The hotel industry is shaking itself up to create a modern, safe and comfortable environment for guests to stay; recognizing that without confidence guests will stay away. While this shake up was unplanned and unexpected for hoteliers, it does present several opportunities to start creating closer bonds with guests and customers, and in many cases with suppliers.
Simplicity and Streamlined Guest Communications
An obvious and tactical trend we’re seeing is hotels move away from ‘clutter,’ anything that isn’t necessary in a room or space is being removed. This creates challenges in communicating services, menus and facilities to guests. Traditionally print-based products would provide this service, but now that is replaceable with personalized digital technologies.
“Restrictions on travel, closing of restaurants and bars, cancellation of meetings and events and closures of entertainment venues has left an immediate and long-lasting impact.
“We moved fast to bring a range of antimicrobial solutions, overlays and new features that would allow hoteliers to continue using pre-existing technologies in their properties and build trust with their customers and staff.”
Steve Rickless, CEO, Tripleplay
A centrally managed, in-room guest TV and entertainment system can provide key information, and much more. Using the TV does bring its own challenges, such as using a shared remote control which might not sit comfortably with the guest. In this instance a virtual remote control can also be used, allowing guests to control their in-room TV with their personal devices, accessed via a QR code. While guests are using their personal device, you have another way to engage them, provide additional service and information and perhaps even unique offers and communications for them.
Safe Spaces and Social Distancing
Beyond the guest room there is a need to provide clear directions and instructions in public spaces, ideally without the involvement of a member of staff; Digital Signage becomes a key player.
The pre-pandemic world was focused on fixed messaging at strategic points within the hotel. Meeting signage, menu boards and welcome screens are commonplace and are a standard staple within the properties we service. However, the need has arisen for mobile messaging. The hotel needs the ability to move quickly and supply critical messaging beyond the standard touch-points.
As well as allowing the communication of health and safety messaging and directional information, digital signage can be integrated with occupancy management technologies to ensure your shared spaces remain under their safe capacity limit.
Hoteliers can now strategically place a small digital sign solution outside a room that will count occupants entering and leaving via a sensor or camera. This has a pre-programmable ability to know the desired occupancy level, keep count of occupants and convey the occupancy level to a sign at the entrance. All of this ensures guest awareness and safety, adherence to local laws and staff engagement and awareness.
When spaces become too crowded, digital signs will trigger issue warnings and prevent people entering the space or asking those using the space to exit as soon as is appropriate; this can help reduce dwell time in breakfast areas for example or make gym facilities self-managing. People may challenge staff who ask them to leave in person but will be generally more accepting of clear safety messaging on a TV screen; so, people will, in general, just accept the situation more freely.
Simple Innovation Enabling Safer Stays
The challenges presented by the pandemic of 2020 will be felt long after the start of the new year and it is key that investments made now are future proofed to be applicable beyond the pandemic.
“During uncertain times innovation has become more important than ever. We all need to innovate, create and build impactful programs to build trust with our patrons and guests and show we are preparing for a safe future in every sense.” Steve Rickless, CEO, Tripleplay