With over 11% of U.S. adults owning a tablet computer, it’s time for more hotels to get savvy with the trend. Utilizing an iPad or other tablet device in everyday practices at a hotel can be a rewarding, impressive, and fun way to interact with guests. Not to mention it can cut down on printing costs! There are many ways to incorporate tablets into your property, whether it is loaning them to your guests during their stays (or perhaps just your elite guests), or simply giving them to your staff for customer service/concierge use. Here are some ideas of how your hotel can use a tablet:
- Spice up the check-in process. Instead of the same old tedious check-in process, keep things interesting by showing your guests how tech-savvy you are. They will likely be impressed by the ease of the process, and isn’t there still a little bit of a wow-factor when it comes to iPads? If they ask any questions about nearby activities or events, flip through a brochure on the tablet that will show them their options in a visually stimulating way.
- Show enticing photos on your menu. What better way to increase your room service sales than by putting the menu on an app or online and showing decadent photos of your food? Guests can even order directly from the kitchen through the tablet! A 2011 USA Today article on the topic quotes Joe Adkisson of Ascension Software acknowledging that “…room service orders at his hotels have increased 15% to 20%” since they started allowing guests to order and view menus on tablets. You can even take it a step further and use your iPad as a wine list at your in-house restaurant. Keep it updated whenever there are new additions and allow users to read wine reviews and pairings directly on the device.
- Provide many in-room amenities. Software like that supplied by Intelity and used by such hotels as the Plaza in New York allows for iPads to become essentially in-room remote controls. With just a swipe of a finger, guests can adjust the room temperature or turn on a light. They can browse area guides or place dinner reservations. For guests traveling in groups, there are even customized apps that allow for sharing common itineraries.
- Enhance your customer service. Instead of guests walking down to the concierge desk or waiting on the phone, guests can use their tablets to message the concierge with their questions about the city or requests for wake-up calls. If a room needs more towels, the message can be sent directly to housekeeping. Guests will love the simplicity of the process and will enjoy being able to use iPads or other tablets to do something so straightforward.