By Steve Chang
Digital signage has many benefits for hotels and guests. It enables access to timely and relevant information that enhances the overall guest experience. It also drives engagement, helping guests feel more connected with the hotel while reinforcing key aspects of the brand. There are a variety of ways in which digital signage is transforming the hotel guest experience, including several that are outlined below.
Inform guests about offerings and amenities. Digital displays can be used to provide guests with information about check-in and checkout times, restaurant hours and key amenities like fitness centers, gift shops, spas and conference rooms. Beyond providing basic information, digital signage can promote specials and encourage guests to visit other areas of a property to drive incremental revenue. Targeted messages can be updated in real time to upsell and cross-sell areas you want to promote.
Enable easy navigation through “wayfinding” assistance. When guests visit a property, they often have questions on how to navigate to different areas and usually have to ask hotel staff for directions. Digital signage can automate this activity by providing interactive maps to visitors. Wayfinding maps can make even the largest hotel complexes seem easy to navigate. Strategically placed at entrances and elevator banks, wayfinding can also draw visitors to other revenue-generating parts of your hotel such as restaurants, bars, spas and casinos.
Answer guests’ most frequently asked questions. Digital signage is a great way to present questions that are commonly asked by guests. You can post prices for extra services like spa, massage and laundry — as well as pet policies and continental breakfast schedules. You can structure the messages in a question-and-answer format or create separate, unique messages to address each question. This virtual concierge frees up staff to focus on more pressing needs. TV channels can even be customized in guest rooms to further spotlight property amenities and happenings.
Highlight local attractions for guests. Taking virtual concierge to the next level, digital signage can be a resource for guests to learn about local attractions, special events and areas of interest. Digital displays can direct guests to landmarks, historical sites, popular attractions and festivals in the area. Promotions can also be highlighted through the use of QR codes that can be scanned to display key offers, coupons or vouchers.
Provide guests with information that matters to them. Digital signage can provide guests with information that is relevant and important to them. Local weather, stock market updates, flight delays and other information can be easily displayed, providing guests with a higher level of service. Local, regional and national news headlines can be displayed in real time. Key reminders – e.g., “carry an umbrella” or “bring a jacket” can be “triggered” based on weather conditions and displayed to help guests plan ahead.
Display special messages to welcome groups, events and conferences. When a hotel hosts a wedding party, conference or convention, digital signage can display personalized welcome messages and even specific messages for attending guests. This saves the front desk from experiencing a deluge of questions from conference attendees seeking direction to conference rooms or other basic requests. Digital signage can speak for the hotel, streamlining processes and preventing bottlenecks at the front desk. As conference agendas change, signage such as digital door displays outside conference rooms can immediately be updated with the latest schedule.
Update guests in the event of an emergency, bad weather or other critical event. At times when information is critical, digital signage can efficiently and effectively update guests. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, many hotels used digital signage to keep guests informed as events unfolded. Hotel guests, including displaced storm victims, received a variety of timely information, ranging from updates on power crews’ progress to information on how to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.
Generate a profit stream by selling advertising. Digital signage can be used to display advertising for business that are local, regional or national. Transportation, restaurants, spas and other organizations can purchase advertising space that can run on hotel signage. Some hotels have elected to sell sponsorship space on their displays, showing particular ads on a recurring basis over time. For instance, some hotels allow a business to sponsor the hotel restaurant’s menu. The menu will be displayed and the business can have a portion of the screen for their advertisement.
The possibilities for digital signage in hotels are almost endless. Signage solutions can improve customer service, drive incremental profit, increase staff efficiency and deliver enhanced guest experiences. The wide range of benefits can quickly offset the cost or investment needed, delivering a strong ROI (Return on Investment) for implementing digital signage in hotels.