An article about self-service kiosks in hotels for guest check-in just came across my desk. My first reaction was “It’s about time! I’m tired of waiting to check into my room.” My second reaction was “But that’s the time you set the tone and start the relationship with yor guests. B&Bs really have the edge on hotels — again.”
The article continues with a comment that these kiosks will reduce labor costs in a hotel and allow them to serve more guests with fewer staff. That seems like an oxymoron to me. They may be able to check-in more guests with fewer staff, but they sure won’t be serving them. These kiosks remind me of the reception phones, the ones where you can’t find a human to talk to when you call into a business because the computer voice takes over and you get lost in the maze of menus. To me it’s the sign of bad customer service, not good service.
The article adds that the front desk won’t be deleted from a hotel and that the front desk staff will be moved into other customer service areas of the hotel. But it seems to me if the hotel is trying to cut labor costs they have to cut the labor; moving people around the hotel doesn’t cut the cost.
I totally understand how high labor costs are. I also understand that it’s the staff and the service that brings guests back. Lodging is a service business. Everytime a hotel removes some of the service from their business they are helping B&Bs thrive even more than before.
Stand out in the crowd and add customer service efforts to your B&B. First contact is one of the most important contact times. Make the most of it and have a smiling human serve your guests.