COVID19 has had a great impact on hospitality, travelling and leisure activities worldwide. The need of physical distancing and the limitations that come with preventing the expansion of the disease have forced to rethink many strategies from ground to bottom. From sales to more operational aspects. Regulations vary across countries, but it seems it is going to be a common ground for a while.
The industry has established and reinforced their protocols and it has found in technology an ally to provide a safer environment for their staff, their customers and to keep their business running.
QR Codes are one of these resources. They are becoming ubiquitous and you can find them from the table of a restaurant to the app that gives access to your room.
The hospitality industry has found in technology an ally to provide a safer environment for their staff, their customers and to keep their business running
In this post you will learn about approaches and ideas on how QR Codes can help your hotel and hospitality business not only to fight the COVID pandemic but also to improve the experience and the loyalty of your customers.
1. Safer environment
Wearing masks, keep physical distance and reducing physical contact are the most common strategies to prevent COVID19 from spreading. The following ideas will help you to ensure them in your business:
QR Code digital menus
In order to prevent the handling and exchange of physical paper menus, you can link a QR Code to the updated menu so your customers will only need to scan a QR Code using their own device.
The QR Code can then be placed on a table-stand, a sticker or hanging on the wall:
PDF QR Code – The easiest and more straight forward solution is to create a PDF of the menu and link it to a QR Code. Easy to upload, easy to update and easy to read.
Scheduled menus – The redirection can also take the current time into account, so if the scan happens at lunch time, the lunch menu will be displayed, if it is past midnight, the cocktails menu will show, and so on. Using this feature, you do not even have to worry about changing menus during the day.
Multilingual menus – You can also display different contents depending on the language of your visitors. The QR Code detects the language of the customer’s device and redirects accordingly. Learn how to create a multilingual QR Code
Contact tracing forms
Many business around the world, specially restaurants, hotels and hospitality services, are being prompted by their governments to collect personal details and contact information of all their customers. The purpose of the collection is to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing tasks.
Regulations vary from country to country but they all share the same spirit, main traits and concerns for personal data privacy. For example, the Australian Governent published this Guidance for business that are obliged to keep track of their customer:
- You should only collect the personal information required under the Direction or Order.
- You should notify individuals before you collect the personal information.
- You should securely store this information once you have collected it.
- You should only provide this information to relevant health authorities who undertake contact tracing activities, when requested to do so.
- You should destroy this information once it is no longer reasonably necessary for the purpose of contact tracing.
You can create your own contact tracing form and connect it to a QR Code for free using our QR Code Generator
When your customers scan the QR Code they will be redirected to a form to collect: name, last name, phone, email, table number, date and time. Your data will be stored and ready to download on a CSV file in case it becomes necessary and it will be automatically deleted after a given period of time.
QR Code welcome pack
Distributing brochures and leaflets has been even prohibited in certain countries. The folder you used to find when entering your room cannot be there anymore. Instead you can replace it by a QR Code providing all the hotel info in a digital way. Actually, this is a paper saving solution with ecological advantages too.
QR Code based check-in and check-out process
Many facility management solutions (hotels, gyms, resorts, etc.) are including some kind of contactless access validation system. This allows to get rid of keys, cards and fingerprint readers.
Your customers can receive a QR Code in their smartphone when signing up and check-in the hotel just by displaying it, and even open the room door.
These are some of the most complex QR Code/NFC based solutions since they usually involve hardware and integration with existing reservation systems.
As a hotel manager, you can either ask your existing provider, search for the one that suits you, or create your own IOT solution using our API and Webhooks. We do not really recommend you this last option unless you have a skilled IT team or you are willing to outsource it.
2. Better experience as a customer
The following set of ideas brings in some innovations too, however, they are totally independent from COVID times and you can implement them for the years to come.
Providing a complex password is usually a hassle. You can create a QR Code that directly sets up the WIFI Connection/Password in your customer’s phone.
Even if you have private network you can make the sign-in process a little bit smoother using QR Codes.
