Self Serve


Here's yet another fine hotel company falling victim to the "technology makes everything better" bug.

Fairmont is installing self-serve check-in kiosks in their hotels. Here's the link to the full story, and here's why they claim to be doing it:

Jeff Senior, Fairmont's senior vice president of sales & marketing believes the new kiosks are another symbol of the brand's promise of personalization. "We're fully committed to welcoming all of our guests in the manner which they prefer, and are driven to developing processes and products that make it easy for our customers to do business with us. By enhancing the arrival experience in its entirety, we are completely reinventing this process and putting control in the hands of our guests."

Fairmont operates some very nice hotels, priding themselves on personalized service and world class facilities. So, why would they dilute their message this way? Why would they risk the trust they have with their customers?

There's nothing about a check-in kiosk that "enhances" the arrival experience, makes it more "personal" or "easier", unless you're a robot. And, I'm willing to bet, it's not what guests "want" either.

This move has nothing to do with guests, and everything to do with operator convenience and the bottom line. And, that's a bad approach in the hospitality any business.

Mr. Senior, I think most of us would prefer a friendly gretting and a handshake when we get to the front door.

You can read more about my thoughts on kiosks here and here.