After the stagnation of lockdown and working from home, people around the world are longing to travel; to step through the doors of a chic hotel, sip cold drinks by the pool, and stare at strange skylines from cloudlike beds.
While we were still dreaming of sweet escapes, mk | hotels was getting busy. It used the enforced downtime to digitise operations and perfect its processes ready for a whole new hospitality experience. This was a smart move.Our recent studyfound that the companies that invested in digital transformation are seeing sustainable growth. In fact, 75% of these forward-looking businesses are confident in seeing growth beyond 20% this year. That’s not bad given the challenging outlook many hospitality businesses are up against at the moment (from the cost of living crisis, to rise in inflation and hiring difficulties).
We spoke to Arno Sonderfeld, Managing Director of mk | hotels about meeting guests' evolving expectations with the help of partnerships and optimised payments.
Digitising processes from booking to checkout
Payment processing isn't always at the top of your prioritisation list when you're a hotelier. But regardless of whether you run a modest boutique or a worldwide chain, there are multiple touchpoints for payments during a guests' visit: from booking online and checking in to ordering room service, enjoying the hotel bar, and checking out.
You also have to consider that payments can become complex when operating in multiple countries. There are various local regulations to consider: numerous partners, mismatched technology systems, and cultural nuances, to name but a few.
But with the right technology partners, hotel payments can be a breeze. Connect your guests' various touchpoints, and payments can become a key differentiator between you and your competition.
Reducing complexity with a single payments platform
mk | hotelsis a leading example of a successful digitisation strategy in the hospitality industry. The relatively young hotel chain already operates over ten hotels across Europe and delivers modern service and high-quality rooms in central locations.
“We want to offer our guests the most pleasant payment experience possible for their stay in the hotel - from booking online to checking in at the hotel to checking out with ease,” says Managing Director Arno Sonderfeld.
As is common in hospitality, mk | hotels relies on the expertise of specialised technology partners to ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly and guests have a relaxing, memorable stay.
“We spent a long time looking for suitable software that could interface with all of our other hospitality partners, from kiosk providers and mobile check-in solutions to our hotel management software, and we finally discovered Adyen as the right choice for us.”
Great tech partnerships for better guest experiences
Adyen’s single payments platform provides the control and flexibility needed to integrate with a wide variety of systems, all in one place. This provides the perfect foundation for mk | hotels to make the most of its expert network of partner services.
Together, these services help to support hotel staff, simplify daily processes, and increase guest satisfaction. Having digitised operations in place is especially valuable when adapting to unexpected change, such as when COVID-19-related hygiene measures and social distancing rules came into play.
Partners to make it all happen
Automated reservations with HERA
Smooth communication is crucial to a relaxing hotel stay, even before a guest arrives. This is whereHERAcomes in. The digital assistant for hotel reservation staff supports mk | hotels in responding to incoming emails. This enables the hotel chain to automatically send offers and confirm bookings with just a few clicks, and securely receive or directly charge credit cards.
Mobile check in with Code2Order
The next important point of contact during a hotel stay is check-in. In addition to check-in at the reception, mk | hotels offer guests multiple check-in options such as a mobile check-in via phone or a self-serving kiosk, all developed in-house.
Code2Orderenables guests to have a seamless experience by offering check-in and checkout via smartphone. This solution provides a fully automated check-in process in which hotel guests enter all relevant data on their devices.
Kiosk experiences with KIOSK and Abitari
In addition to mobile check-in, kiosks fromAbitariandKIOSK Embedded Systemsare available for guests to use on arrival at the hotel. Guests can easily check in and out, scan their ID, upgrade their stay, use their card for payment and receive their room key in just a few minutes.
Hotel management software with protel
A crucial piece of the hospitality puzzle is using an efficient property management system (PMS). mk | hotels trusts the expertise ofprotel, a PMS provider that supports hotels worldwide by empowering staff with smooth processes, helping them deliver a pleasant and personalized experience for guests.
"By providing technology that is easy to use, staff spend less time behind a computer and more time in person with guests getting to know them better."
Adyen and protel provide technologies to elevate the stay of every guest. Travelers can conveniently pre-authorise their payment cards when they check in, so that follow-up payments for additional services during their stay, such as room service or restaurant bills, can easily be debited from the card. In this way, guests can fully enjoy their stay without worrying about different bills, as they can pay at the end of the trip or whenever they wish.
“The instant prepayment and authorisation feature is great for hoteliers,” says de Weerd.
“Offering guests the opportunity to check their bill at any time, ask questions and settle the bill via their mobile phone contributes significantly to our overall goal of creating guest experiences that are seamless and stress-free.”
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