Rethinking the Check-In

For hotels and hospitals alike, one of the first Experiences a guest has is often the arrival and check-in process, so it’s no surprise that boutique hotels are completely rethinking this important touchpoint, along with a variety of other Personalized first-touch Experiences. The traditional hotel check-in process via a person-behind-a-desk begs the question “does there need to be a desk?” Andaz Hotels doesn’t think so. They equip their team members with portable computers – eliminating the desk – and allowing them to make a personal connection with guests in a comfortable lobby environment. 

Guests enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, effortlessly check in, and then are personally escorted to their rooms.  Some of these processes have shifted in the time of COVID, yet the hospitality remains the same.  Says Toni Hinterstoisser, general manager of the Andaz on Wall Street, “A host’s job is very different [from a front desk clerk’s]. They are supposed to be like the conductor of a symphony. We want them to anticipate your needs when you check in, make you relaxed, and be the person you call throughout your stay when you need help.”

How might we Personalize the check-in Experience? What might we do to eliminate the traditional barriers to engage patients and guests more fully, surprise and delight, and show that we are focused on them? In this time of COVID, how might we make our virtual check-in a more Personalized Experience?