By Jeff Lepp
You’ve just arrived at your vacation destination. You want to message your family to let them know you’ve made it safe and sound, but you pull out your phone, only to find your message won’t go through…
You’re traveling for a conference, working from your laptop on a last-minute project, and just as you’re finishing up final touches, the network goes down. You miss your deadline and put yourself and coworkers in a difficult spot…
You’re working on maintenance repair in a hotel and there’s an accident requiring you to send an alert for help. Outdated wireless can’t deliver it, and you’re stuck in a precarious situation…
Wireless affects so many people in diverse situations and all of them are important. Without robust wireless access, best case, users can experience inconvenience. Worst case? They can be left powerless in a dangerous situation.
One of the main challenges facing the hospitality industry is technology. In today’s fast-paced, plugged-in environment, hotels must meet high expectations when it comes to wireless network access and reliability. Not only do customers expect it, but better Wi-Fi can also lead to increased business savings and enhanced hospitality workforce safety.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is steadily growing. Gartner found the number of connected devices in 2016 in need of wireless access reached 6.4 billion. That means approximately 5.5 million new devices were connected every day in 2016, and the number is only growing.
Hotel wireless affects everything from employee safety to customer satisfaction, and if leveraged strategically, can even lead to incredible insights and cost savings in the evolving hospitality market. Following is a detailed list of why going wireless makes sense for businesses in the hospitality market.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Today, seamless wireless access is expected—for both leisure and business—and hotels must cater to this everyday need, just as they would in any other area of hospitality. Thus, one of the biggest sources of hotel guest dissatisfaction is lack of Wi-Fi access.
Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) recently had more than 100 Internet service providers, each with its own onboarding experience. Unfortunately, a lack of visibility and control of their hotel networks created an inconsistent experience for those visiting IHG locations. Because of this, IHG looked to better leverage technology. With the support of Cisco, IHG vastly increased satisfaction, loyalty program membership and Internet subscription rates. This resulted in more visibility for advertising due to a streamlined login experience.
Though many in the hospitality market have worker safety solutions deployed—such as an emergency button that sends an alert to the hotel security office in the event of equipment malfunction or injury—these solutions are nothing without a wireless network to support them.
A panic button’s signal relies on wireless access points in order to determine the worker-in-need’s location, but as traffic on the network grows, most hotels don’t have the Wi-Fi support they need or access points to provide accuracy in event of an emergency. This renews the urgency behind the need for hospitality organizations to have strong network connections.
As mentioned before, IHG’s enhanced wireless access not only brought with it customer satisfaction but also business opportunity for the hospitality group, including greater loyalty program membership, increased internet subscription and better advertising visibility. With better wireless available to customers, hotels can reap major gains.
Wireless is also key for booking vacation plans. With travelers using the service for everything from showing tickets to attractions to extra rooms, wireless has become ingrained in the process. If the booking process is difficult, the user is less likely to feel satisfied with their stay, resulting in a loss of guest loyalty.
Poor wireless connection is also linked to guest loyalty for businesses and corporate events. If professionals aren’t able to access their email while attending a conference, it’s likely the company will not book the hotel the following year.
With wireless access also comes a treasure trove of information that can be used to better meet customer needs. Hotels can leverage data analytics to pull metrics about how many people are visiting, when they are visiting and what demographic they fall into. This information can be very useful in business decision-making and efficiency moving forward.
The wireless world is growing and as you can clearly see, it is time for the hospitality market to modernize. With companies like Iron Bow, hotels can keep employees and guests safe and happy, while reaping the benefits of a durable network, without the pains of implementation and management.
Learn how Iron Bow can assist you with a move to the future of wireless: https://ironbow.com/solutions_serv/wireless