Online Check-In - New Version
We have developed a completely new app for Self Check-In of guests. Our main goal has been to create an app that will significantly increase the conversion rate of this operation and will become the main method of guest check-in. Our new app is very straightforward and the check-in process itself - very quick.
We believe that this way more and more guests will self check in saving both your and their time at the reception, while your reputation of a modern and guest-oriented hotel will only grow. It goes without saying that such a decision is in unison with the safe distance policy brought about by the Covid crisis.
Our new ‘ID Processor’ service plays the main role for the quick guest registration. It enables the system to automatically retrieve the necessary registration information from a passport image using state-of-the-art specialised OCR technology. You can find more info about our new service below.
The new app is based on the ‘Mobile first’ approach providing the greatest extent of smooth operation on the smartphone or tablet of the guest. Statistics show this will be the main way guests will use the new feature. Of course, it can also be used on every PC.
Last but not least, the new app follows our new visual concept. We believe that the clear design will both impress users and help them focus on the process.
How it works
The online check-in can takes a few steps:
- Welcome. The welcome screen greets the guest and shows brief info of the booking.
- Registration. The user is prompted to take a shot of their identity document using their smartphone. Depending on the document, one or two images (front and back) of the document.
- Credit card. The system requires the entry of credit card details or offers a possibility to change them, if already entered. If the booking is confirmed through a virtual credit card and the channel manager has identified as such, it will not appear at this step. In this case, the entry of the details of a credit card belonging to the guest will explicitly be required.
- Consent to the terms and signature. At this step, the guest is shown the hotel’s policy, as well as the guarantee policy. The guest needs to consent to the terms and sign.
The system may be set to require the registration of the main guest only or all adults. If the system is set to require the registration of all adults, there will be two additional buttons at the last step:
- Register on this device. The steps will be repeated for the second and each next guest, as the credit card step will be omitted.
- How to register on a different device. It shows instructions on how to forward the original link, as well as provides a possibility for copying the check-in link and its forwarding to another guest.
The system will require you to have a Payment Autopilot plug-in and connection to the new providers: Elavon, SIX Payment or Stripe.
How will guests get the online check-in link?
We have added a new 'Online Check-In' liquid parameter. You can use it to add a link to the guest mailer templates. To the template visual builder, we have also added a new module - a ready-to-use button that can be dragged and dropped to your template.
You can set the system to reflect your own marketing style. You can choose between light and dark theme, set a brand colour for the important buttons and elements, as well as to make the controls and buttons rounded. To make your brand stand out, we have added a special ‘Splash’ page to welcome users. It appears for a short time, as you can set its background colour, logo or another image.
Each good design needs visually attractive elements. We provided an option for header pictures for each page, so that they can be both branded and visually attractive. For the Welcome page, the image is used as a background for the whole screen, and for the rest of the pages - as a header.
Use the settings screen to play with the new options. The live preview (in the right part of the screen) will help you choose the best style that best matches your needs and see how it will look like in the system. To set the system, go to the navigation and select 'Web' - 'Online Check-In Settings'
Our new "ID Processor" service processes guest documents, retrieves the necessary info from them and completes the respective fields in registration cards. All of that is done automatically within 20 seconds. We have used an advanced OCR technology recognising documents from over 200 countries, retrieving the necessary info and checking the document validity. In contrast to the well-known scanners only recognising the MRZ lines of documents, our technology recognises all info found in the document. Furthermore, the "ID Processor" retrieves the picture of the guest from the document, as well as their signature in case you would like to compare it to the signature from the registration card or see how the guest looks.
For us, security is of utmost importance! Images of the document, guest and signature are kept in a secure storage in compliance with our strict policy of safekeeping of photo IDs. The images are destroyed within 3 months of the booking checkout. Clock guarantees that no other copies of these images are kept anywhere in the system. For those of you, whose local legislation does not allow the storage of photo IDs, we will very soon add a new option for processing documents without saving images.
Please contact the Sales Department, if you wish to participate in the free trial of our new system. The number of demo accounts is limited.
Guest Level Rates - Improvements
To be able to fully take advantage of the new guest level rates, we have made two changes to enable their wider application.
Package elements accounting for children age
To package elements, we have added a new setting to let you determine the children age the given element apply to. If the element is for children, you can fill in the following fields:
- Children age from - to. The element will be charged, only if the children age matches the set range.
- Default children age. In this field, set the default value for the children age, if it is not explicitly entered in the booking.
Here is an example of set meals in a package:
- Breakfast EUR 5.0, for an adult.
- Breakfast EUR 2.5, for children aged from 6 to 12, default children age 12.
- Breakfast EUR 0, for children aged from 0 to 5, default children age 12.
If you have a booking for 1 adult and 2 children at the age of 3 and 10, there will be breakfast charged for EUR 5.0, 2.5 and 0. If for the same booking, there are no children ages entered, 2 x Breakfast EUR 2.5 will be charged for the two children. The Breakfast EUR 0 charge won’t be applied in this case, with a missing children age, the system will use the default children age of 12 which is beyond the 0-5 age range for Breakfast EUR 0..
Guest Level Rates and the Redesigned Connection to SiteMider and Integrations Based on OTA Standard API
We have redesigned the connection to SiteMider and integrations, based on OTA Standard API, so that the guest level rates can be used. This way, you can map all levels (e.g. Single, Double, 2 adults and a child, etc.) of one guest level rate in Clock PMS+ to several rates in the respective connected distribution system and decrease the number of rates. As a result, the management of rates and revenue in Clock PMS+ will significantly be streamlined and eased, as you will need much fewer rates to efficiently manage prices and encompass all possible combinations in Clock PMS+ regarding one, two or more guests in a given room type, for example.
