Imagine if your hotel guests checked into their room to find the power was out, or that it only worked some of the time? Well, that’s exactly how they feel when your hotel WiFi doesn’t perform. Like electricity and hot water, WiFi is a utility that has become integral to the guest experience, and your WiFi performance has become a direct reflection on the quality of your hotel itself.
Unfortunately, just offering hotel WiFi isn’t enough. It needs to be fast, reliable, secure and, most likely, free. If you want to avoid frustrated guests, bad reviews and spotty performance, here are the 7 things every hotel WiFi network needs to succeed.
7 Things Every Hotel WiFi Network Needs to Succeed
- Network Security
Network security controls where your guests can go on your hotel WiFi network and what they can do. At a minimum, you need a Firewall and access segmentation to secure the hotel’s operational network and back of house completely from its guest network. Additional WiFi network segments may also be required for conference rooms and meeting areas, depending on your property. An incorrectly configured or inadequate hotel WiFi network can leave your hotel exposed to a potential security breach and the legal consequences of having poor network security.
- Real-Time Network Monitoring
Technology issues don’t sleep, and neither should your hotel WiFi service provider. Real-time monitoring and alerts are essential to verify that your hotel WiFi network is functioning properly, 24 hours a day. Ideally, you want a hotel WiFi provider that also conducts on-site visits, maintenance and emergency response upon request. Quickly diagnosing and solving hotel WiFi network issues is key to guest satisfaction and team member productivity.
- 24/7 U.S. Based WiFi Support
A hotel WiFi service provider with live, U.S. based help desk support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year ensures your hotel guests get help quickly and efficiently, should a problem arise. In addition, a professional 24 hour help desk takes the pressure off your internal hotel staff, so that they can focus on serving guests in areas in which they have more direct control. The best hotel WiFi providers provide three levels of WiFi support and coordinate their help desk and installation technicians for a comprehensive support service plan. You also want to make sure to choose a provider who has local technicians available across the country for emergency on-site service.
- Tiered Bandwidth
Tiered bandwidth enables you to offer your hotel guests free WiFi service or an upgrade to a faster paid connection. If offering a paid option, it’s also important to work with a WiFi provider who is capable of integrating your hotel WiFi network with your existing PMS. This way your guests can either pay for their access directly via credit card on the Internet access landing page, or their billing information can be sent to your PMS to be billed at the time of checkout. Without PMS integration, hotel staff will be required to enter billing data manually into the PMS, opening up the potential for data entry errors, missed billing and billing disputes. Learn more about WiFi Speed and Bandwidth.
- Customizable Landing Page
An Internet access landing page informs guests of any charges that they may incur, as well as the guest’s responsibilities as an Internet user in your hotel. These customized landing pages protect both the guests and your hotel from the hassle of disputed charges, and protect you from guests who may use the Internet for illegal purposes. In addition, customized landing pages have the ability to advertise other services that the hotel offers during the guest’s stay, potentially leading to additional revenue. To learn more about maximizing your ROI, read How to Make Your Hotel WiFi More Profitable.
- Performance Measurement Tools
WiFi is not a “set it and forget it” situation, it’s dynamic, which means you need to be able to monitor and measure your hotel WiFi network on an on-going basis. Your hotel WiFi provider should offer you access, either through an app or an online dashboard, to key information about your network performance. Some of the analytics and data you need to be able to review include your upload and download speeds, bandwidth utilization, support ticket status, guest survey scores and monthly revenue. The best hotel WiFi service providers also offer customer analytics and insights that allow you to turn your hotel WiFi network into a powerful marketing tool.
- Scalability for the Future
Technology changes at a rapid pace, so to save your hotel from the time and expense of future upgrades, your hotel WiFi needs to be designed for future scalability. You need a hotel WiFI provider who has extensive experience with hotel WiFi infrastructure, and is able to design a hotel WiFi network that not only utilizes best of breed solutions for optimum connectivity, but also meets your unique property needs for today’s usage and tomorrow’s technology.
Choosing the Right Hotel WiFi Provider
Hotel WiFi is a highly-specialized skill, and many hoteliers get into trouble thinking they can find an inexpensive technician to handle the job or, worse, they try to do it themselves. Designing, deploying and managing large-scale, enterprise grade wireless networks is not an easy task – it’s critical to choose a hotel WiFi service provider who has experience.
Deep Blue Communications has been an industry leader in large scale hotel WiFi solutions for more than 15 years, and is a hotel WiFi provider for Hyatt, Wyndham, Marriott and more. We have helped businesses all across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to elevate the WiFi experience for their guests, and we can do the same for you. To learn more about our customizable hotel WiFi solutions, call 1-833-730-1199 or contact us.