Think great WiFi doesn’t matter? Think again.
Your guests demand the best hotel WiFi so they can access everything important to them via their mobile devices – from check-in to check-out and everywhere in between. So, do you have your guests’ needs covered?
Here are 4 WiFi myths debunked.
Myth # 1: My guests will be fine with average WiFi.
Fact: Hotel WiFi is one of your most important amenities.
- A recent survey of hotel guests by J.D. Power found that free WiFi was the No. 1 most important amenity cited by guests, beating out complimentary breakfast and free parking.
- Another survey by Amba Hotels, a London-based chain, found that 60 percent of respondents ranked fast hotel WiFi as more important than a good night’s sleep — well ahead of friendly, knowledgeable hotel staff. They also cited WiFi as more important than location or convenience when selecting a hotel.
Great hotel WiFi can not only improve a guest experience; it can also help brands compete with increased customer loyalty. With reliable WiFi service associated with a brand, guests don’t need to worry about getting online.
With the average guest using up to 3 devices, properties need to make sure they can handle not only the volume of hotel WiFi traffic, but increase their capacity for exponential amounts of data to come down the road.
Myth # 2: My old WiFi network can handle the needs of the next 10 years.
Fact: You need much more bandwidth to handle even the current drain on your network.
- In 2027, monthly mobile data traffic per active smartphone in North America will reach 52 GB.
- Between 2021 and 2027, the traffic generated by smartphones will increase over 400%.
Here is the bandwidth you need currently to support your guests:
- Hi-def video streaming: 5Mbps per person
- Email and web browsing: 1-2Mbps per person
- Video Conferencing: 8Mbps per person
The fact is, if you aren’t giving your guests the speed and access they need, they will go elsewhere, and they will let others know about it. We have all seen the bad reviews – and will avoid hotels that don’t offer what we need. But if you can make your hotel WiFi fast, reliable and a top guest amenity – it can do wonders for your bottom line. As a matter of fact, a Statista September 2016 survey found that 74 percent of respondents felt that positive customer reviews made them trust a business more.
Access to more bandwidth means taking the time to sit down and review the state of your old network and formulate a plan for an upgrade.
Myth # 3: Providing high-quality hotel WiFi is too expensive.
Fact: You can get reliable coverage for your property, regardless of size, location or physical challenges when you work with the right team.
There are many ways to help reduce the overall cost of your WiFi.
Integrate your business systems. A PMS system, loyalty program, social media login, environmental controls, IPTV, VoIP, POS – integrating and streamlining these systems can save money in the long run and give your guests the ability to check in, check out, order in and access hotel amenities and services – all from their device.
This is the gift that keeps on giving – by accessing guest preferences, you can also target them with special offers and increasing your RevPAR.
Offer tiered and higher bandwidth options that can integrate with your PMS system to authenticate charges directly to the room bill, and offer the flexibility of free zones for common areas.
Monetize your network. Hotels are feeling pressured to provide free, fast and reliable hotel WiFi to support all these new devices. Many networks use monetization through social media authorization, which enables ROI.
There are ways to design the optimal network to fit your property layout, limitations, timeframe and budget.
Myth # 4: Once complete, I can manage my own network.
Fact: 79% of corporations now require a minimum of 99.99% uptime for mission critical hardware, operating systems & main line of business (LOB) applications.
- These minimum reliability requirements will continue to rise.
- Security, BYOD and mobility pose the biggest technology threats to reliability.
- Technical service & support and fast, efficient vendor responsiveness are crucial.
Solid infrastructure matters. When your hotel WiFi network crashes, it can have a negative impact on your guests, your bottom line and your ongoing business operations and brand standards. Having access to a 24 x 7 x 365 helpdesk and network management system increases your uptime.
How? Managed services for your network can:
- Monitor for smaller issues before they become major outages
- Perform scheduled system tests
- Provide proactive alerts
- Offer enterprise grade security to guard against viruses, worms, phishing, spyware and spam
- Secure remote access among branch offices, partners, guests and customers
Managed services can ensure all networks are running smoothly and that your guests are enjoying their hotel WiFi experience.
Don’t waste any more time with an outdated network. Solid WiFi infrastructure lays the groundwork for everything that can improve operations and make your guest experience a positive one. From environmental and security controls to mobile check-in, mobile keys and in-room ordering, on-demand video and BYOD access – WiFi is making everything from the front desk to housekeeping, retail to entertainment work smoothly.
Contact us today to see how an enhanced WiFi network can optimize your business operations, elevate your user’s experience and increase your revenue.