is automation!  That is the ability to send timely messages automatically, throughout the booking journey, with just the right information, and a personalized tone of voice.

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 hotel 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 disruption to 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!

Your options for facilitating easy access

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. Depending on your accommodation type, you can facilitate access by using a lock box 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 neighborhood.

eviivo and partners: the best contactless check-in solution

eviivo Suite gives you full contactless check-in hotel options and the ability to automate many of the key guest communications that we’ve outlined above, including booking reconfirmation emails. 

You can also integrate advanced check-in solutions from our specialist partners. Here’s a comprehensive rundown of the contactless check-in hardware and software solutions that integrate with eviivo Suite for easy, frictionless self check-in.

What contactless check-in solutions integrate with eviivo Suite?

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!

What is it?

A manufacturer of smart locks for installation into doors. These smart door locks connect to Wifi to generate a unique access code for each new booking.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

GuestTalk has a direct connection to eviivo Suite. This allows all booking information to be updated in real-time, offering a seamless experience across the two platforms.

Thanks to their partnership with smart lock software specialists RemoteLock, GuestTalk lets you send door codes safely to the guest’s mobile, so they can access their room smoothly. You can easily change the codes and grant or revoke access.

A registration form message tag can be attached to any pre-arrival message you send through GuestTalk, so you can confirm the details of any guest or guests who are staying.

Duve

What is it?

A virtual front desk & concierge app that allows contactless check-in & check-out, plus instant communication with your guests via text message, WhatsApp or email.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

Duve has connectivity to receive all booking information from eviivo customers. This includes property details, booking details, guest details, availability and extras/charges.

Through Duve, you can manage check-in remotely and before your guest arrives while collecting all of the information, documents and signatures you need in advance. Guests can scan and save IDs or passports, and you can send any contracts or documents (such as house rules), ready for digital signatures.

You can use Duve to connect to their network of smart lock providers for a seamless remote lock/key solution. Check out their full list of integration partners here.

The Keys

What is it?

A manufacturer of smart locks for installation into doors. These smart door locks connect to Wifi to generate a unique access code for each new booking.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

You can connect The Keys to eviivo Suite and automatically generate unique door codes for bookings. Each door code is automatically uploaded to the relevant booking in eviivo Suite. From there, use eviivo Guest Manager to email codes safely and automatically to your guests a few days before arrival.

Vikey

What is it?

A European supplier of all-in-one remote check-in solutions incorporating hardware (smart locks) and software (ID verification, digital concierge, smart hotel automation).

Their cloud-based online check-in and digital concierge solutions can generate door codes and provide a full guest check-in service.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

The connection between Vikey and eviivo enables you to automatically synchronize your bookings with Vikey. This enables Vikey to manage check-in requirements and issue door access codes. Guest check-in details and access codes are accessible via the Vikey dashboard, so make sure you open an account with Vikey.

Vikey automatically updates bookings directly from eviivo Suite into your Vikey dashboard, when the check-in date is within the next 30 days. These bookings then synchronize every 5-10 minutes. Depending on the services you have agreed with them, and your configurations within your Vikey dashboard, Vikey will:

  • Collate and send identity documents and other data required directly to authorities
  • 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!
  • Generate door access codes

Nuki

What is it?

A smart lock provider offering a range of upgradeable electronic door locks that allow guests to access accommodation through digital access authorization.

Nuki, which is easily mounted inside an existing door lock, automatically unlocks the door upon arrival and locks it again upon departure.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

Nuki is fully integrated with eviivo Suite and can be activated from your smartphone. Open an account directly with Nuki, then you can request the connection to eviivo via eviivo Suite.

Nuki automatically updates bookings directly from eviivo Suite into your Nuki dashboard when it gets to two days before the check-in date. These bookings then synchronize every two hours to ensure all details stay up to date.

For each booking, Nuki generates unique access codes or downloadable app links and automatically updates these within the booking notes in eviivo Suite. These unique codes are then ready to send to your customers using eviivo Guest Manager.

Chekin

What is it?

A global, web-based digital check-in/check-out solution that automates and digitizes all steps of the process, from booking confirmation to check-out.

Chekin’s “Self check-in” feature allows guests to check-in through their phone. Once the online check-in process is completed and their identity is verified remotely (optional), guests receive a virtual key to open the lock.

How does it integrate with eviivo?

When you receive a booking, your guests will be asked to register online via an automatically generated Chekin form a few days before their arrival. The booking information will be pre-filled thanks to the data synchronization with eviivo.

In that same link, guests can sign the rental agreement, validate their identity (by taking a selfie and a picture of their ID) and pay the tourist tax related to their stay (if this feature is activated). The required documentation will be generated and stored on the Chekin dashboard for the time needed. Information about the guests will also be synced back to eviivo.

Chekin first verifies the guests’ identity online, then automatically sends them a code to open the door of the property. Make sure your smart lock solution integrates with Chekin by searching their list of remote access integration partners here.

Key Takeaways

  • Contactless check-in allows your guests to access their room without having to collect a room key or check in at the front desk.
  • You can facilitate contactless check-in for hotels by sending your guests the information they need to access their room prior to their arrival.
  • Setting up a contactless check-in system requires some combination of software (digital check-in solutions, guest messaging software) and hardware (smart locks, keypads, lockboxes, self-check-in kiosks).
  • Communicate your check-in process to your guests in your own words before they arrive to nurture them remotely and create a great check-in experience.
  • Automated, personalized communications give you the ability to send timely messages throughout the booking journey, delivering positive interactions while saving valuable time.
  • eviivo Suite offers full hotel contactless check-in options and integrates fully with specialist partners to unlock advanced check-in solutions.

eviivo Guest Manager can help you give guests a seamless check-in experience from booking to arrival, totally remotely. Book your demo of eviivo Suite to discover how Guest Manager and the other features of eviivo help you elevate the guest experience while saving time and resource through automation.

check-in guest experience hotel