There are a few iPads floating around the Blizzard office this week and the impact is noteworthy. It is like having a newborn in the office. Lots of oohs and aahs and looks of envy. I haven’t heard any cooing yet, but, nearly everyone asks if they can hold it and play with it.
We think lodging providers should consider getting an iPad (or 6) at their front desk. While modern labor laws frown on keeping a newborn handy at your front desk, an iPad can provide the warm and fuzzies like an infant AND improve the service levels you guests enjoy.
Use the iPad to solve these 5 guests problems:
1) What to see and where to eat:
Guests frequently want information on what to do and where to eat. Use the iPad as your concierge. Hopefully you already have an an online concierge (that would be your blog which features top attractions and restaurants) or a local website which you can refer people to.
2) How to get to a specific place:
Use the iPad and Google Maps to show people how to find what they are looking for. There are not currently good printing options on the iPad, but watch very soon for a wireless printing app!
3) Guest reviews:
Asking guests to review you on places like TripAdvisor or Yelp is a tricky situation because you don’t want slews of reviews coming from your office to any of the major review sites (because it looks like you are manipulating them yourself) BUT, you may want people writing reviews on your website or on your blog. Use the iPad to solicit your guests to say something nice about you.
4) What is going on in town:
Feature some of the cool happenings in your market. Hopefully your staff already posts a calendar of events on your website or blog that gets past the obvious things into to some of the smaller, cooler and campier events. You will be a star in your guests minds if you point them to going-ons that fly under the radar.
5) Boredom while waiting.
One of our Blizzardites went to Vegas last week and stayed at the Flamingo. When she returned I asked her “how was Vegas?” and she spent five minutes telling me about her 30 minute check-in. It was a bad experience. They could have turned her into a Brand Advocate if they gave her an iPad to pass her time while waiting.