Consumers are increasingly comfortable with digital and interactive experiences, and they want more of them. Research shows that about 80 percent of consumers are interested in non-traditional checkout experiences such as paying at a self-service kiosk or through an app. The numbers are similarly high among hotel guests: 78 percent of respondents want to see more self-serve kiosks at hotels.
Self-checkouts may seem counterintuitive in a hospitality setting, but the truth is, for various reasons, many people appreciate not having to interact with hotel staff. Perhaps they are tired from traveling, have kids or pets in tow, or are running late and don’t want to seem rude. Whatever the reason, consumers have shown that they are all-in on technological advances that save them time and stress. In fact, the next generation, which is quickly becoming the average hotel consumer, actually prefers self-service solutions.
Self-check-in hotel kiosks also help operators stay efficient. Staff turnover and the labor shortage are challenges in the hospitality industry — ones which have worsened since the pandemic. Hotel self-check-in kiosks help address these problems and provide several additional operational benefits: They provide a consistent, reliable experience for guests.
Kiosks provide smooth, relaxed check-ins and checkouts
Just as self-service kiosks help with line-busting at retailers, airports, grocery stores, fast food restaurants and even banks, they can do the same in hotels. Kiosks prevent long lines at the reception desk by providing an alternative to conventional front desk service. During peak arrival times, they can lower wait times by allowing guests to check in on their own using their name, confirmation number, government identification or even biometrics such as fingerprints.
The next revolution in hospitality
The same applies to hotel check-ins and checkouts. Business travelers must often leave in the early morning hours, and families are typically gathering belongings, minding children and loading or unloading the car during check-in and checkout times. The ability to check in and receive the room key, or check out and quickly print the final bill — without a long wait and without interacting with people — is a major benefit for busy guests. Kiosk technology has matured substantially over the years and now supports payment and even the cutting of new cards.
Hotel kiosks redirect staff to high-touch interactions
With self-check-in hotel kiosks, staff members are no longer restricted to the reception area. Instead, they can help out in other areas of the hotel, answer guest calls and questions, and be available to greet guests when they come and go through the lobby. When staff is available to make these kinds of personal, high-touch connections and go beyond bare minimum customer standards, it leads to positive brand interactions, great reviews and ultimately, brand loyalty.
Kiosks are a great way to answer guest requests as well. They can act as an on-demand concierge, suggesting local restaurants, services, on-site activities and amenities during downtimes. Easy content management ensures information is always accurate, and new offerings can be added with a click of a few buttons. In the “grab and go” sections of hotels, kiosks can support any-hour purchases, creating a way for guests to grab a late-night snack or toiletries, pay and go.
Kiosks support personalized experiences
One of the most attractive features of hotel kiosks is that they empower hotel operators to create personalized, meaningful guest experiences. Microinteractions such as custom welcome messages that feature guests’ names or native languages can go a long way in transforming the brand experience.
When integrated with a hotel’s property management system (PMS), self-service kiosks can gather valuable information about guests, such as room and accessibility preferences, previous purchases and special requests. Having access to such data allows hoteliers to create bespoke, personalized experiences that make guests feel special and appreciated. It also helps inform more targeted marketing via emails and other offers. For example, kiosks can be used to survey and collect feedback from guests during the self-checkout process.
Opportunities for upsells and education with kiosks
In restaurants and grocery stores, research shows that kiosks increase check averages: customers typically spend an average of 20 percent more at self-checkouts compared to traditional methods. The same logic applies to hotels. During busy arrival times, reception staff may feel pressured to rush through check-ins and gloss over potential room upgrades or property amenities such as spa treatments and room service.
With self-check-in kiosks, however, guests can view additional services and upgrades at their leisure. For customers averse to the hard sell, this can be a very appealing feature, allowing them to peruse offerings and make decisions at their own pace. Just as kiosks tend to increase check averages for restaurants and retailers, they can do the same for hoteliers.
Self-check-in meets busy hotel needs
Samsung Kiosk is an ideal solution for hotel operators looking to add a self-service option in their lobbies. Its modular design features three installation types — countertop, floor stand and wall-mounted — with no exposed cables or power strips. With a variety of payment options including credit card, barcode, QR code and NFC, along with a built-in printer, it enables guests to check in and out with ease. Its sleek, attractive design blends with any aesthetic, boasting an antimicrobial and shatter-resistant 24-inch screen.
Self-service kiosks offer hotel operators a wide variety of operational benefits, but more importantly, they provide the convenience and modernity that today’s guests look for in a hospitality experience. Nothing will ever take the place of personal interactions — instead, kiosks complement traditional services and free up staff’s time to make meaningful connections that matter in the moment.