Elevating hospitality in 2024: The role of QR codes

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred rapid adoption and evolution of technology trends in hospitality. Contactless technology, in particular, became essential for minimizing physical contact and remote check-ins. Today, the technology’s flexibility and convenience remain important to travelers. Over 70 percent of travelers expect their accommodations to offer technology amenities and will more likely select a hotel with self-service options, minimizing contact with staff and other guests. 

In 2024, more hotels will embrace innovative technology, like QR codes, to exceed customer expectations, decrease complaints and increase revenue. QR codes give hotels an efficient, user-friendly option for delivering enhanced customer service, growing loyalty, providing convenience and assisting marketing campaigns.

Delivering Enhanced Customer Service 

The hospitality industry thrives on supplying exceptional customer service. Creating a memorable and welcoming experience requires delighting the guest at every touchpoint, from booking to checkout. 

QR codes satisfy customers who prefer to skip in-person check-in and check-out. In fact, guest satisfaction scores can plummet by 50 percent with just a five-minute check-in delay. Upon arrival, guests scan a QR code in the lobby, bypassing the traditional, paper-based check-in routine, saving them time and saving the hotel resources and printing costs. This digital check-in process may prompt guests to enter reservation information, confirm their identity and agree to the hotel's terms and conditions. Guests may also receive access to a digital key through a mobile app, enabling them to unlock their room using their smartphone. 

Hotels can also leverage QR codes to share information about services like spas, room service and local attractions. For example, guests can scan a QR code to access a PDF of a spa service menu and an option to book an appointment. 

Growing Loyalty

An exceptional customer experience leads to devoted, regular customers. But what else keeps the hotel top-of-mind for departed guests? Feedback surveys and reviews. After collecting opted-in customer data, hospitality businesses can use that information to improve their services.

Most hotels encourage guests to leave feedback through surveys or online reviews following their stay. However, guests may not always have the time or inclination to do so. QR codes placed on key cards, front desk counters or in rooms can instantly direct guests to a feedback form where they can quickly and easily input their impressions without a hassle. 

Hotels can also build loyalty by directing customers to rewards programs. Nearly 85 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to stick with a brand that has a loyalty program. QR codes can direct guests to enroll in programs or download an app. To add more incentive, hotels can provide additional discounts to customers who use a QR code to enroll in a loyalty program. 

Convenience is King

The effectiveness of QR codes relies on strategic placement, ensuring guests can easily locate and understand their purpose.

Maximizing QR code placement in a hotel opens up opportunities. For instance, situating a code next to the entrance of the in-house restaurant or on the door of an in-room mini-fridge can seamlessly connect guests to a food menu. QR codes near hotel exits can link to information about nearby attractions and events. Placing a QR code on an in-room desk encourages guests to scan it with their smartphones, facilitating a connection to the hotel’s Wi-Fi. The strategic positioning of QR codes not only adds value for guests, but also contributes to efficient data collection.

Marketing Campaign Assistance

Dynamic QR codes give hotels in-depth data about the number of scans, demographics and preferences. This information can serve several purposes, including generating more leads collected from check-ins. 

For example, hotels often serve as hubs for various events and conventions. To streamline the registration and check-in process for attendees and minimize wait times, event organizers can leverage QR codes. Organizers can then share the QR code data with the host hotel.

Data-sharing enables the hotel's marketing department to analyze attendee preferences, patterns and demographics to tailor marketing strategies effectively. The hotel can offer personalized discounts for future bookings and promote upcoming events. 

Upon scanning, hotels can also add guests to a retargeting list. Ads for that particular hotel will appear on platforms the guests use, like Facebook and Google. 

In 2024, the increased integration of QR codes will revolutionize the hotel industry, simplifying every aspect of the guest experience for both employees and patrons. Guests can anticipate a seamless journey from booking reservations, check-ins and check-outs to online payments, food and service orders, and opportunities to provide feedback or reviews. This simplicity and versatility will become even more pronounced as the hospitality industry recognizes how easy it is to create, customize, update and utilize QR codes for increased efficiency and profitability.

Sharat Potharaju is the co-founder and CEO of Uniqode (formerly Beaconstac).