By tradition (and business model) the average hotel requires guests to check-in and out by a certain time and every hotel has its own guidelines relating to early check-in and late checkout requests – which at the end of the day makes sense, as how else could you make sure turnover runs smoothly for incoming guests?
But, with guests wanting greater customization and convenience hotels are eager to keep visitors happy (and loyal). As a result hotels have become more flexible in regard to check-in and checkout times as part of their service personalization efforts. “Early check-in and late check-out used to be something reserved for VIP hotel guests, but more and more luxury hotels are introducing flexible check-out as a general amenity to make guests feel special and give them more for their money… [it’s] a great example of a hotel listening to its guests and customizing the experience based on the needs of the guests” Courtney Scott, Travelocity Senior Travel Editor.
While offering early check-in and late checkout might seem like asking the impossible – between synchronizing housekeeping schedules, controlling room allocation, and managing guests as they arrive and checkout. “It’s an amenity that certainly requires more logistical planning on the part of the hotel. ” says Scott. But, with the help of a Cloud PMS solution any and all perceived complications are removed. Providing seamless cross-departmental and multi-system integration delivers transparency and allows for easy management and coordination of teams and tasks – which means operations not only run smoothly and efficiently but you have a PMS that can meet the needs and demands of guests.
Hotels can engage with guests prior to their stay regarding expected time of arrival while simultaneously Housekeeping can have remote and real time interactions with front office staff regarding room status. Responsibilities can be assigned for a particular room automatically after a guest checks-out while managers can quickly scan for tasks that need to be fulfilled prior to a guest’s stated arrival – balancing early check-ins against actual arrival times helps hotels better manage room availability. All in all such a solution results in streamlined check-in / check-out at reception, increased room attendant productivity by 20%, eliminating 80% of calls made to the front office – along with revenue benefits!
Take for example when Fontainebleau Miami combined the use of mobile data together with reservation information from the PMS, they were able to upsell to guests through pre-arrival and checkout offers. Their Cloud PMS solution enable them to optimize room revenue by inviting guests to arrive early or stay late for an additional fee. On launching, 20% to 40% of their guests selected the mobile self-service option, and as a result the resort saw a 141% ROI from late checkout offers in the first 30 days! Not only that but in the first full month, late-check out revenues generated far exceeded the monthly SaaS fee paid to their supplier, us, StayNTouch! And, due to their new check-in/out service, their guest reviews on the hotel arrival/check-in experience improved notably.
In a time (no pun intended) where guests want to be serviced differently, mobile technology not only enables hoteliers to give guests the flexibility and convenience they crave but also helps to streamline operations and create a viable revenue stream.