20 Ways Hotels Should Use Digital Signage To Improve Their Profitability
How do you deliver a consistently great guest experience that attracts five-star reviews and keeps customers coming back? How do you increase your average customer spend and maximise your profitability?
Digital signage is helping hotel businesses around the world to improve the quality and consistency of their customer experiences, and to maximise their profits. Here are just a few ways in which it can be used to increase profitability:
Increase your customer spend
Customers won’t buy your products, services and promotions if they’re not aware of them. Digital signage offers significantly more promotional space than static displays and can be used to convey information to customers about the product/service options available within your establishment in a convenient and persuasive way. If used in the lobby, your customers will know about all of the options and promotions available to them before they’ve even checked in.
Because digital signage is so flexible, you can choose which messages your guests will see, where and when. Uptake of food/drink promotions, premium products or services can be increased by dialling up or down the visibility of the messages that appear in prime locations and at key times. For example, showcasing premium beers at the beginning of dining service and promoting after-dinner drinks towards the end of it, or showcasing mid-week events/promotions at the busiest times to encourage customers to return more frequently.
Improve your hotel’s customer experience
An impressive interior is crucial for creating an ambiance that customers will enjoy and want to experience again, but regular refurbishment is prohibitively expensive. High quality videos shown on digital signage can change the overall look and feel of a venue, and keep reception areas looking fresh and attractive each time a customer visits, without the need for a major overhaul.
Waiting in a long queue to speak to hotel/restaurant staff to access a room or table you’ve pre-booked is frustrating for customers. Digital signage can enable customers to self-register their arrival and check-in/sit down at their table immediately, or get an approximate timeframe to wait for their table/room. This gives them the opportunity to use their wait time more productively, for example to have a drink at the bar.
Where queuing is unavoidable, digital signage has been proven to act as a distraction which reduces people’s perceived wait times, improving customer satisfaction.
In busy restaurants or bars, trying to catch the eye of waiting staff to place an order can take too long, disrupting a customer’s experience and reducing the amount of drinks or food they are likely to buy. Interactive digital menus can be used to streamline the experience of ordering food and drinks. This is more convenient for customers, and makes it easier for wait staff to manage orders quickly and efficiently, giving a better quality of service. It can be especially useful in large restaurants where some tables are in less prominent positions and are harder for wait staff to see.
Digitised menus can also increase the likelihood of staff retention, as orders are more likely to be accurate and processed quickly, so the probability of angry customers is reduced and that of generous tipping is increased.
Remove language barriers
Hospitality businesses often have customers whose first language isn’t English but language barriers can make it hard to give them the same optimum level of service. Interactive digital signage can be used to support customers by giving them different language options for menus, check-in, or local information, this ensures that they get all the relevant information they might need.
Wayfinding & customer information
For large hotels, screens can be used to streamline the guest experience, helping them to find their way around the building and access key information like breakfast or check-in times. They can also be used to showcase local attractions and guide guests to the places they might want to visit, making the hotel feel more like a destination than simply a place to stay, increasing the likelihood that they will return. This can also enable hotels to better compete with local competition from Airbnb hosts that offer their guests tips on places to visit.
Enable more/better promotional activity
More promotional space
Printed point of sale (POS) materials are expensive to produce and distribute. Subsequently they limit the number of marketing campaigns a hotel business can implement. Digital signage creates a vast amount of high- profile promotional space, enabling businesses to do more marketing activity. Campaigns can be delivered quickly and efficiently, simply by creating video content, scheduling and publishing it.
The flexibility offered by digital signage enables hotels and restaurants to be more innovative because content is relatively cheap to produce. Ideas can be trialled in one location and quickly expanded across a franchise/chain if successful.
Add new revenue streams
The large amount of promotional space created by digital signage can be used by hospitality businesses to promote their own products, services and loyalty schemes, but it also gives the opportunity to sell advertising space to third parties, introducing new revenue streams and creating more opportunity to increase customer spend.
Improve your hotel’s operational efficiency
By law, hotels, restaurants, and bars must display their prices clearly. Cheap printed materials devalue a brand. High quality printed materials can take time to replace, delaying the implementation of price changes. A good digital signage content management system (e.g. SaturnVision) can be integrated with an EPOS (electronic point of sale) system so prices displayed on screens can be updated automatically making it simple to synchronise price changes.
Large event management
Large events are very profitable, but when large numbers of visitors arrive at once, it puts staff under pressure and can disrupt the smooth running of a hotel. Digital signage can be used in a hotel lobby giving instructions specific to the those attending the event – e.g. location, start time, arrival instructions – or outside it, giving visitors directions on where to park.
Fire safety instructions
Building evacuations for fire safety can be chaotic in large venues like hotels, because customers are often unaware of the venue-specific procedures. Alongside promotional activity and wayfinding, digital signage can be used to support health and safety measures, increasing the likelihood of compliance with regulations, and making building evacuations more efficient. Digital signage can be integrated with fire security systems and programmed to interrupt set playlists showing evacuation procedures when required.
If a customer has a bad experience in one hotel or restaurant, they are unlikely to visit other venues from within the same chain. Subsequently, it is essential that there are no weak links within a chain.
Digital signage makes it easy to create brand consistency, ensuring that all customers see the same high-quality branded imagery and messaging in every location.
Digital signage can be used for internal use, displaying best practice and showcasing training videos regularly in relevant places (staff only areas or pre-booked meeting rooms), to reinforce company guidance and standards.
Interactive screens can be used to generate customer feedback, highlighting any issues the customer may have. This can empower staff to deal with any issues and rectify a bad situation instantly, reducing the likelihood of customers leaving negative reviews once they’ve left the venue.
Upgrade your hotel’s meeting/event spaces
Smart event spaces
Digital signage can be used to make the running of an event easier for third party organisers. Interactive screens can be used for delegates to self-check-in and be given personalised information (e.g. their table number). Seating plans can instantly be changed using a content management system enabling organisers to incorporate last minute changes. Delegates/guests can be given instructions throughout the event (e.g. coffee break/break-out session start and finish times) making it easier to keep events to schedule. Rooms can be zoned with different visuals and audio via screens and directional sound in each. Screens can be used instead of printed banners, reducing print costs and reducing the environmental impact of events.
The more an audience engages with an event, the more likely they are to value it and return. Digital signage can be used to combine conference speaker video with other information streams. For example, video walls can be split so delegates can watch the main visual plus other relevant conference information (e.g. next speaker details, live delegate polls, conference social media posts)
Alter the ambiance
No business wants to hire a meeting space or event space with an ambiance that isn’t indicative of their brand. Digital signage can be used to change the look and feel of a space so that it is more in line with the client’s brand, the theme of the event they wish to hold, or the level of seriousness of they wish to convey at the event.
It can be hard for a customer to visualise the possibilities of an empty function room. At the touch of a button, digital signage can be used to make function space viewings more exciting by showcasing examples of how screens can be used to dress the room, brand it and split it into zones.
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