Front Desk

Hilton empowers guests—and itself

By the end of January, Gold and Diamond VIP members of the Hilton HHonors guest reward system will be able to use eCheck-in, spending what Hilton says will be no more than two minutes to book a room at all 2,300-plus Hilton Family Hotels. The rollout of the ambitious, cross-brand online process empowers guests, continues the shift to automation and gives Hilton a potent new customer relationship management tool.

With eCheck-in, Gold and Diamond members can check into their room in advance via a brand website, select a room with features they want and print the confirmation. Since guest information is stored within guests̢ۉ㢠online personal accounts, all the hotel has to do upon arrival is dispense key cards. Guests also can collect room key cards from available lobby kiosks.

Hilton bills eCheck-in as a convenience for the guest—which it is. But it also facilitates companywide marketing and branding: It gives Hilton information on guest needs and preferences and, through OnQ, Hiltonâ€â„¢s common technology platform, suggests targeted marketing. What Hilton takes away from it remains to be seen, but the potential is undeniable.

A smart move all around.

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