Welcome Break Hotels wanted to upgrade its check-in experience to enhance the guest experience, increase efficiencies and drive incremental revenue.
The company has been a customer of Guestline since 2010 and recently decided to expand the relationship as it looked to improve the guest check-in/checkout experience with GuestStay.
Welcome Break properties are designed with motorists in mind, and the company's 31 Ramada and Days Inn hotels are located near some of the main roads and motorways in the United Kingdom.
There was group-wide recognition that guest check-in/out was time-consuming, manual and complex for both the hotel and guest. The overall objective was to streamline the process, drive efficiencies
and reduce costs.
Immediate requirements included:
- Customer experience improvements - check-in/out are cumbersome and highly manual, creating delays for customers on arrival
- Improve staff efficiencies - the group required a system that streamlined many of the highly labor-intensive processes such as handwritten check-in slips and manual data entry, which were inefficient and open to error
- Easy implementation- it was important that any new system is installed as seamlessly as possible to minimize disruption
- Seamless integration - the new check-in/out solution had to be deeply integrated with other systems, so guests' data is synchronized correctly and in real time
- Positive impact on environment - there was a desire to be more eco-friendly and reduce unnecessary print-outs
GuestStay enables guests to fill out their digital registration card in advance so they can provide accurate data and sail through check-in on arrival. As part of a contact-free hotel experience, hotels can reduce physical contact with the guest whilst still providing a great first impression.
The hotel’s PMS is automatically updated with the guest’s registration, which also allows the staff team to plan ahead.
Improved guest experience and no more lengthy check-ins
Check-in has been reduced from on average four minutes per check-in to 45 seconds. This means that from the moment the guest sets foot inside the hotel, a slick and efficient check-in process sets the scene for a great stay.
Increased staff efficiencies
With check-in time greatly reduced and automation of manual back-end processes, the hotel group benefits from more time to focus on more productive activities, servicing guests or assisting in other areas of the hotel.
Group-wide data at a glance
Easy access via one central dashboard to group-wide customer data has not only has streamlined internal processes but has also enhanced visibility, which means errors can be identified and rectified early.
More rooms sold
Possible late cancellations are flagged before they become no-shows, allowing rooms to be resold.
Greater potential for upsell
By making check-in speedy and hassle-free, there is more time to engage with the guest on arrival and potentially upsell.
The digitization of guest check-in/out has greatly reduced the need for handwritten check-in slips and paper backups. It is estimated annual paper savings across the group amount to 1,136 reams of paper - the equivalent of 57 trees that won't be cut down.
Ease of installation
The system was installed and ready to use within two days with minimal disruption. This, supported by user-friendly and accessible training, resulted in the rapid adoption of the system - a staggering 95% of check-ins within the first month of being online.
Emma Majewska, digital marketing analyst at Welcome Break, says: "We are delighted with how GuestStay has transformed the check-in and checkout process for our guests and our hotels. The stressful day of long queues at reception are gone meaning guests are happier and staff are free to work on delivering better service. Commercially and operationally, it has made so much sense for the business!"
Chris Jones, product manager at Guestline, says: “Guests have been keen to adopt a self-service approach to bookings and in the future we fully expect this to extend to other stages of the journey. They will have the opportunity to enter even more data and manage even more elements of their stay, for example requesting upgrades and F&B ordering, reviewing and paying invoices, all integrated direct to a hotel’s PMS, and all of which the hotelier can utilize to personalize and further enhance the experience pre-, during and post-stay.
“The benefits of contactless check-in/out have meant a more autonomous, frictionless experience which for hoteliers has delivered greater operational efficiency and critically more time to focus on the guest, against the backdrop of wider challenges such as inflation and staffing. It is this trend which we fully expect to permeate to other elements of the guest journey in the future as guests continue to demand and expect a more automated and autonomous experience.”
About the author...
Chris Jones is product manager for Guestline