Innovate Our Check-In Process

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by Corinne - Hyatt Corporate, Jun 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Corinne - Hyatt Corporate

    Corinne - Hyatt Corporate Active Member

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    We here at Hyatt are brainstorming ways to innovate and improve upon our check-in process and wanted to know what YOU think. If you were in charge of this project, what would you change about check-in? How would you improve the current process?

    Looking forward to your thoughts!
     
  2. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks a lot for the question and nice to have an opportunity for input here on Milepoint.
    One thing I have noticed at a few Hyatt properties in North America is the reliance on the self check-in machines.
    Understanding the cost of employees- but particularly at full service properties I think employees at check-in really make all the difference in the world. Innovation- employees :)
     
  3. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    Thanks for seeking our input :)

    First thought: Don't display signage for Gold Passport elite check-in if that desk position does not actually have an associate there (nothing creates a sour first impression than a "promised service" not delivered).
     
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  4. iloveawardtravel
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    iloveawardtravel Silver Member

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    Great to see that Hyatt is soliciting feedback.

    Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the check-in process. I do echo TravelSIG's comment about checking in with an employee rather than the self serve machines at full service properties. I tried using the machine about 1 year ago when the line was long and thought the that the machine check in process took too long and have avoided it ever since.

    I think some improvement is needed in the area of honoring room preferences. I have 'near elevator' selected in my profile yet always seem to end up with the the room furthest away. I have mentioned this to the front desk before but no one seems to be going out of their way to remember my room preference ... even though I check in at the same property every week.

    But the biggest thing that impacts me every week is the 'check out' process. I need a hard copy receipt for expense reimbursement which requires me check out physically at the front desk. I tried the machine check out option but the receipts printed there just isn't as fax friendly (i.e. not 8.5 x 11). I understand that as part of Hyatt's green initiative, folios are no longer slipped under the door on check-out day. However, can't I have an option of reviewing my folio on the TV or machine and requesting an email copy? Maybe the option exists and I'm just not aware.
     
  5. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    Thank you for coming onto MP and soliciting our input; it is good to have you here!

    I think the best way to innovate check-in, especially for elites, would be to allow an elite to check-in online, have options to upgrade room presented to him/her (or further upgrades with a fee), selection of same online, and then using our Hyatt GP card as our room key (thus by-passing the front desk or kiosk). This would save time for both the elite customer and the Hyatt front desk personnel.
     
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  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Welcome to mp. Though I'm not a regular at Hyatt, great to see head office paying attention here.

    Some sort of virtual checkin would be great. I can board a plane with just a blackberry and drivers license now - would be great to have a similar no-desk-interaction option for hotels.

    On certain delta-branded Amex cards and all delta frequent flyer membership cards, there is a bar code on the credit card which can be read at any delta gate in their boarding pass reader and allows me to board the plane simply by waiving that card underneath their reader. You don't have scanners, but presumably do have mag stripe readers, which could work using mag stripe on a credit card or hyatt membership card. (Thinking about it further, hotel key locks aren't linked into a central system - rather the hotel key cards are coded with info that opens the locks on specific days - so your ability to authorize a key lock to open based on a hyatt card may not be there today. That would take a lot of capex to roll out.)

    My Starwood account is somehow set up so that I automatically get an email of my bill when I check out. While they still slip a bill under the door, I usually don't take it and just rely on the auto email. Not sure if you offer such a service, but that would be good too.

    Untended gold/platinum lines at hotels also quite frustrate me. All the signage is there...maybe even a rug with "preferred guest" emblazoned on it ... But no staff to tend.
     
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  7. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Wow -- so glad you came here to ask first! It's always frustrating to me when a company I do a lot of business with rolls out some new innovation that would have been far better if the end-users' input had been solicited first. First, I think the reservation process could aid in the check-in. I would like to be able, for instance, to let the reservation know when this is an instance in which I want to override my usual stored preferences. How about, "You have chosen a room with two beds. Your usual preference is a king. Is this an exception? Would you accept a king bed if an upgraded room becomes available at check-in?"
    I usually travel with my husband, but when either of us travels with one of our adult sons, a king would just not work, and I always feel I have to call the property and make sure they don't "help me out" by giving me a nicer room with king bed.

    I would also love to be able to prioritize my preferences. For instance, for the poster above, who may have mobility issues, or just like the white noise of the elevator (he must not stay at many HPs), elevator proximity might outweigh floor height or even bed type. It would be great if he could indicate that in his preferences or at reservation.
    At check-in, I never use the kiosks, because I just have a sneaking suspicion a human will take care of me better. For instance, when I return to a property I haven't stayed at in months, I like the "Welcome back!" and the "we replaced the White Ginger amenity in your room with Quince/Bergamot."

