How Self Service Can Create Opportunity for Personalization
Recently, I overheard two people discussing how self service has no place in the hospitality industry. With the main point being that you use an ATM to avoid going into the bank. An older train of thought maybe, but also warranted. The check-in is the first impression opportunity that you have with your guests and it should be personal and engaging. But, some larger hotels have such high volume that they don’t have this opportunity. Just go to Las Vegas. You will see what I mean.
With self-service being so prominent in the airline industry, it just makes sense to extend the behavior to hotels. No one likes waiting. Especially after a long trip. You simply want to get to your room or elsewhere as quickly as you can.
However, if implemented with careful consideration, certain aspects of self service can actually be engineered to lead to better, more meaningful interactions with hospitality staff, thus resulting on an overall better experience.
Regardless, self service has come to hospitality... and probably for the best in some situations (like Vegas). While it does mean less opportunity for face time with your guests upon arrival, it’s also a less personal experience, especially as an introduction. But, let’s face it. Kids these days… they want more control over their experience and especially their time.
Even with self check-in, there is still an opportunity for you to make a personal introduction with your guests. Implementing self-service technology can increase your opportunity to gather guest data for even more personalization. By inserting data capture and messaging into the mix you create an opportunity to provide a more personalized experience and you inherently add the ability to connect with the guest more frequently during, as well as post stay.
People have less and less time these days and convenience is priority number one. Use it to your advantage and you will find that your guests just might thank you for it. They will also be more engaged when you do have interactions and will appreciate the personalization.
Here’s an idea (I ask everyone to do this)... find out why your guest is staying with you. Are they there for work, vacation? If they have spare time, what would they like to do?
Make this data capture optional. And, in fact reward it with a few different exclusive add-on's that will allow you to learn even more about your guest. For example, if you have your own bar and restaurant or if you partner with local tours or excursions you could give your guests a few different options such as:
- A food and beverage discount
- An invite to a special happy hour
- A discounted or free tour/excursion
- A discount on their next stay
If you can use this information to start a conversation with them and in turn give them something of additional value they will thank you for it. Because, you will end up supplying them with information, knowledge or recommendations they never would have received. And, you now know more about them than you did when they booked.
And that is an experience that they are going to tell others about.
Contact us to learn more about how Hoperator can integrate with your check-in experience.