Safety and hygiene have never been more important, particularly in the hospitality industry. Whether you’re running a hotel, a hostel, a vacation rental or any other kind of property, you have a responsibility to consider the health of guests and staff.

The good news is that you’re already with a PMS that’s able to ensure safer stays by encouraging a contact-free experience. By embracing automation, you can reduce and even completely eliminate the need for physical touchpoints between guests and staff, helping to minimize the risk of transmission. So how do you do it?

This guide will walk you through the steps you can take to go contact free and Covid-proof, from before guests arrive until their stay is over.

As with most things, preparation is key. Set up contact-free processes and improve your guest communications from the beginning, and your guests will feel reassured before they even arrive.

Pre-Arrival

  1. Review your website (Guests want to know what you’re doing to keep them safe. Be clear about any improved housekeeping standards and contact-free protocols etc.)

  2. Review your parking options, as applicable (You may get more guests visiting by car, so let them know on your website what the options are. You can integrate with modern parking solutions that are fully automated and don’t require any forms to be signed or in-person interactions. )

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3. Update Space Types with new features or practices (This is a good opportunity to highlight increased hygiene standards. For example, if you’re including hand sanitizer in each room, upload a new picture.

Arrival

Arrival is one of the most crucial points of the guest journey. Most properties require guests to enter via the reception area, where queues and crowding can be common, and check-in is one of the moments where guests and staff are likely to interact in close proximity.

Diversify the ways for guests to check-in and you’ll reduce queueing, creating a safer environment. This is your only chance to make a good first impression, so be sure to take the opportunity to assure guests that they’re in safe hands.

  1. Set Up a Mews Kiosk (For guests who haven’t used online check-in, a Mews Kiosk lets guests self check-in on arrival, which is faster and safer than traditional check-in. Don’t forget to clean the device regularly and place hand sanitizer or wipes nearby for guests to use.)

2. Connect an integrated door lock solution ( When guests use their phone as their room key, there’s no need for any additional physical touchpoints like key handover. If this isn’t an option, let guests encode their key during check-in via a kiosk. )

3. Set Up Mews Terminal ( A fully integrated Mews Terminal allows you to initiate payments in a single click, meaning that if a guest needs to pay for something in-property, they can do so quickly and contactless.)

Stay

One of the trickiest aspects of the new normal is balancing increased hygiene and safety measures with the need to be welcoming and hospitable. Your two allies in this fight are automation and communication.

Automation isn’t only about offsetting human contact – it’s also about making your guests’ stay more seamless and comfortable. And if you combine automation with clear and friendly communication, you’re certain to give guests and staff peace of mind.

  1. Download our free housekeeping app (Rooms can be digitally assigned via the Mews platform, and housekeeping staff can use the mobile app to see when rooms are empty. Staff no longer need to knock on doors, reducing the chance of person-to-person contact)

2. Set allocation strategy to ‘Random’ ( Doing so will ensure the even spread of reservations across your rooms, reducing the chances of guests meeting in corridors etc. )

3. Encourage direct guest messaging ( Real-time messaging through Mews is a great way for your guests to talk to your front desk, as it means they don’t need to walk to reception and risk contact with staff and other guests. You should have included messaging links in your emails, but leave a reminder in their room that they can contact you digitally)

Departure

The final step in a contact-free experience, it’s important to maintain all the good work you’ve already put in during your guests’ stay. It’s particularly critical to have a safe, contact-free check-out process as well.

  1. Set up and enable automatic online check-out (Minimize person-to-person contact by letting guests check-out on their own devices from the comfort of their room. Enable this option to trigger an automated guest email on the day prior to departure, through which guests can settle bills and choose their check-out time.)

2. Update ‘post-stay’ email ( When a guest checks out, that doesn’t need to be the end of your relationship. An automated post-stay email can be a powerful tool for engagement – for example, you could ask guests to leave a review that highlights your enhanced safety and contact-free features, which will help to convince future guests to stay with you.)

3. Encourage direct guest messaging ( Real-time messaging through Mews is a great way for your guests to talk to your front desk, as it means they don’t need to walk to reception and risk contact with staff and other guests. You should have included messaging links in your emails, but leave a reminder in their room that they can contact you digitally)

FINAL CHECKLIST

During-Reservation

  • Add new services in the booking engine, for example an airport taxi service ( It’s safer and faster for your guests, as they don’t have to queue at the airport or use public transport.)

  • Amend existing services in the booking engine, for example F&B ( Make sure you amend or remove any items that you no longer offer. Breakfast buffets carry a higher risk of contamination, because of uncovered food and the proximity of others. If you can, add a product in the booking engine for a contact-free breakfast, delivered to the guest’s door.)

  • Switch on payment automation for bookings (This can be set up for channel managers or our booking engine, meaning once the guest makes a reservation their card is automatically charged, so they won’t need to queue to pay at your property.)

Post-Reservation

  • Let guests perform a 100% digital online check-in (You don’t have to do anything for this one, as every confirmation email comes with an automated online check-in link. This now includes a digital signature for guests, automatically creating a registration card in the system, eliminating the need for any signing or paper handover upon arrival.)

  • Customize confirmation email (Use this opportunity to reassure guests by telling them of any social distancing policies you have in place, and inform them of any local guidelines, such as face masks.)

  • Ensure that the ‘Chat with us’ button is in all emails (Nowadays, guests are more likely to have questions, so make it easy to ask them.)

  • Customize the ‘Before start’ email (sent 48 hours before arrival) to highlight the importance of online check-in ( This is a vital guest communication where you can include the option to check-in online, removing any unnecessary contact on arrival.)

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