    Also do not like the dedicated GP line -- I think they're nice in theory, but should only be put in force during times of extraordinary demand. I dislike feeling I am jumping the queue ahead of equally tired travelers, especially if the non-GP line is very busy. Also, most of the time, the person behind the sign takes the next in line anyway. (Perhaps I am too shy about pushing forward, but I bet lots of folks are.) I think it's more effective for the FD personnel to handle each check-in in turn. OTOH, I would really love such a line and treatment when the line is crazy long.

    I'd also like consistency in understanding what Diamond Breakfast is provided, right when I check in. Not saying each property has to offer the same thing -- just that it needs to be clear at check-in what is provided and how. (ie "I am sorry, but our lounge is closed this weekend. In lieu of lounge access, we are giving you breakfast coupons for you and your guest. Each one entitles you to the buffet or the equivalent amount ($18) in credit towards anything on the menu. Gratuity of 18% is also provided by us to the server. If you would like to leave an additional gratuity, it can be charged to your room or paid in cash at breakfast." The breakfast in the absence of lounge access is one of the main reasons I stay loyal to Hyatt, but I don't want to stiff the wait staff or get a surprise charge at check-out.
     
  8. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I like the idea of having some type of bar code on the reservation which can be scanned at check-in and make the process much quicker. I also would like for a hard copy of the bill to be left under door before check-out rather than having to go to the desk and physically check-out to receive one.
     
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  9. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    I like human interaction at check-in and check-out, and generally need a zero balance bill anyway so slipping it under the door doesn't do it for me -- I don't mind being able to check the bill on the TV although all too often it is not accurate on the TV.
     
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  10. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I think the ideas already mentioned about utilizing some type of wireless solution to simplify checkin would be convenient. Also pretty amazing to be interactive re: preferences, upgrades, choosing amenities.

    As much as I enjoy the front desk checkin interaction, I think being able to customize my stay before checkin or as I checkin would be pretty amazing.

    I'm thinking of for example- I am in San Francisco on business and as always, am hopping directly from plane to rental car to meetings. Knowing checkin is at 3pm, and staring down another 2 hour meeting that starts at 4pm followed by a dinner...I could checkin online, getting my room "key" emailed to me, and having the ability to elect from choices that might include a room amenity or upgrade would be amazing. Then when I do get to the hotel at 845pm tired, I can go directly to the room and relax, maybe even with the beverage of choice I ordered at checkin already in the room fridge or whatever.

    This also would be a sweet way to redeem points based on room inventory. As you checkin online through your smart phone, options are pushed to you based on availabiliy or seasonal promotions everything from food to entertainment to room upgrades to complimentary whatever.

    Personally when I have time I enjoy a good desk check in as much as anyone. But majority of the time on business I am harried/hurried and I would love to engage the property electronically at my convenience?

    These are ideas off the top of my head but I like this general category of thinking.

    Welcome to milepoint and thanks for asking for input!
     
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  11. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Welcome, Corinne! We're thrilled to have you here, and equally thrilled to provide our feedback.

    No question for me that some sort of ability to use a smart phone or my Hyatt Diamond card to access my room is awesome.

    Also, as an alternative to the GP-only line (or augmentation), some sort of electronic communication between valet and the front desk so that the GP desk agent could walk around the desk with my keys on the way in.

    I'm able to get a copy of my bill e-mailed to me if I use the check-out e-mails I receive. Not sure how I was opted in to those.
     
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  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    1. Keep our Hyatt Visa info on file, don't make us present the card
    2. If we arrive by hotel car, know who we are
    3. At Park Hyatts and at the 'good' Grand Hyatt properties, in-room checkin
    4. Why do we need checkin formalities at all? In jurisdictions where it's required to copy ID, ok. But otherwise, we show our membership card or ID and are given keys, done.

    Thanks for asking! :)
     
  13. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Following up on this, whenever I stay at properties the first time, I do find that a lot of time is spent covering Diamond benefits as it relates to breakfast, lounge accesss and internet access. It would be nice if Hyatt designed a template that could be used for the individual property to e-mail the guest 24 hours before arrival covering the Diamond amenities and including a phone number for a contact person should there be any questions. This could result in a significant amount of time saved at check-in as the guest would only need to ask follow-up questions related to their stay instead of covering the basics.

    As to the kiosks, I have taken airline miles on some stays in the past, though not this year. Is there a way to store a frequent flyer profile with account numbers for use with the kiosks? I know on check-in with a live person they do seem to have access to my AA or UA account numbers from past stays, but this doesn't seem to make it over to the kiosks unless there has been a recent change.
     
