However, to provide the WiFi setup that will achieve this, you need to ensure that you have the correct infrastructure in place. If you haven’t, then now may be the perfect time to consider upgrading it.
Guest numbers are still well below pre-pandemic levels, and that gives you the perfect opportunity to upgrade your infrastructure while keeping customer inconvenience to a minimum. As a result, you should strongly consider getting your WiFi in order now, before your business is back at full occupancy levels. Post-lockdown, guest expectations of hotel experiences are increasingly high – including Guest WiFi.
Why is this so important? Consider this; the average household has 7.4 internet-enabled devices. Now, while your guests are probably not going to be bringing their smart TV with them, they might very well be bringing smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and they will want to be able to use these to connect to the internet. While they are staying with you, your guests will want to browse the web, use apps, stream films and much more.
For example, your guests will very likely want to make voice and video calls using apps like Facetime, WhatsApp, and of course, everyone’s favourite: Zoom. They should feel empowered to use their own devices to make calls using your WiFi, especially if mobile signals are weak inside your hotel.
By upgrading your WiFi infrastructure to a higher “enterprise grade” standard now, you will not only be fulfilling and exceeding customer expectations today but future-proofing your business and saving yourself from having to upgrade again for years to come. Remember, by investing in your WiFi, you’re investing in the guest’s experience, thus investing in your business’s continued success and future growth. An investment in enterprise-grade WiFi networks ensures that all components are reliable and resilient. As a result, your hotel will be equipped for the long-term, and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of your WiFi will be considerably lower.
What to consider
So, you think that looking into upgrading your hotel WiFi infrastructure is a good idea. Great! But where to start? Good hotel WiFi experts will usually offer you a full free review of more than just your internet and WiFi hardware to help you decide whether or not you need to upgrade or see if you already have the right setup for your needs.
There are three main elements to consider when creating a great Guest WiFi experience, namely your Network, Guest WiFi services, and Internet connection speeds. If you get it right, it will do a whole lot more than connect devices to the web
Newer guest/customer devices need a robust WiFi network Is your hotel using the latest generation equipment? The current WiFi standard is 6th generation (802.11ax), sometimes referred to as WiFi6, introduced in 2019. Having an up-to-date network will also improve download speeds. In congested areas, the increase in download speed can be up to four times compared with older generations. So, by upgrading now, you can make sure your business is ready not only for when social distancing comes to an end but right now while individual guest rooms may have a higher density of people and thus devices. Additionally working to an industry standard of a minimum signal strength of -65dbm, this guarantees a positive guest experience whatever your guest is connecting to on the web.
Guest WiFi Services
It’s essential to keep your hardware up to date, but don’t forget to look at your software too, which may be on a PC but more likely a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service). If you haven’t already, it may be worth considering this type of cloud-based Guest WiFi setup. This will allow you to Capture Data and use it in a meaningful manner to create and maintain engagement before and after guest visits, and the cost can be as little as pennies per room per night. By doing this, you can make your WiFi system self-funding by generating the maximum value from it. A great example of this is remarketing to previous customers and avoiding OTA fees. If you already have a cloud-based Guest WiFi setup, it is vital that it delivers for you and your guests and drives Guest Engagement in a seamless and automated manner. Engagement is all about leveraging data to start a conversation that goes beyond the visit and can provide valuable feedback also from Review Capture.
Speed of connection
So, you’ve looked at your hardware and your software. That’s it, right? Well, you also need to consider the connection coming into your hotel and whether or not you have a fibre connection that’s up to scratch. It doesn’t matter if you have the best WiFi in the world if the Internet connection coming into it is sub-standard. We would recommend that if you don’t already have it, consider getting a superfast or even an ultrafast fibre connection so that your WiFi has the connection speed it deserves and keeps up with guest demands. We’re happy to review all UK ISPs (beyond BT and Openreach) to advise incredible options that deliver reliable superfast+ speeds.
So, do you need to upgrade?
The last thing you’ll need to think about is the entire hardware and infrastructure (that is, the WiFi network and fibre connection). If you can deliver an optimum guest experience for your customers by installing the right Cloud Guest WiFi using the infrastructure you already have, that maybe the best thing to do for now. Doing this will help you to get the very best value from your existing technology investment.
A Guest WiFi service will transform a physical on-site infrastructure into an intelligent service that will allow you to better engage with your customers. Retaining customers is much easier and far more cost-effective than attracting new customers. By engaging them in this way using your WiFi network boosted by your Guest WiFi service, you are far more likely to welcome them back and see them becoming brand ambassadors to their family and friends.
By providing the best possible Guest WiFi experience, you will maximise your chances of getting repeat customers and rapidly rebuild your business after the impacts of the pandemic.
On the other hand, if your WiFi infrastructure is not performing and needs improvement, now maybe the perfect time to do it. This might seem like a cost, but in reality, it’s a significant investment in the future of your business. The impact it will have on the quality of your customers’ user journey shouldn’t be underestimated. Conversely, a bad WiFi service in your hotel could severely impact your guests’ enjoyment of their stay, and this will be reflected in online reviews and loss of repeat bookings. In many scenarios, a non-install cost model with a simple monthly fee is also worth considering and usually possible.
Freedom Hotspot believes that every hotel is unique and should be treated on an individual basis regardless of their size and specific needs. We offer a use a transparent approach and adaptable model to deliver the right hotel Guest WiFi that benefits both for your business and your customers. Contact us here or on 0800 311 2190 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free Guest WiFi review.