The 24/7 Virtual Concierge
Keeping guests happy is part of a hotel operator’s DNA. From check-in to check-out, hotels do their best to cater to their customers’ every need, striving to provide outstanding on-demand service to make their stay as pleasant as possible. Yet having staff ready at guests’ beck and call around the clock is a costly business. And in today’s increasingly digitized world, many people would prefer the option to help themselves.
Interactive touchscreens, or digital signage, can fulfill two needs in one. With modern touchscreen technology, screens can be used throughout a hotel to provide self-service options, improving guests’ experience with faster, accessible, on-demand assistance while taking the strain off staffing levels. At the same time, digital signage can be used to inform and entertain guests.
When combined, these functions can provide your hotel with a virtual concierge system that boosts customer service with 24/7 availability. Here are some current uses for interactive touchscreen technology across the hotel.
There are times when guests arrive at reception, whether to check-in, check-out, book a taxi or ask for advice about local attractions, and there is nobody there - especially late at night. Rather than face a wait for service, touchscreens armed with self-service software at the reception desk allow patrons to do everything from settling their bill to booking an excursion the next day.
In the restaurant, digital reservation screens can enable guests to book a table at their convenience. To reduce demand on waiting staff at busy times, touchscreens at tables enable patrons to both place and pay for their orders. Touchscreens can also be used for booking appointments in the spa or for efficiently placing room service orders.
Digital signage doesn’t need to include an interactive touchscreen to have a positive impact on a guest’s stay, although it does add an engaging dimension. Digital displays can be deployed for a variety of purposes to keep visitors informed about goings on in the hotel and the surrounding area, as well as provide entertainment.
Large TV wall screens have long been used to show news feeds, live sporting events and films in reception areas, bars and other communal spaces to give guests something to watch while they sit and wait or have a drink. But with the latest technology, every ‘smart’ screen is effectively a standalone computer and can be set up, via the internet or internal networks, to fulfil multiple functions.
One very useful option is to have signage within the hotel showing a visual room directory to help guests navigate the facility. This is particularly helpful for fire safety compliance by making sure evacuation routes are clear and obvious. Touchscreens can be used for wayfinding, letting guests type in a destination with instructions on how to get there displayed on the map.
Finally, digital signage is a very useful promotional tool that can quickly pay for itself. From showcasing local excursions and attractions to special offers in the restaurant and upcoming entertainment, digital screens can upsell and cross sell goods and services yielding additional revenue for the hotel.