The Future of Hospitality: Contactless Doesn’t Have to Mean Inhospitable

You’re always looking out for your guests’ safety, comfort, and convenience. In a pre-COVID world, this meant focusing on human interaction and in-person concierge services. Today that focus has taken a necessary shift to protect the health of your guests and staff. As a result, hotels around the world are finding ways to remove physical touchpoints. While this move toward contactless check-ins and check-outs is safer and more streamlined than traditional check-in services, it can feel a little impersonal – and even inhuman – if you aren’t deliberate with its implementation.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Your guests are ready for mobile check-ins and communications. According to recent statistics, 57% of people around the world book their hotels online. Even more compelling, 80% of guests said they’d download a hotel app that enabled them to check in, check out, and get information about the hotel. You can’t beat the convenience of contactless services. These technologies are here to stay, but that doesn’t have to mean that you lose a unique guest experience or the personalized touch you bring to the table.

You want your guests to have the best stay possible. You want them to feel like you’re catering to their every whim before they even think of it. You want them to associate your hotel with thoughts of comfort, relaxation, and rest. How can you do all that while also cutting down on human interaction? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite tips to help hotels retain a more human experience while providing contactless services.

Focus on Personalized Guest Communications

You can leverage your CRM to create a personalized experience for your guests at every step – from booking to check-out and beyond. In an earlier blog, we discussed the importance of pre-arrival communications and how to personalize them. Some tips include:

  • Sending a pre-stay survey
  • Recommending local tours and activities
  • Informing guests about features like contactless check-ins

This emphasis on communication and personalization should not end with pre-arrival messages, though. While your guests may not be stopping at the front desk to be greeted by a warm, smiling concierge, you can still ensure that they feel like you and your staff are there for them every step of the way.

A great way to do this is by sending periodic SMS messages to your guests throughout their stays. When guests check-in online, send them an automated message with details about their room and what that they can look forward to when they arrive. This way, when they receive texts from the front desk, your guests get the same information and assistance they would receive when speaking to someone at check-in. You can also increase engagement and improve guest satisfaction with messages about special deals and add-on services that they might want to take advantage of – like a happy hour reminder or a coupon for a discounted visit to the hotel spa.

Emphasize the Perks of Contactless Check-Ins

If implemented poorly, contactless and automated services can feel impersonal and unwelcoming. They can feel like you’re trying to automate your customer service and skip over the personal touches. However, with just a few minor tweaks to your messaging strategy, you can turn contactless check-ins and other services into perks. The key is to properly communicate all of the benefits of contactless services. You’re not taking away their personalized experience – you’re enhancing it and creating a more comfortable stay for them.

Your guests may value a warm greeting, but they definitely do not value waiting in line to check in. Use your marketing, advertising, and customer communications to share how guests benefit from a more streamlined check-in process. Let them know that you’ll have their rooms ready for them – just the way they want – and they can go straight to settling in and enjoying their stay.

Provide a Personalized In-Room Experience

You can utilize personalized pre-arrival communications to go the extra mile for your guests and give them a personalized in-room experience. In your pre-arrival survey, you could ask what temperature they prefer for their room and give them options for their favorite body wash options.

And in-room personalization doesn’t have to stop there, either. With today’s smart TVs and the prevalence of services like Roku and Apple TV, you can give guests the means to easily log into their own streaming services instead of surfing through channels and trying to find something to watch. In-room Alexa devices can also give guests a more personalized experience, as well.

In Conclusion: Contact-Free Services Don’t Have to Be Impersonal

Contact-free doesn’t have to mean cold and inhospitable. In fact, when done right, it can make guests feel like you’re there for them whenever they need you – through texts, app notifications, and personalized digital touches.

By removing physical touch points, you’re protecting guests and staff from potential health hazards, but that doesn’t have to be the extent of these upgrades. With the right details and a strategic use of personalization, you can ensure that your guests get VIP service with a very human feel – all while automating many of your hotel’s check-in processes and creating more streamlined workflows for your employees. Follow these tips and implement technology like Digital Keys, and your hotel will be ahead of the game in creating the most personalized, convenient, and enjoyable contact-free guest experience.

Want to learn more about how Digital Keys can help you better serve your guests? OpenKey is the leading provider of digital key services. Schedule a demo today to see how you can do more for your guests with Digital Keys