Giving guests an experience worth checking in for when hotels re-open
Javier Lopez explores how print can deliver a memorable guest experience while helping hotels adapt and respond to changing circumstances
Customer service is everything in the hotel industry. From promoting seasonal events to sharing new services or offers and navigating guests around facilities, great communication plays a crucial role in providing an exemplary service.
As operating conditions have become complex for hotels, the travel, and the overall hospitality industry, organisations are facing a challenging journey to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Demand is not expected to fully return until 20231, so hoteliers need to do everything in their power to rebuild business, creating memorable experiences that drive loyalty, repeat visits and positive reviews.
In an age where online reviews can influence potential guests’ booking decisions, or a social media influencer’s Instagram post can result in a spike in bookings, getting things right for every guest’s stay is more important than ever.
Adapting to growing expectations
Throughout the past year, hotels have had to quickly adapt their business model to meet changing customer needs, for example supporting homeworkers and businesses alike, by providing remote office space and meeting rooms that are compliant with government guidelines. Printed collateral such as onsite signage has been essential in helping hotels quickly respond to these changing demands. Reminding guests to keep a safe distance and wear a face mask as well as highlighting meeting room capacity and providing directional signage to move guests around the building quickly and safely.
Once hotel restaurants and bars reopen, they will still be subjected to social distancing measures and regular cleaning requirements. So, waterproof menus and placemats that can be sterilised after each use, QR codes printed on tearproof, waterproof stickers and flyers placed on tables for low-touch, contactless access to the bar, restaurant, and wine menus are important to maintain a cleaner, safer environment. Housekeeping notices can be placed in cloakrooms to instil confidence they are regularly cleaned. Window clings can be stuck on meeting room windows advising guests of the restriction in the number of people allowed in a room, and floor stickers can remind guests to keep a safe distance. With the right tools and technology in place, all this and more can be easily created, printed, and implemented in-house, enabling hotels to quickly adhere to changing government guidelines.
Hotels can go the extra mile to give guests a memorable stay by merging physical and digital experiences that not only add value to their stay but bring the ‘wow factor’ too. For example, QR codes printed onto signage, posters, stickers, and menus can help guests translate communications into their native language or access further information about the hotel and its services such as gym facilities, spa treatments or hotel organised excursions.
Personalisation is a growing expectation across every consumer-facing industry and the hotel industry is far from exempt2. Being able to quickly create professional quality and personalised collateral such as key cards, communications in guest rooms and even menus tailored around the guests’ pre-determined dining preferences make the experience much more memorable.
Promoting guest experiences through print
Adapting quickly to growing trends and consumer expectations as well as unexpected challenges can be made easier for hotel operators through the power of printing on demand. The ability to create a wide range of applications on-site can be key to responding to last minute changes quickly and cost effectively.
However, dealing with changing customer demands and expectations at short notice and with tight budgets is a common challenge. Relying on costly suppliers and their long lead times only makes this challenge harder to overcome. Having the ability to print on-site and on-demand eliminates the lead times and costs associated with third party print suppliers.
By investing in devices such as OKI’s compact and media flexible colour printers and MFPs that produce everything from door hangers to floor and window stickers, tent cards, posters, free standing and hanging banners up to 1.3 metres in length, branded stationery, event materials, bespoke waterproof tableware and more. Hotels can do all this with a single compact device that fits under the reception desk or in the back office while providing the professional quality you would expect from a third-party print supplier.
The road ahead
If 2020 taught businesses anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. It has been a tough time for hotel operators but by leveraging the power of in-house printing, they can prepare for the unexpected and adapt quickly and seamlessly to new trends and customer demands.