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One of the secrets to a successful hotel business is optimizing processes and making them as efficient as possible. You may wonder how a better check-in process increases revenue, but the answer is simple: first impressions count. The check-in process is your ideal time to make a good impression on your guests, and seeing as it’s usually the first face-to-face encounter with your brand, it’s important to make a lasting impression.
An optimal process not only makes your brand stand out from the competition, it also increases satisfaction levels – and increased satisfaction leads to brand loyalty. Not only do better processes allow you to optimize your profit, but also by offering added services like flexible booking, you can increase the average spend per booking.
Early check-ins and late check-outs are thereby a great way to positively impact revenue, which we’ll look at in more detail in this article.
What is early check-in and how can it grow your hotel revenue?
Early check-ins may seem like a hassle because your staff has to hustle to get the room ready as fast as possible, but the extra effort that goes into making a room available for early check-in is worth it. Since hotels strive to occupy rooms at the best possible rate for the most amount of time possible, it probably comes at no surprise as to why hoteliers would want to have the room occupied for more time.
More time = faster return on investment, and that’s crucial to a hotel’s bottom line.
This is where early check-ins come in. There is often a big gap in the time between when one guest checks in from the time the other guest checks out, which translates into lost potential revenue. To mitigate this lost potential revenue, many hotels have turned to day-use bookings, which allows you to sell the room for a couple of hours, and occupy the room when it might not otherwise be occupied.
Read more about how to increase revenue with day-use hotel rooms.
While it may appear that your most valuable guest is the one that books the most expensive room no matter how long they stay, in fact there are many factors that go into customer value.
Guests that book more services and occupy a room for a longer period of time may prove to be of higher value because you can get more revenue from more clients, and the more high-spending clients you have, the more revenue you can generate. Furthermore, by understanding who your highest value customers are, you can design services aimed at targeting these potential clients.
Early check-ins: the most profitable option
Early check-ins are an even more profitable option than day-use because they allow your property to increase the average spend per booking. It essentially provides the option to upsell to current guests to increase occupancy and generate incremental revenue. Find out how upselling can boost your ancillary revenue.
With early check-in, the room doesn’t need to be re-cleaned, which means that the revenue generated goes directly to the hotel’s bottom line.
Furthermore, usually the most expensive part in the customer lifecycle is acquisition. But by targeting existing guests, you can take advantage of your marketing efforts to increase the amount spent per booking, which thereby increases your hotel’s profitability.
There are many touchpoints during the guest journey, and the more appealing the services you can offer, the more they are inspired to book at your hotel instead of the competition. It’s a great way to differentiate your brand and encourage customer loyalty.
Optimize early check-ins with online check-in
If you want to take early check-ins a step further, why not offer online check-in? This means that not only are you getting more profit out of each booking, but you also have no need to increase the amount of resources going into getting that extra profit. Essentially, the guest takes check-in into their own hands, allowing your front desk staff to focus on other tasks like providing the best service possible.
You can also consider offering a virtual concierge, which is one of the easiest ways to increase guest satisfaction. Guests are able to ask queries 24/7 with instant responses, and through direct messaging you can respond to service requests faster. A virtual concierge also allows guests to check in online from their phones, making the lines at reception shorter, and giving hotels yet another opportunity to upsell by offering early check-in or late check-out.
You may also like:
- 6 best contactless check-in softwares for hotels
- What services should your hotel virtual concierge offer?
And what about late check-out?
Late check-out is perhaps one of the most underestimated services. It is a great way to attract guests who have flights leaving at all hours of the night. It puts them at ease knowing they have a place to go while they wait to go to the airport, and may even be the deciding factor in choosing to stay at one hotel or another.
You want to maximize the services you offer and at the same time, the more flexible booking options you have, the more likely you are to solve one of the customer’s pain points.
Spending more time at your hotel, guests are likely to consume extra services such as room service, eating at the hotel restaurant, or using the mini bar, which allows you to generate more revenue per booking. It’s a lot easier to sell extra services once the guest is at your property, and with a late check-out you can increase the chances that your guests will be willing to purchase those extra services.
Your relationship with your guests is crucial across all touchpoints in the customer journey. Offering a range of services that go above and beyond the competition allows your brand to more easily provide solutions to customer “problems” and may thereby lead to more reservations. By offering flexible booking, you can enhance the perception of your brand, and create a lasting impression in order to turn one-time guests into lifelong clients.
Early check-in and late check-out are two underestimated services that are ideal for increasing the total spent per booking, and hence your hotel’s bottom line. Not only is it a great way to increase customer satisfaction, but ancillary revenue allows you to create another revenue stream, which enhances the main service of your hotel, thereby increasing total revenue.
There is no added cost in offering late check-out or early check-in, which means that you can increase your hotel’s profitability with little or no effort or extra resources; it’s a win-win for both guests and your property.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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