Travel and hospitality are labor-intensive industries today that require manual effort at every step of the end-to-end experience. In some cases, human interventions will always be necessary along the way. However, self-service opportunities across all travel touchpoints are available to transform manual processes into intuitive digital guest experiences.
Self-service options are becoming popular among travelers. Not only do they reduce costs, but they also make processes easier for consumers. They provide benefits such as:
- More Choices: Some may think that giving more choices to travelers can confuse them, but studies show that consumers feel more empowered when given more options. If you add self-service options like a virtual receptionist, booking apps and kiosks, you don’t take away the option of talking to someone in customer service. The extra self-service option, such as a digital check-in via your app, creates opportunities for people who prefer to do things themselves, which can boost customer satisfaction.
- Better Control: Travelers want more control over how they spend their vacation time. If they can find a way to avoid queues and waiting lines, it will help boost their customer experience. Adding a self-service option and a virtual reception service allows travelers more control over the process. These tools will enable them to make changes to their bookings using their phones.
- Speedy Delivery Times: No one wants to wait when they travel. Whether it’s a business trip or a personal vacation, everyone wants to make the most of their time, which is why improving check-in and booking times matters.
Hotel owners, travel operators and other stakeholders can have plenty of opportunities to improve a traveler’s journey. Self-service technology can help streamline the customer’s experience from one phase to the next, from a digital booking to a virtual check-in.
Today, much of the airline and ground transportation process has been impacted by self-service. Travelers receive their boarding pass on their phone and “check-in” for their flight using their own device. Once they’ve reached their destination, many turn again to their phones to call a ride service.
Then, once they arrive at their lodging destination, most travelers enter a line in the lobby, and put their phones away to instead pull out their physical payment method and ID verification. The hospitality industry continues to lag other travel verticals in digital adoption. Fortunately, some forward-thinking hotel managers and hospitality providers are looking to innovate and are adopting robust virtual check-in solutions.
Imagine having your guests complete the check-in process on their phones while traveling to the hotel. Then, upon arrival, they don’t need to retrieve the key to their room from the reception desk. Instead, they can either use a mobile key provided through your app or scan a QR code from a kiosk to obtain a virtual key.
These digital check-in options create a seamless experience for your clients and improve overall customer satisfaction. These automated solutions also reduce the workload of your reception staff and help ensure the health and safety of your guests by reducing physical contact points.
Travelers today can book flights and accommodation using their phones. In many cases, this is your first opportunity to build a relationship with your new guest. You can invite them to join your loyalty or guest recognition program and immediately begin building profiles and past-stay history that will help shape a more personalized guest experience. Now, upgrade and other promotional offers can be sent via a phone app, through a virtual receptionist, email or text, which can be leveraged as self-service tools.
Sometimes travelers need to make changes to the arrangements they’ve made. For example, maybe they want to upgrade to a different room or reschedule for another day. With self-service tools, they can skip the waiting and make changes by being given the available options on their own or via a virtual reception service.
Property owners can maximize self-service technology with plenty of room to improve the digital guest experience. Virdee is a SaaS company providing high-value virtual reception solutions across the entire guest journey, from pre-arrival communications to key issuance and remote guest assistance. Get a custom property evaluation, and we can help you find custom solutions to improve your customers’ experience.