1 QR Code per Room
A QR Code can behave like a 24×7 butler in your hotel rooms. It will be always available and ready to help your customers in their own language.
If you create a “room landing page” where you can centralise your customers needs, so they do not need to call room service to obtain specific information and you will be able to promote extra services in a more efficient way.
This QR Code from above may be placed on a table stand, small frame or on the TV screen in the hotel room.
Instant messaging reception
Sometimes because of language issues, and sometimes because customers just feel more comfortable using a QR Code redirecting to an instant messaging system such as Whatsapp, WeChat or facebook messenger, you may want to open this channel to your guests.
You can create a QR Code that opens a chat window with the receptionist. This will be probably well accepted by millennials, because, as they say: who is using the phone today?
Since hotel customers are usually from all over the world, you can provide the content in their own language.
If you create a multi-language QR Code you will detect your customer’s device settings and will automatically display information in their language.
This is also paper-saving solution since translating and distributing digital content is much cheaper than printing hard paper copies of the same document in different languages.
3. Better experience as a tourist
Whether they are families travelling abroad or professionals on a business trip, your hotel will be their “home” for a few days and you can help them to have a better experience visiting your location.
As the main host of your customers you are expected to provide info about their stay.
You can easily gather touristic information in digital format: Links to websites, PDF brochures, audioguides, itineraries, etc. from your local touristic institutions and share them with your customers through QR Codes.
As a highly a qualified prescriber, you can recommend activities such as restaurants, shows, tours, etc. and many customers will follow your recommendations.
You can have control over these referrals by issuing your own 1-time redeemable vouchers that your customers will show on redemption. Example: 2×1 opera concert or 10% discount for customers of your hotel at certain local restaurants.
Some Apps make travelling abroad way simpler and easier than it used to be before smartphones were around. There are Apps for bike rental services, restaurant directories, public transportation, last-minute discounts, etc. that are usually well know by locals, but can make improve the experience of a tourist.
You can go from “Oh! I wish I had known about this App before” to “good thing the hotel recommended me this app right after checking in”.
Using APP QR Codes you can create just one QR Code the redirects your guests in the suitable app store depending on their smartphone being an Apple or Android device.
4. Loyalty and engagement
Reviews and reputation
One of the key factors of your establishment reputation are the customer’s reviews.
Whether you like it or not, many of your potential customers check out your reviews on Google Business, Triapadvisor or Booking before coming on board.
A QR Code can become a trigger to get those reviews from your customers while they are in your hotel or right after checking out.
Learn how to get more reviews using QR Codes
Feed-back / suggestion mailbox
The suggestions mailbox can also be managed from a QR Code. Create a webform to collect this valuable feedback link it to a QR Code and place them in the hotspots of your hotel.
Idea: Pro-active mailbox
Using QRD instant notification via email/SMS you can have your employees on duty notified that there has been a complain or a suggestion. If you are able to take action right after this happens you will be having a real impact on your customers experience in real time.
Your social media networks are also an asset to keep your customers informed and engaged, and again, using QR Codes to win followers is a smart way to promote them.
It is not very usual to hand in business cards on COVID times.
You can also create mobile business cards for your sales executives or a hotel business card so your customers can keep all the info of your hotel just scanning a QR Code.
Direct to consumer
This last decade, booking.com, tripadvisor.com and many other online reservation services are taking over the acquisition of new clients for most of the hospitality industry.
It makes the life customer easier because they are centralising the information and it helps sales departments getting new customers. However, it is also taking a growing % of your income. Hotels are getting concerned about this high degree of dependency on these agents and are getting serious about loyalty programs.
The “direct-to-consumer” approach, where brands and companies are targeting the customer directly, using the same technology and getting rid of the middle man, is taking place in many sectors such as retail, real estate and hospitality is also trying to have a closer and more direct relationship with their customers.
QR Codes are the perfect ally for a direct-to-consumer strategy and they will also keep us all safer while we all get rid of COVID19.