In today’s technological world you’re judged on the quality of your Wi-Fi. In hotels, this can be doubly true—they're establishments frequently dealing with business people whose online needs are often essential, travelers unwinding or simply connecting with friends and family back home. Nothing is more frustrating to hotel guests than battling with an irregular Wi-Fi connection. In fact, in a lot of cases having poor Wi-Fi quality and upset customers will negatively affect your hotel’s return on investment (ROI).
Putting money into your hotel’s wireless network may end up being one of the smartest investments you make. Although the cost is daunting, surveys have shown that Wi-Fi is one of the most important hotel features for guests. If it’s not up to standard and your customers’ expectations, your hotel is at risk of losing important revenue.
There's no better way to get a clear picture of the potential loss of revenue than to outline what it is you stand to lose. So what happens if you have inconsistent hotel Wi-Fi? Guests and other potential sources of revenue get irritated. Here’s how.
- Online complaints – The internet is a powerful tool, as are the forums and reviews on it. If guests are commenting negatively on your hotel’s wireless, you may lose bookings to hotels that have positive reviews.
- Fees lost – You don’t want a guest checking out with a negative experience. If their Wi-Fi was cutting in and out during their stay, chances are you’ll have to waive their fees.
- The corporate shutout – Events are important to hotels. If a corporation decides to go with someone who has the wireless network and infrastructure to support an event, you’ve lost out on some serious revenue.
- The point of no return – Returning guests are essential to a hotel’s business. Poor experiences, even with something that seems as insignificant as Wi-Fi, can prevent customers coming back to stay.
- Technical support – It costs when you have to call in technical support. IT support is called often with erratic hotel Wi-Fi and issues with logins, and there’s not necessarily anything they can do about some of it. It will still eat into profits though.
Having a proper hotel wireless network that is designed and paired with the right managed services from a qualified wireless service provider will guarantee your network performs at the it’s highest potential and as it was designed to do. In the event something does happen you have a dedicated support team from the wireless service provider to ensure you’re down time is minimal.
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Something that also affects the overall operations of your hotel as much as the lost revenue is the time and resources eaten up because of your hotel’s unstable Wi-Fi. The amount of time spent on dealing with guests complaining or needing assistance with a poor hotel Wi-Fi starts to add up. It's time that could be utilized in a “revenue building” way rather than a scramble to keep everyone happy. The more guests you have, the bigger the risk.
A Bigger Return on Investment
The technology exists for a strong hotel Wi-Fi system. Why don’t you have it? People are utilizing multiple devices to stream, surf, connect, and work. There are systems with multiple access points able to authenticate those multiple devices, perform security functions, and analyze tons of valuable data, all while giving guests a seamless, trouble-free Wi-Fi experience they’ve come to expect at your hotel. What does that mean for you? It means less time spent fixing problems or maintaining the network, less complaints, better reviews and, of course, a better return on investment.
Hotels have gotten innovative by offering free Wi-Fi to everyone, but offering a tiered pricing for those who need more bandwidth. However, it is crucial to be able to handle that demand without the consumer running into issues. If you are able to do that, you’ll see the return on investment you were expecting to see.
Keeping up with the times is what makes a business successful. Hotels know what the demands are—and by meeting the needs of guests, in this case with an excellent Wi-Fi network, they will see a solid ROI.
If you’re going to make the decision to deploy a high-performing secure wireless network it’s important to remember a few things:
- Always decide what you’re trying to do so you can then design the right network to support those goals. We call this letting the application drive the infrastructure.
- Make sure your network is scalable. With technology and mobile evolving so rapidly it’s important that your network has the ability to grow.
- Plan for capacity. Coverage is easy to do, but capacity can be tricky, you have to consider where your hotel hotspots will be or where people will be accessing the network the most at the same time. Assessing this will allow you to plan for these higher traffic areas and determine ahead of time which ap’s will potentially be over-utilized.
- Security is the backbone of your network. Network security should be your number one priority, the fact is, wireless can leave you exposed and vulnerable.
At SecurEdge we’ve been designing, deploying and supporting enterprise level, secure wireless networks for almost 10 years. If you would like an analysis of your current network or to start planning for a new wireless network simply contact us here!