The hospitality industry has long relied on very specific service aspects in order to ensure guest satisfaction. From amenities (pools, spas and dining, for example), to the warm and efficient assistance of staff members, to the use of high-end bedding and toiletries in guest rooms, successful hotel chains and independent establishments have learned to keep visitors happy and willing to come back.
For the most part, technology has taken a backseat to personal assistance in hospitality-driven environments. With the exception of very high-end hotels that have integrated “smart rooms” into their offerings (remote-controlled blinds, lighting and entertainment systems), most have focused their attention on updating rooms and increasing the number and quality of services or amenities offered over all else. However, a sea-change is at hand; travelers want not just personal service, but convenience as well. Business travelers in particular are concerned with efficiency and convenience, and this key demographic (41% of hotel bookings) is both important to please and exceptionally loyal when satisfied by their experience. Less concerned with cost, they are willing to pay to get what they want, and therefore generate more profitable stays.
How are hotels creating the opportunity for more convenience without losing the level of personalization travelers have come to expect? Interactive digital signage is one avenue. Some early adopters, such as Courtyard by Marriott, began integrating large “smart screens” into their lobbies almost a decade ago in order to communicate information directly with their customers, from restaurant specials to weather reports to meeting room locations. One of the key value propositions of digital signage is how easily it can be adapted to target specific consumer bases; one set of messaging can be displayed during the week for business customers, and then changed out on the weekend for information that is more relevant to those traveling for leisure.
The next generation of digital hotel signage is now at market, and rather than offering only static images and a carousel of rotating screens, it is interactive and self-service, with a range of available use options. Offering everything from personalized directions and movie listings to the ability to make reservations at area dining establishments, these interactive displays essentially serve as a type of e-Concierge for those guests who value convenience over personal attention.
In addition to signage, some hotels, such as the Aria in Las Vegas, have taken digital technology a step further and introduced in-room tablets. These allow guests to browse lists of available amenities and restaurant menus, order room service and even schedule appointments for massages or book conference rooms directly from the tablet, as well as control in-room technology from a built-in app.
As an industry leader in digital signage hardware and software, RedyRef knows that these technologies are set to continue to grow rapidly within the hospitality industry, and beyond. Follow us as we continue to explore their futures in additional settings over the coming weeks. Already know that you want to take the plunge into high-tech wayfinding kiosks and digital signage? RedyRef’s experts are available to assist organizations of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.