MobileOnline & Digital Marketing

How useful is mobile check-in for accommodation properties?

What can be the most tiresome part of staying at a hotel for your guests? If we asked this as part of a survey, the majority would probably answer “the check-in procedures at reception”. Long queues in front of the reception desk, particularly during the busy holiday seasons, can be a disappointment for guests as they are far from promising memorable days at the hotel. Online check-in procedures have shifted into a whole new dimension with the increase of mobile device usage in the recent years.  So, which privileges can mobile check-in applications, which are currently preferred mostly by airlines, provide for the accommodation and service industry?

In a nutshell, it is possible for your guests to complete their check-in procedures before arriving at a property with the help of the mobile application of that property and they can start enjoying their stay by just receiving their room keys. Investing in a specific technological infrastructure is a must to achieve this, but the privileges offered by mobile check-in can also take your property one step ahead of your rivals.  Many hotels are expected to adopt this technology soon. Therefore, we can say that the mobile check-in option will be indispensable for properties that wish to maintain their advantageous position in the competition.

Examples from the world

Some large hotel chains have already started attempts in offering this service for their guests.  For instance, the Marriott hotel chains have announced that they are planning to adapt 500 of their hotels globally to mobile check-in options by the first half of 2014. Starwoods hotel chains apply a different method which is now under test.  Guests are given a guest card once they arrive at the hotel. After receiving the room number through their mobile phones using the check-in application, guests can start staying in their rooms without wasting any time at the reception desk, using their guest cards as room keys as well.

The best way to build customer loyalty

Recently, we are seeing various technology firms develop these kind of applications for the accommodation industry.  These applications, most of which are at the pilot stage yet, are designed to facilitate things for guests as well as property owners. For instance, it is possible for all guests to specify their special wishes, health service needs and many other things in advance. This way, staff members can immediately start making preparations for the individual expectations of guests. This also constitutes the first crucial step that a property takes to manage its customer database in the best way.

The state of travel agencies

Another tourism branch that can make use of check-in applications are online travel agencies. Agencies, which play a major role in meeting the guest needs of properties, make the most of mobile opportunities to facilitate their check-in procedures, by which they aim to enhance customer satisfaction and internal productivity.  Mobile check-in provides great facilities for agencies in regards to last-minute booking changes, customer relations etc.

Conclusion

Mobile check-in applications, though quite new and pretty much at the testing stage, are being adopted by the accommodation properties at an increasing pace.  Considering the annual growth in the number of mobile device users, the advantages that such applications can provide for your guests and property become self-evident. Firms operating in the accommodation and service industry are in a fierce competition to provide their customers with the latest facilities. Therefore, it is estimated that properties offering the privilege of mobile check-in first will surpass their rivals in building customer loyalty, just like they do in all other fields of the Internet. Considering that customer comments on the Internet are the most natural marketing tools beyond your control, you better not lose a single moment to initiate the necessary infrastructure efforts to introduce this technology to your guests residing in your property.

On the other hand, it should also be noted that this will require a considerable amount of investment on part of many properties. If you are not ready to adopt this method, which will inevitably become a requirement for every property soon, you better stay in touch with your guests through mobile devices now. HotelRunner can offer many mobile-compatible options for you. Create your HotelRunner account without losing any time now and start earning immediately if you want to see what the HotelRunner platform can benefit to your property both through desktops and mobile devices.

Arden Agopyan

Managing Partner

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