The ability for hotels to communicate directly with their guests has never been greater. Many, if not most hotels, have websites and blogs and participate in the social media conversation, while some even text and instant message their guests. Email is still an important part of the communication mix; its purported demise seems to have been a premature conclusion.
But one of the most important communication vehicles available to hotels that we don’t talk enough about is hotel digital signage. If executed properly, hospitality digital signage can produce a number of key benefits for hotels. Digital signage can generate new income, increase staff efficiency, improve customer service, and enhance the entire guest experience. Hotel digital signage also has great benefits for advertisers and for the most important audience of all – your guests.
By 2025, the global digital signage market is expected to increase to nearly $31 billion, and a good chunk of that will come from hotels and resorts. The digital signage hospitality industry is experiencing considerable growth as adoption among hotels becomes more widespread. The reason for the growth? Hotel digital signage works. Full stop. Here’s what hospitality digital signage can do for your hotel or resort:
Digital signagedrives engagement, enabling guests to feel a greater emotional connection with the brand. Some hotels may not realize it, but by not investing in technology they are actually alienating a big share of their market. Once their hotel is branded as “low tech” or outdated, it is hard to reverse that perception. By utilizing hotel digital signage, on the other hand, hotels are able to position themselves as technology-driven brands, which will endear them to millennials and other tech savvy travelers. Cloud-based, hotel property management systems like StayNTouch make it easy for hotels and resorts to become technology-driven enterprises.
One thing most travelers agree on, regardless of their age, is that they tend to feel directionally challenged in a new environment. When guests first arrive at your hotel, they may find it challenging to navigate the hotel environs. As hotel managers know, guests have questions at the outset and will ask hotel staff for directions. Hospitality digital signage can be used, freeing up staff to focus on revenue generation. For example, digital interactive maps can be placed at strategic locations, like at entrances and elevators, so even the most directionally-challenged guests find navigating your hotel a cinch. Digital interactive maps can also be used to direct visitors to your gift store, spa, or restaurant.
Cultivate new revenue streams
One reason why the digital signage hospitality industry is so hot right now is because of its ability to generate ongoing revenue for hotels and resorts. Hotels can use hotel digital signage to raise awareness of other revenue-generating parts of their hotel, such as the spa or gift store, or use that space to sell paid advertising to local and regional businesses.
Keep your advertisers happy
While digital signage can obviously help your advertisers reach new customers, it also has additional benefits like providing tools that make them more self-sufficient, freeing up your marketing team to focus on other more pressing activities. For example, if advertisers want to change or update their advertising message or graphic, they can do it remotely without the hassle of driving to the hotel. The cloud-based technology that powers digital signage includes metrics and data to assist advertisers with analyzing, evaluating, and tracking their return on investment.
Keep your guests informed
Digital signage enables access to timely and relevant information that can be customized for the needs of different groups of guests. A growing number of hotels are using digital signage to keep guests informed in real-time, which gives hotel staff more time to focus on customer service and revenue generation. Digital signage is suitable for communicating special announcements, promotions, and sharing non-urgent and routine information. When a hotel needs to communicate urgent information to its guests and employees, digital signage is the ideal option. In fact, it has been used to communicate with families staying at hotels during the aftermath of recent hurricanes. Road closings, flight delays, and other timely information can be conveyed to guests as it unfolds. If inclement weather is on its way, hotels can remind guests to “bring your umbrella” or “take a jacket.”
Hotels also use digital displays to communicate check-in and check-out times, spa and fitness center hours, and other frequently asked questions. Using hotel digital signage to answer FAQs empowers guests and makes them more self-sufficient, which is especially important for millennials. Hospitality digital signage can also be used to inform guests about local attractions, special events, and historical landmarks in the surrounding area. Messages can be customized for wedding parties, conference attendees, and other large groups.
Some hotels use the technology to provide weather reports and stock market updates for their guests, as well as local, regional, and national headlines. These days, of course, most of your hotel guests already have access to that information on their favorite mobile device. Whenever you use hotel digital signage, make sure you’re adding real value.
Fueled by advances in automation technology, the digital signage hospitality industry has come of age. The benefits of hotel digital signage,as we’ve seen, are hard to argue with. The only caveat that we leave you with is the need to keep your brand in mind as you move forward. For example, if your brand celebrates simple elegance, then be cognizant of not creating visual clutter with your signage. If your brand is all about offering escapism, then make sure that the stock prices and news updates don’t distract and detract from the ambience. Always think of the needs of your guests first; they trump everything and everyone else.
With that one qualification, digital signage is more than worthy of your serious consideration. This exciting technology is rapidly evolving and expanding, and soon enough it will be the norm at most hotels and resorts throughout the world.