Self-Service Opportunities: Six Rules for Maximizing Kiosk Value

By Tina Stehle Senior Vice President & General Manager, Agilysys Hospitality Solutions Group | May 19, 2010

Self-service technology continues to evolve and play a larger role in everyday life. Consumers routinely purchase airline tickets, buy groceries and scan bar codes using self-service technology. Guests also increasingly use self-service kiosks to check into hotel rooms around the world.

There's little doubt that consumers are comfortable with the technology. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Self-Service World revealed that less than 1 percent of respondents scored themselves 'low' regarding comfort level with self-service options. And the self-service trend is predicted to continue.

So, if you have not yet incorporated self-service check-in into your hotel, you probably should. Otherwise, you risk losing valuable opportunities to promote your image, establish your brand and enhance guest service. If you already have implemented kiosk technology, you will want to rethink how you are using it. You may have overlooked some of the ways you can maximize its value.

Benefits of kiosk check-in technology

Although mega-casino-resort properties and convention hotels - both of which process large numbers of guests in short periods of time - realize the greatest benefit using self-service kiosks, there are significant advantages for hotels of all sizes.

First and foremost, self-service kiosks expedite guest service by shortening lines at the front desk and performing all the basic functions of check-in and check-out, such as encoding and dispensing room keys and printing receipts. In a nutshell, they offer hotel guests choice, convenience and control.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.