Hotels go the extra mile to ensure their guests have a memorable stay, but checking in can often be a chore for guests. Imagine how much time you will save if you can pre-register and pay for your accommodations before setting foot at the hotel.
This is exactly the solution that Hong Kong-based software and robotics company Blue Pin came up with to cut long waiting times during check-in.
Blue Pin automates manual processes in hotels, exhibition centers, shopping malls, and other venues.
As the solution provider by a well-known five-star hotel in Hong Kong, Blue Pin developed a self-service solution where guests can check in and check out of their rooms only by interacting with a robot in a few minutes.
Besides their smart hotel solution, Blue Pin needed to enable the hotel to communicate with their guests and send them timely and relevant messages about their accommodations via their preferred channel.
“The whole smart hotel solution will involve automation and digitisation. Traditionally, a hotel will communicate with guests via voice calls or email, but this is ineffective. So, we introduced communicating with hotel guests through WhatsApp. This is important because WhatsApp is the personal communication channel nowadays, especially in Hong Kong,” said Blue Pin CEO and Founder Gary Leung.
Stability and reliability are very important to fulfill our customers’ requirements. Once we started our business, we did not shop around because we knew Twilio was a reliable partner. That enabled us to start our development from day one. It is straightforward for us. We can do anything with Twilio regarding instant messaging communication with our system.
Nobody likes staying in the lobby, waiting their turn to check in at the hotel.
With Blue Pin, guests can complete a pre-arrival registration, including entering personal information and making a payment before coming to the hotel. They will then receive a check-in QR code that they will present to a robot in the lobby, which will ask for their documents and signature and give them their room key.
Guests can complete check-in in five minutes instead of the average eight to ten minutes of speaking with the front desk staff. This solution helps improve customer experience and solves the shortage in staffing.
Throughout this registration process and the duration of the guest’s stay, the hotel communicates with the guests via WhatsApp. Blue Pin selected Twilio’s WhatsApp API to enable the hotel to send targeted messages to their guests depending on their behavior, preferences, and previous purchases. These personalised messages include upsells and cross-sells of hotel services, such as candlelit dinners for two, romantic movies, and other room services.
After their stay, guests continue to receive personalised messages from the hotel, including promotions, discounts, and special offers.
Blue Pin is also developing a solution allowing guests to request in-room services, like housekeeping, via WhatsApp to expand the hotel’s personalised services.
Twilio makes it possible for us to develop anything and provides a very stable platform for us to communicate between the hotel system and the hotel guests.
The five-star hotel using Blue Pin’s solution reported that 40% of their guests use the self-service platform to check in and out of the hotel. Having 700 guest rooms, the hotel sends at least 200 WhatsApp messages to guests for check-in and check-out alone – adding up to an estimated 6,000 WhatsApp messages per month.
Currently, Blue Pin’s smart hotel solution is deployed in Australia, where guests prefer SMS instead of WhatsApp. In this case, Blue Pin uses Twilio’s SMS API to send guests check-in and check-out notifications and other personalised messages.
Additionally, the company is deploying its solution at another hotel in Singapore. One of their potential customers is also a casino looking to use their solution to attract customers and provide them convenience and a better experience.
What does the future look like for Blue Pin?
Blue Pin plans to improve their robot technology to provide better service to hotel guests and expand their solution to cover other industries, like food and beverage.
They are also planning to tap into shopping malls, providing technology for customers during the payment process. Along with this, Blue Pin will continue to rely on Twilio’s WhatsApp API to enable shopping malls to send targeted messages, such as deals and membership programs.
For WhatsApp and messaging, we will continue to use Twilio to provide a stable and reliable system.