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Tips to Make the Check-in Process Smooth at Your Hotel

By: Wes Kington – HospitalityHub
16 June, 2015

The check-in process at a hotel is usually the first point of contact between guests and management, and will more often than not create a lasting impression.

Hotels should aim to have the process smooth, streamlined and fail-proof, making things as straightforward, expeditious (and welcoming) as possible – both for the sake of customers as well as staff.

HospitalityHub provides 6 tips to help your establishment make this happen.

Hard copy forms for those unexpected electronic meltdowns

We live in an age of computers, smart devices, scanners and the internet. Surely none of these could ever fail on us?

The bad news is they can, and occasionally they will. The good news is your hotel can be prepared in the event of such a catastrophe with a supply of hard copy registration forms ready to go.

If and when your systems go down, you don't want to be left twiddling your thumbs and trying to come up a excuse for the delay to an ever-growing line of waiting guests.

Map it out

Your guests will always have a multitude of questions about where things are within the hotel, as well as around town.

You can address all of these questions and more by providing them with maps of the hotel layout and the city, together with a very brief rundown of things to do and places to see.

Stick to the key info

Check-in is for the most important things only – welcome, payment, major rules, breakfast / lockout times, check-out time and of course that other key matter, your guests' room key.

Supplementary info such as internet access, local attractions, guided tour availability etc can all be explained in a booklet or poster kept inside each room. No matter how many details you share with a guest at check-in, most will return to confirm or ask follow-up questions anyway, so keep check-in as close to an introduction as possible and handle everything else later unless the reception area is very quiet.

Remember, guests are usually just as eager to put their bags down and survey the room as you are to process the admin.

Readily available FAQ sheets

During peak periods, the usual orientation talk may need to be skipped to allow for the faster processing of guests. In order to ensure all bases are still covered, an information sheet with FAQs and other important information should be provided to all guests on check-in or as a booklet in rooms for easy reference.

Luggage storage facility

Although the front desk may have set opening and closing times, your hotel will always be a 24-7 facility for guests.

The last thing an early arrival wants is to have to lug around heavy bags whilst waiting for the front desk to open. A secure, well-located luggage storage facility is ideal for customers who wish to drop their bags off initially and then return later to pick them up and check-in to their rooms.

Pre-filled reservation system

The less information that needs to be exchanged during the check-in process the better, and for your hotel a pre-filled reservation system could be the ideal way to achieve this.

A pre-filled reservation system form, made available on your hotel's website, should request essential details such as name, address, payment details / deposits, estimated arrival time etc.