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Go digital in your hotel! It really is simple and provides a wealth of benefits (and cool points) with guests.
When you enter a hotel, what are you looking for? You probably want the check-in desk first and foremost. It’s easy to find, you’ve been in this spot a hundred times before. But there’s likely a big queue, you don’t know how long you’ll be waiting, if your room’s ready or where you might store your luggage. If you’re there for an event, a business meeting or any other purpose other than recreational, your questions begin to multiply.
Hotels all have the same principle but actually, they all run slightly differently. As a consumer, this means that you never quite know what to expect.
Here’s the thing; there’s something that we guarantee will be a big part of every hotel’s future. It’s called digital signage and it can and it will solve all of the above, helping the customer to be in charge of their future hotel experience.
Here’s what a hotel digital signage network could offer:
Queue time - a visual display of how long each guest could be waiting, just like in a postal service or bank.
Rooms that are ready - let guests see for themselves the percentage or names of rooms which are ready right now!
Entertainment options - If no rooms are available for an early check-in, provide guests a list of what they could do right now. Restaurants within reach, luggage storage options, hotel bar happy hours. This will save them queuing only to be told ‘sorry Sir, your room’s not available’ - if they already know they can make a decision there and then.
Elevator signage - use this 'blank space' to advertise restaurants, spa offers and anything else that may interest your audience in the wait to their chosen floor.
Personalized welcome message - once your customers get to their room how can you engage them? A personalized welcome message is just the start, as a digital signage network offers the ability to tailor social media, news and more to their preferenes.
Of course, these are just a few ideas of how a digital signage screen could service that all important first impression. Digital signage can improve a guest’s visit in every area, all whilst ticking the box of the hotel being upscale and modern. Here are a few of the ways a digital signage display within hospitality could work very hard indeed.
Having enough staff to get to each individual guest is hard but one screen could service many at the same time. Digital signage displays can be updated very quickly, from anywhere and can pull on real time information such as bus routes, taxi numbers, world clocks, currencies and local event timetables. Present this information on a single screen and bingo - half of your guest’s questions are answered! In times of high footfall this will reduce wait time, relieve the pressure on staff and help your guests get the answers they need.
Top tip: Read our guide to getting setup with a hotel digital signage strategy if you need help with the logistics.
When your hotel is hosting for a convention or wedding, digital signage allows you to pop up a personalized welcome and directions to the right room, area or bar. Again, this relieves the front desk and provides basic information which is super useful. Meeting room digital signage might also come in handy for breakout sessions.
If there’s a last-minute room change or multiple wedding events, your digital screens can be updated on the fly. This saves confusion and allows each room and guest to become accounted for. Setup a meeting room booking system using a tool like AskCody and voila! Your digital signage screens look great and are useful - you could even use an iPad or tablet to save on expense.
A human service is nice but a virtual one has its own novelty factor. Your digital screens can easily become a virtual concierge. Particularly when paired with an interactive screen, digital signage allows your guests to find their own information and to spend as long as they need researching local hotspots, restaurant menus and check-out times.
If you don’t yet have the capacity for interactive screens, create playlists and schedules tailored to what your guests will be up to at that time. For example breakfast may be:
This is much more useful and relevant to customers than your bog-standard advertising showreel. They’re already at the hotel, so don’t bombard them with useless marketing material. Help them find the information they really want and the information they didn’t even know they wanted, like the hot, flaking, buttered croissants waiting for them in your breakfast room.
Digital signage lends itself to any situation where you need to update guests with information quickly. In crisis situations such as terrorist attacks or adverse weather conditions, hotels can quickly pull on their digital signage network as a way to guide guests, share news updates and the appropriate phone numbers and emergency contact lines for worried family members. Your guests will be truly grateful to have all of this information accessible to them from an easy viewing point and it really isn’t difficult to flick the switch and have it take over from your usual displays.
Digital signage when paired with user generated content is transforming hospitality. Guests are active participants in their experience both in person and online. Often without knowing, they’re instagramming your great wall displays, tweeting about your service and even contacting your online page to ask questions or get information.
Use digital signage to create beautiful social media walls that share customer testimonials, feedback, images and videos curated by your audience base. Not only will they get a pleasant surprise at seeing their update on the big screen, you’ll show that you’re listening and more guests will be encouraged to share online as a result.
We’re used to seeing digital screens full of information that doesn’t interest us. So within the future of hospitality we see digital signage moving towards a marketing tool that’s genuinely useful and entertaining to guests. There are a ton of ways you can do this and a ton of digital tools at your disposal, from social media displays, to meeting booking technologies and live news streams. Get your screens showing rich visual content and adapt them to your audience, the time of day and the events going on in the world.
Your audience will be highly engaged and they’ll remember your hotel for more than just the chocolates on the pillow.
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