  14. Open Fly
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    Open Fly Silver Member

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    An online check in would be very beneficial.
     
  15. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    One of the biggest complaints I have is in discovering what my diamond benefits are at a property. I'm in Bali now, and I had a great welcome letter at the Hyatt. Nothing at the GH, though. Since benefits can vary widely (free laundry, discounts, where you can eat breakfast), it's important to know at the beginning of your stay.
     
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  16. MrAOK
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    MrAOK Silver Member

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    I've had problems with the check in machines at the hotels failing to recognize preferences and giving me a worse room than I'd get by talking to people.

    So my Hyatt profile says I want a high floor, but the machine gives me a low floor. Or the machine gives me a mediocre room, while the desk person recognizes my Platinum status and gives me something nicer. The machines seem to be fine for checkout but I shy away from them for checking in.
     
  17. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    To restate some of the above:
    1. If the elite line has a sign, staff if and make sure that elites are checked in next
    2. I prefer the kiosk but then my options are much more limited. If I speak to an agent, any concerns about rooms, connecting doors, proximity to the elevator, etc can be addressed at the same time.
    3. Agents that know what Hyatt's Diamond benefits are; that know the Diamond benefits specific to that hotel; that know enough to announce the benefits at check in [eg. PH PVG where I am having an ongoing email exchange with one of the mangers related to an April stay where there was a failure to provide Daimond benefits. Indeed, I only found out about some of the benefits via the email exchanges with the manager - no way for a high end property to operate]
    4. Diamond amenity points never appear after using the kiosk at check in. While not a major concern, a recurring annoyance that takes time out of my day to call Hyatt [and costs Hyatt money by having an agent deal with the issue]
    5. I like the smart phone options listed above. Inventory/seasonal/status based options - please not nor1 type - would be nice to have.

    Thanks for stopping in -
     
  18. Corinne - Hyatt Corporate

    Corinne - Hyatt Corporate Active Member

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    Great suggestions, everyone, please keep them coming! And thank you kindly for the warm welcome! I am glad to be here. :)
     
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  19. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Hi Corinne.

    My biggest comment regarding check in is more of a general service issue than a new process. If an employee is behind the counter, they should be working to check someone in. Not standing around while there is only one person working the desk. This also goes for people ducking into a back room.

    I don't mind having to wait if I have to deal with a person to check in if I feel it is being handled. But to feel staff are either lazy or those in line are somehow less important to anything they're doing, leaves a very bad feeling at the start of a stay.

    To this effect, a kiosk that allows me to skip right through is ideal. If I have questions I will find a way to get them answered.
     
  20. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    A few people have mentioned the desire to be able to pre-select an upgrade ahead of time. I don't think upgrades should be available for pre-selection. In my opinion, who gets upgraded and to what type of room should remain under the control of the hotel, not the guest.
     
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  21. Corinne - Hyatt Corporate

    Corinne - Hyatt Corporate Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been reading through all of your suggestions and wanted to try and summarize some of the common themes. Let me know if you are in agreement with the summary and keep me honest by calling out what I may be missing!

    · Priority line is always staffed with knowledgeable, courteous employees, and it is easily distinguishable
    · Ability to check-in online
    · Desire for some sort of a mobile app, to either use as a room key, gather check-in information ahead of time, or request rooms/upgrades/amenities
    · GP card as room key
    · Store guest details/ preferences in order of priority and credit card information
    · Quick, no fuss check-in – show ID, get key card and go
    · Email location specific details in advance
    · Know room location within hotel in advance
     
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  22. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I use self check in with some regularity.

    But when I do I typically must go to the desk to complete the check in by getting diamond breakfast vouchers, amenity cards, etc. Can't this be automated, with vouchers printed out, amenities requested at the self check in, etc.?
     
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  23. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Thanks for seeking feedback of Hyatt members here we appreciate your seeking our ideas and suggestions.
     
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  24. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    I know it is not feasible to adopt this practice in most Hyatts, but I would really like if Diamonds are able to do in-room check-in.

    Like in GH Singapore, there is always a staff that will greet you upon arrival, check your name off his/her list, and once you're identified as Diamonds, they will bring you to your room where your folio and keys are waiting. All you need to do is sign the folio and the staff will verify your credit card details, a simple process that takes less than a minute. And because you're bypassing the front desk, you'll be in your room within five minutes of arrival.

    Other than that, I would also like to see Elite lines that are actually staffed and are actually serving Elite customers.
     
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  25. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP.

    You should contact MP to get designation as an Official Representative on MP. (If you wish, you can also have a MP account for your personal use.)
     
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