This article is also available in French, German and Spanish.
The world of hospitality faces the large challenge of recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis while preserving safety and customer experience. Looking at the many developments that have happened lately, digitization has become the center of attention for all kinds of industries, and yet many of the typical processes within the hospitality industry remain paper-based. Take a look at guest check-in and check-out forms, employee records, operating sheets, supplier invoices, sales reports, and cash receipts, for example. Today that approach has changed completely, hotels are going digital and contact-less in every aspect, and fortunately, electronic signatures can play a key role in offering the best experience to customers.
Just as easy as the clients checked in before, new technologies such as electronic signatures enable more secure scenarios, like declaring on a digital form your details, passport, and vaccination credentials and sign them, when arriving to the hotel.
Then, just like your clients checked in using an electronic biometric signature on a Tablet, they can check out using their smartphone with a remote signature and preserve social distance, and ask the staff to mail them the invoice instead of getting a hard copy on paper.
Next time tourists book their stay at a hotel they may see pioneer experiences that are spreading globally like the one developed by H10 Hotels, which has successfully completed the digitalization of its check-in processes, and its integration with its corporate information systems based on Navision, thanks to its technology partner Costaisa.
H10 Hotels has nearly 40 years of history and more than 60 hotels in 18 destinations around the world, and has installed up to 73 tablet devices for its customers in the Caribbean and Europe, using VIDsigner eSignature’s technology.
The influence of the pandemic on the Spanish hospitality industry has been explored in depth. Moreover, the response and recovery strategies of the largest Spanish hotel chains to guarantee a COVID-19-free stay in their facilities and to recover the accommodation activity have been discussed on many European levels. In Spain, as published by law (BOE) this year and to reinforce security against COVID-19, the government updated hotel check-in to allow digital means. Check-in forms can now be completed in electronic format, allowing for more efficient management of log books.
The future of technology for hospitality
More and more hotels are relying on technology to position their services in the market. As consumers value this in every aspect of our lives, it is vital to offer services that are tailored to their needs and preferences. Using a check in or a check out with biometric signature on Tablet or remote signature with a smartphone means not only offering extra value to the brand and cutting inefficient costs, but also facilitating the registration of guests, allowing an automatic process that captures the information and streams the communication with the users and the authorities.
As the vaccination process rolls out for part of the world, and tourism starts to reopen, the relationship between the front-desk employees and the tourist will become more and more digital. In addition, many destinations will require proof of vaccination to allow some travellers to skip COVID-19 tests and lengthy quarantines. And this proof for some countries may come in the form of a vaccine passport, as it is the case for the European Union.
In terms of safety and legal security, an electronic signature becomes a smooth tool for employees and management who are genuinely concerned about safety, and enhances the chances on how organizations would maintain the compliance with COVID-19 safety rules and procedures to protect workers from being infected and stop possible transmission during service encounters.