Hotel Wi-Fi Critical to Delivering Excellent Guest Experience
March 25, 2014
Even when we are away, we want to stay connected. A recent TripAdvisor survey asked travelers about the hotel amenities they couldn’t live without. Free Wi-Fi made two of the top five:
- Free In-Room Wi-Fi (89%)
- Free Parking (89%)
- Free Breakfast (84%)
- Free Personal Care Items (72%)
- Free Lobby Wi-Fi (71%)
As the results show, Wi-Fi has clearly arrived as a critical part of the hotel experience. Yet, why does it seem as if the quality of Wi-Fi at hotels is generally below average? I believe it’s because of the following reasons:
- You can’t improve what you can’t measure. There is no system in place for understanding the dynamics of the Wi-Fi network in the hotel, which can be a very challenging RF environment. Basic connection rates are not enough. This is hospitality, therefore, it’s the guest’s experience with using the Wi-Fi network that matters the most. True, not being able to connect at all is frustrating. However, it is arguably worse when you do connect to the Wi-Fi network and then experience poor throughput and long delays. Without measuring and analyzing, there is no way to understanding the root cause of Wi-Fi performance issues, therefore, fixing them is simply guess work.
- Wi-Fi is outsourced and not within the hotel’s direct control. This was fine was Wi-Fi was “nice to have” at hotels. But now it’s an integral part of the overall guest experience, therefore, greater control is necessary. A way to accomplish this may be through service level agreements with your managed service provider. MSPs should be accountable for the level of Wi-Fi performance that they provide and you should insist that they put a Wi-Fi performance management system in place to offer the customer experience assurances you need.
Demand for reliable, high performance Wi-Fi is only going to increase as new devices emerge and guests become increasingly connected. The concept of “unplugging” to the new generation is not only unwelcomed, it’s scary. Therefore, investing in Wi-Fi systems that include performance management is paramount. Imagine the kind of competitive advantage it would be if your hotel had screaming fast Wi-Fi. Sounds like an opportunity to differentiate to this marketer.