To map one Clock PMS+ rate to several rates in SiteMinder, you need to enter in the rate mapping with how many adults and children the guest level rate is to be calculated.
Stripe - New Payment Service Provider
Stripe is the new service provider added to the Payments Autopilot service. Through Stripe, we support the already standard services like payment, tokenization, pre-authorization, release, capture and refund. Apart from the credit card operations, you can use Stripe for alternative payment methods. See the Stripe website for more info about the supported alternative payment methods.
Here are a few peculiarities:
- With the standard tokenization, Stripe doesn’t check the card validity through a request to the issuing bank. If this functionality is not enough for you, we are working on an option for setting the system to make a pre-authorization for a certain small amount (e.g. 0.5 USD) with each tokenization. This operation will actually check the card validity. This setting is coming very soon.
- We don’t support connection to the POS terminals of Stripe. Of course, you can still use them as standalone devices without a connection to the system.
- With refunds, the following case scenario is possible. Initially, Stripes confirms the refund and a negative payment is posted to the folio. Later, however, in rare cases, it is possible to find out that the refund is not possible. Immediately upon the receipt of the notification of the failed transaction, a To-Do in the booking will be generated to this end to let you decide how to proceed.
Clock PMS+ guest data can now be synchronized with your MailChimp audiences, so you can use its capabilities to their full extent and maximize the results of your marketing campaigns and promotions.
- Go to Settings > All settings > MailChimp Settings and click Authorize to log in to your existing MailChimp account or create a new one and authorize Clock PMS+ to access it. Click Continue once ready;
- Once your MailChimp account is connected, you need to configure each MailChimp audience you wish you to use by selecting 'Create config';
- Map the respective Clock PMS+ field to each field of the MailChimp audience you wish to update and Click 'Create' when ready.
Export contacts to MailChimp
Once the interface is configured, you can start synchronizing your mailing lists* with the configured MailChimp audiences.
- Go to Other Functionalities > Mailing lists option and open the Mailing list you wish to synchronize;
- Select one of the configured audiences from the MailChimp dropdown menu (in the right upper corner of the screen);
- After the process is completed, you will see the MailChimp Export statistics (added, updated, duplicated, invalid, etc.);
The below specifics will help you to understand better how the integration works, so that you can get the most out of it.
- Please note that due to the fact the city, state and zip parts of the address are required by MailChimp, the address will not be exported / updated to MailChimp, if the mapped Clock PMS + guest fields are empty during the synchronization of the contacts ;
- An email address is required for every contact in MailChimp, as the contacts from the mailing list without an email address will not be synchronized with MailChimp. They will be shown as invalid guests on the export statistics screen;
- The email address is used for contact identification in MailChimp, so if a given email address exists more than once in the mailing list, only the first guest profile with the given email address will be exported to MailChimp. You will see the profiles which have been skipped due to email duplication on the export statistics screen, so you can edit the list and remove the duplications and export it again;
- To enhance the usability of the interface and bring more flexibility, Clock PMS+ mailing list is added as a tag to the contact in the audience. By having that tag, you can easily use a single MailChimp audience to accommodate all mailing lists and quickly target them separately by using the tags in the campaigns.
- If a guest profile is removed from the mailing list, with the next MailChimp export the tag along with the mailing list name will be removed from the contact in MailChimp, however the contact will not be deleted from MailChimp;
- If the contact gets unsubscribed in MailChimp, it will still get updated with the export of the data except for its tag, as it is prohibited by MailChimp. You will be notified through a message like the one bellow: "Some of the emails provided were not tagged. Check the MailChimp marketing subscription statuses."
- In the tax section of the folio printout, we have removed the currency to make the table more compact.
- Transfer Report - we have added time of arrival and departure.
- Now with the transfer of charges from the POS, the quantities and unit prices of the charges are also transferred. This way, the information in the client’s folio is much clearer and more precise.
- City Tax - its base may also include revenue categories selected by the user. If you wish, you can set the City Tax to be calculated based on the breakfasts or other parts of the package. The City Tax used to be calculated based on the Rooms and Packages revenue groups. Now apart from these groups, you can add other revenue categories to be used for the City Tax calculation. In practice, this change applies to percent-based city tax. Please note that the already posted charges will preserve the revenue categories with which they were created. If you wish for this change to impact the already created bookings, you will need to recalculate them.
- API - A new endpoint for convenient search for bookings in the hotel.
- IDeaS - The booking and block export mechanism has been updated in order to export the updated booking or block in case of marketing channel / segment / source change.
- MarketMan - The sales export functionality is improved and optimised and the sale interval is based on the time of the first and last charge for the given date. Unfortunately, this is recognized as a separate summary sale report by MarketMan and you should revise the summary sales reports for the system update date and two days prior to the update date and contact your MarketMan customer service manager with the request to delete the older of the duplicated Sales Summary report for each date when a duplication exists.
- For the old photo ID upload feature, we have restored the option to upload photos from a file, too.
- The City Tax settings screen didn’t save, if there was no revenue category set.
- We have removed the option for duplicating payments during a transfer due to the multiple pressing of the Transfer button.
- The changes to the guest’s first name didn’t save.