All hotel guests want great WiFi. And they want fast, reliable and free WiFi too. As a hotel, if you’re still offering slow, clunky WiFi, or viewing it as a ‘nice extra’, you’re making a big mistake. We’ll show you why great guest WiFi is so important, as well as how your hotel can use it to create lasting engagement for future marketing strategies.
Fast and free guest WiFi: who really cares?
Your guests really care. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Recent research found that when deciding which hotel to make a booking with, access to great WiFi was more important to potential guests than a free breakfast or even free parking. Guests now want to stream movies and music on their schedule, as well as keeping in touch via social media. Additionally, making sure you offer free, fast and reliable WiFi is an essential way to target ‘bleisure’ travellers, now an important customer group for any hotel. Put simply, quality guest WiFi makes the entire guest experience better; it’s not just a tick box exercise on your hotel amenity list. As a result, it’s essential for every single hotel to prioritise it accordingly.
What are the common issues with hotel WiFi?
Scan some hotel Tripadvisor reviews and you’ll often come across guests complaining about the slow, expensive or frustrating WiFi. The issue is that often, hotel guest WiFi doesn’t have a great reputation. Often it’s slow, costly and viewed by hotels as just another thing to manage. Poor WiFi is an easy way for your hotel to gain an outdated, frustrating and unhelpful image. Guests not being able to stream or connect with great WiFi, or business travellers who find their workability compromised by a creaky network will quickly go elsewhere.
Hotels often view offering great WiFi as unmanageable and complex, so it slips down the list of priorities. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be like this. Hotels need to invest in being able to provide great guest WiFi, offering huge benefits to both guests and hotel marketing. It can’t be stressed enough – for any hotel, quality guest WiFi needs to be viewed as much as essential as a clean room.
How hotels can meet guest expectations of WiFi
So, guest WiFi is important. Essential, actually. But what are the processes hotels need to take into account when implementing it? With proper planning, great guest WiFi is available to every hotel. Firstly, it’s necessary to decide between the frequency of WiFi your hotel needs, deciding between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi.
While it can seem a bit complex, it essentially comes down to the size of your hotel and your speed requirements. If your hotel caters to business guests with separate business suite, 5GHz WiFi may be more suitable. For large hotels with multiple rooms, 2.4GHz may be a better fit. You’ll also need commercial-grade access points, as well as thinking about any other devices with BlueTooth technology which may interfere with WiFi signal.
It’s also really important to make sure you follow all necessary legislation and acts; including GDPR Recital 49. Keeping compliant with these laws will protect your customers’ online safety and your hotel, giving your guests trust in your network. Providing guests with a secure network or a Captive Portal system gives them the confidence to share their personal details with you, as well as keeping your own hotel WiFi network secure.
Hotels need WiFi for their future success too
WiFi isn’t only a way to give guests what they want, it’s essential to your hotel marketing efforts too. Guest WiFi, and the marketing opportunities from this will give your hotel longevity and help keep market share – it’s that valuable. Offering guest WiFi gives you almost unlimited data collection opportunities. This is essential to create a holistic customer view, creating content, offers and marketing campaigns that really engage. With guest WiFi, hotels can easily create active, opted-in email lists, monitor dwell times; as well as use marketing automation to boost guest engagement. WiFi can also be used to ask for essential hotel Tripadvisor reviews in real-time. The result? Better and lasting guest engagement, increased revenue and those absolutely essential repeat guest bookings. So ask yourself, is your hotel taking guest WiFi seriously enough?