Checking in should be one of the most exciting parts of an activity or event for a guest. After all, their experience is about to begin!
But the check-in process is often long, confusing, and stressful for both you and your guests. With paperwork to fill out, information to gather, and potentially a lot of waiting around and getting behind schedule, the process can be anything but smooth.
That’s where booking platforms like Checkfront can help. Our tools make the entire check-in process quicker and easier for everyone involved.
Why is a streamlined check-in process important?
Improving any part of your business is useful, but focusing on the check-in process has endless benefits.
With a more streamlined guest check-in process, you can:
- Focus on providing excellent customer service with most of the admin already handled by a booking platform,
- Get all the information you need from guests upfront, so you spend less time finding pens, clipboards, and handing around paperwork on the day,
- Get important to-dos — like getting waivers signed — completed ahead of time, so they won’t be accidentally missed if your office is busy,
- Free up space in your office for walk-in bookings or even fit in extra bookings each day,
- Stop worrying when guests don’t turn up 15 minutes before their experience begins, as checking them in takes much less time, meaning you’re less likely to fall behind schedule,
- Give guests a great first impression (hello, positive reviews!)
Here’s how booking platforms like Checkfront can improve the check-in process for your tour, activity, or rental business.
1. Automatic notifications give guests the info they need
It takes a long time to manually send guests notifications, but it’s an important task to do.
You want to give guests all the information they need before they turn up, like: directions, when to arrive, and what to bring to their experience. Not only will guests feel fully prepared, this will reduce calls and emails with questions you need to respond to.
Plus, you want to reduce the likelihood of last-minute cancellations and no-shows with helpful reminder messages.
Online booking tools like Checkfront make this task automatic.
You can choose whether you get in touch with guests via email or SMS and even how far in advance you send a message.
For example, you can send guests an automatic message after they’ve booked with all the information they need and the forms they need to fill out. Then, you can send another automatic message the day before their event to remind them of the time of the booking.
In Checkfront, SMS messages are integrated with Twilio, a customer engagement platform you can use to send notifications right to guests’ phones.
As well as automating messages to send at a scheduled time, you can set up dynamic SMS variables. Details from the booking — such as the customer’s name, unique booking ID, and the booking start time and date — can be automatically filled out in the message.
With automated messages, guests should turn up knowing everything they need to know about their experience, making check-in much smoother. If you’re new to setting up notifications, free resources like this one can be a helpful starting point.
2. Customizable booking forms speed up info gathering
Depending on your business, you may need to get information from guests before they arrive. This could include dietary requirements, accommodation preferences, or sizes for rental equipment, for example.
Getting this information upfront means you can cut down the amount of preparation you need to do when guests arrive. But just like with email notifications, sending out manual requests for this information can be tedious.
A good event booking platform should offer customizable booking forms. With Checkfront, you can create booking forms that ask all the right questions to suit your business’s needs.
For example, your form may ask guests if they have any dietary requirements and offer a yes or no answer for them to tick. If they select “yes,” a further answer box can then appear asking them to provide more information.
As well as getting all the information you need from guests upfront, you can provide them with details about the tour or activity in your booking form. This could include safety rules or your cancellation and refund policies. You can then ask guests to confirm they’ve read and understood these terms.
Doing all this at the booking stage means you and your guests will have fewer things to worry about come check-in time.
3. Guest forms collect everyone’s details
Sometimes you need to gather information from multiple guests in a single booking. This is where customizable guest forms come in handy.
Just like with booking forms, you can choose exactly what information you ask guests for, depending on what experience you’re providing.
In Checkfront’s Daily Manifest, your guides, drivers, cooks, or any other staff who need it can view all of this information.
With Checkfront, the primary booker can book your experience as usual. Then, after paying, they can enter each guest’s email address or share the link to your guest form, allowing each person to fill it out individually.
Now, with everyone’s contact details, you can send every guest — not just the primary booker — a thank-you message or reminder notifications, and include them in your email marketing once the experience is done.
Getting all this information ahead of time means you can save precious check-in minutes by not having to pass around individual forms and round up big groups.
4. Digital waivers protect you ahead of time
No matter how many safety procedures you have in place, things can always go wrong. And that’s when you need a waiver to protect you, your staff, and your business.
But getting guests to sign waivers at check-in is an extra to-do list item for both them and your staff. Not to mention, keeping paper waivers organized is an administrative nightmare.
Make the event check-in process quicker and tick off this important to-do before guests even arrive by sending out digital waivers.
A booking platform for tours may offer medical releases, while a rental booking platform may offer damage waivers. Checkfront has digital waivers built-in for select plans and gives you the tools to build them all.
You can customize what your digital waiver includes — like asking for a date of birth, phone number, or including a section for minors — and set up different waivers depending on what activities you offer.
For example, you may need guests to sign liability forms, medical releases, consent forms, rental agreements, or damage waivers.
To get the most out of your digital waivers, you can set up automatic email or SMS notifications to prompt guests to fill them out. You can also send automatic reminders to those who don’t complete them immediately.
But of course, some guests will still forget to fill out their waiver, even with your helpful reminders. The good news is, you still don’t need to revert back to paper waivers! Set up QR codes that link guests to your digital waivers page and place these around your office.
Any guests who haven’t yet completed their waiver can easily access it on their phone and fill it in online while they’re being checked in.
A fast, efficient, and stress-free check-in process makes your staff’s lives easier and gives your guests a better experience. Booking platforms can help make it happen with features like automatic notifications, customizable booking forms, and digital waivers.
Looking for an online booking platform that does all this and more? Try Checkfront for yourself.
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