At Premier Inn’s HUB chain of hotels, guests check in at tablet-based kiosks or via the HUB app. In the lobby space, they encounter a welcome wall with travel updates and a live news feed. Rather than a shambling rack of brochures, visitors use an interactive touch screen with interactive maps, details about the hotel, local points of interest, restaurant recommendations, and theater guides. Their stay is guided from the lobby, lounge, and elevator right to their rooms with interactive tablets, video displays and a wide range of digital messaging. It is AV as a night clerk, a source of entertainment, and concierge – everything but bellhop service!
Such is the expanding role of AV in the hospitality industry. With a growing trend of AV guiding on-site customer journeys, the hospitality industry is poised to be right on the cutting edge of this trend. Integrators can play a major role in delivering on an AV-driven positive customer experience.
Here are some things to think about when you consider advantages of AV in hospitality:
Aesthetics are Important
They always are, but the hospitality industry is often about trying to convey a sense of aspirational luxury and design sensibility – a “better than home” experience. So when it comes to AV integration, we’re talking about a more nuanced approach than just slapping up a screen in a high traffic area.
No clutter, high visibility for all patrons, and no one is missing out on the action. This creates a customer experience that exceeds customer expectation.
Like other aspects of the hotel or restaurant experience, wireless connectivity also needs to be a “better than home” experience. Some hospitality venues are experimenting with Li-Fi, which cannot be hacked through walls the way Wi-fi can.
Li-Fi (light fidelity) relies on LED bulbs, which can be switched on and off extremely quickly – 15 million times per second. Given that security is on the minds of every traveler, this puts Li-Fi ahead of the game and makes it a candidate for future AV installations in hotels.
Some things in hospitality, like the personal touch, are timeless. Along with turndown service, and a warm cookie or cold beverage at check-in, personal touch can also be fostered via advanced AV technology. How about creating an Instagramable background using your video wall along with static components? Whatever the hook, the goal is to create unique experiences that let the customer know you value them and want them to have the time of their lives.
Audio is another sometimes overlooked component of customer experience in the hospitality industry. You may think of it as background noise in the form of music or sports bar commentary (from the TV, not the opinionated, inebriated guest at the next table.)
But the demand for quality audio has been on the increase in recent years. Guests don’t want to be distracted by static or otherwise bad audio quality, so the “A” in AV is of particular importance as you consider how to serve your hospitality clients.
It’s a pretty simple equation. In the world of hospitality, the better, more aesthetically pleasing, seamless and personal you can integrate AV into the overall customer experience, the greater the advantage your hospitality clients will have in their markets.