How to set up a check-in kiosk
Whether you manage a movie theatre, host events and conferences or run a five-star resort, cutting the queue and expediting check-in is one way of improving that all-important customer experience.
Meanwhile, establishing a self-service check-in is a lot easier than many would have you believe, involving just a small investment in a mobile tablet, software and a stand.
If you’ve ever wondered how you might go about setting up a self-service check-in, here’s how to set up a check-in kiosk.
The benefits of check-in kiosks
Simple to set-up and affordable to implement, check-in kiosks have a wealth of benefits.
They allow a venue to slash time that guests would otherwise spend in a service queue, free up staff to handle more complex inquiries, cater to customers with a self-service preference and also help establish a professional ambience were the focus is customer experience
In industries where time is of the essence, such as airports, all these benefits are seeing a rapid rise in self-check-in technology.
Meanwhile the uses of check-in kiosks extend far beyond a single sector, with iPad kiosks and tablet check-in now popping up everywhere from hotels to events.
So, what are the essential ingredients involved in a simple check-in set up?
A kiosk check-in is incredibly simple to establish courtesy of mobile technology like tablets and connected hardware like receipt printers.
With these in hand, it’s then about selecting a tablet stand to house and protect the device, and software that meets your check-in needs.
So, let’s take a quick walk through.
Choosing a tablet
When selecting the right tablet, the first thing to consider is which operating system you’d prefer. And in many ways, this goes hand in hand with software selection.
Some check-in apps may only be available for iPads, while others may have Android, and/or Windows versions.
If an app is available for all of the above, then operating ease of use becomes the priority. For example, iPads are the best-selling tablet brand in the world, meaning most people are probably acquainted with the iOS (now iPad OS) operating system and an iPad check-in kiosk will be your preference.
For a check-in, the size of the tablet matters. Too small and it becomes fiddly to operate, too large and it looks too imposing. That means the 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch and perhaps even slightly larger is probably about the sweet spot.
Then you also need to consider your table’s storage capacity and processing power. While top of the line may not be necessary, you will need enough storage to accommodate your intended app and standard software, and you will need enough processing power for the system to run smoothly.
These days there’s a host of ‘out of the box’ software options available for check-in purposes, along with more tailored options that might be better suited to your industry or specific brand.
Selecting the right one comes down to your industry and the features your business needs.
Features to look out for include:
• Ability to scan ticket or reservation barcodes
• Ability to print passes, badges, receipts or room information
• Advance check-in
• Guest data syncing
• Automated mailing lists
• VIP notifications, and
• Payment processing (if required)
In addition to your tablet and software, chances are some further hardware might be required. This might include a receipt or badge printer, card readers, and perhaps a barcode scanner.
Most of this hardware can be connected wirelessly to your tablet using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, while the app you use might offer some suggestions as to the best hardware to suit your requirements.
Selecting the right stand
A tablet does not operate in isolation as a kiosk. It will need a stand to support and secure it. Selecting the right stand involves considering where your kiosk will be positioned.
Would a wall mount near the entrance of your facility suit best? Would the check-in be best positioned on a countertop near reception, or would a freestanding display near an entrance best entice customer to utilise a self-service check-in?
Whatever style you believe suits your operation best, we have a tablet stand or iPad stand to suit. iPad kiosk stands and tablet stands are available to suit a wide range of device models and sizes, and come in options such as wall-mounted, counter-top mounted or freestanding.
The final word
Gone are the days where a check-in kiosk required the use of proprietary software and purpose-built hardware. Courtesy of tablet technology and stands, a kiosk can be established quickly at pretty much any location, with a price tag to suit every business budget.