Your customers’ experience with your organization begins when they register online. As their first direct interaction with your organization outside of encountering marketing materials, your check-in process will shape your customers’ first impressions and can determine whether or not they follow through on submitting their registration form.
If your organization offers online registration for upcoming events, group reservations, or everyday attendance, you can optimize your check-in process to provide additional convenience for your staff and your guests. When leveraged correctly, your check-in process can be far more than a headcount, allowing your organization to gather key data, stay organized, and start your customers’ engagement off on the right foot.
Organizations may vary slightly in their check-in process depending on the industry. Gyms, zoos, museums, and most other organizations can all benefit from following these four tips to improve their online check-in process:
As you read through these tips, consider how you can scale these practices to meet your organization’s needs. Organizations operating from a single location will have different needs than enterprise businesses. However, the right registration tools should grow with your organization, ensuring your business maintains a streamlined check-in process.
Whether you need your customers to fill out release forms, dietary restrictions checklists, or simply their contact information, your check-in process can quickly accumulate an increasing number of required information fields.
Creating an optimized registration form is often a balancing act. While there is vital information you need to gather to check-in your guests, you also want to avoid creating an unwieldy check-in process that guests will exit before completing. You can avoid form abandonment and build a streamlined registration process for your visitors online by:
Additionally, don’t forget to optimize your online registration process for multiple devices. Guests should be able to access your registration forms on their home computers, phones, tablets, and your on-site terminals without issue. Many organizations also find it useful to provide guests with emailed barcodes they can open on their phones to scan at your organization’s entrance so they can get started without delay.
2. Invest in needs-specific software.
As mentioned, some organizations have unique requirements for their check-in process that generic registration software may not account for. Fortunately, there are a variety of business and industry-specific registration software solutions that businesses can invest in to find the right check-in process without compromising their needs.
As you browse through your options, look for needs-specific software related to key check-in processes such as:
Be sure to research your options thoroughly and investigate how industry-specific software will cater to your business. Account for other factors in your registration software, as well, such as long-term technical support, onboarding, and pricing model.
If your organization wants to inspire repeat visitors, consider setting up a membership program. Doing so will reduce data re-entry for your customers by letting them register once and receiving access to your organization for a month, year, or set number of visits. In addition, creating a membership program can also provide the following benefits to your customers and your organization:
While some businesses like gyms may default to using a dedicated membership model, other organizations can reap the same benefits, retaining customer loyalty and incentivizing return visits by offering a membership program. Conduct an internal review of your own services and determine what added benefits you can offer returning customers and how you can turn that into a membership program.
Be mindful of your guests’ registration preferences and technological limitations. Many of your guests are likely to fill out your registration forms from their mobile devices while on-the-go, whereas others may need access to an on-site kiosk or paper forms to register at your organization itself.
Your website should be the primary tool customers can use to register online. As Morweb’s guide to building a membership website explains, your website’s design and layout will impact how visitors are guided through your registration and check-in processes. Make sure your navigation provides clear directions to your registration forms and your check-in process accepts multiple forms of payment.
Along with allowing guests to register through your website, make sure guests can also register online at your organization. Doing so will allow you to accommodate walk-ins, who can either use their phones or provided terminals to fill out the same forms as those who booked ahead.
Make sure that your website also provides opportunities for customers to get help or additional information about their specific check-in needs. For example, more complicated bookings, such as large parties whose leaders want to reserve a space for a set period of time, may require more help checking in all of their members online. In this case, it might make sense to direct them to your help desk’s contact information so they can talk through the check-in process with someone knowledgeable about your organization.
While checking in may not be the most exciting part of your business, optimizing your online registration process ensures that your customers start their engagement with a positive first impression. Make sure to streamline your registration process by offering multiple ways for guests to sign up. Also, research your check-in software options to find a solution that will provide added convenience for your team and your guests.
This blog post was contributed by Doubleknot.
Elissa K. Miller, M.Ed. is Doubleknot’s Communications Director. As the former development director for a regional nonprofit, she’s passionate about helping nonprofits and youth-serving organizations harness new technologies to streamline operations and support their missions.