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5 Things Hotels Get Wrong About the Guest ExperienceSeptember 12, 2019
Your guests expect seamless and personalized experiences as soon as they set foot in your hotel. You can thank technology for that.
But have you successfully responded to these expectations to create a connected environment that makes their stays more enjoyable?
If you still believe these five common myths about your guests, you definitely aren’t.
Myth No. 1: Hotel guests will be thrilled by free WiFi.
Reality: Expecting your guests to get excited about free WiFi is like expecting them to get excited that your hotel has running water and electricity. Some 98% of hotel guests demand free WiFi—but they want much more than the basics. High-speed internet access, instant connectivity and easy WiFi logins will help your hotel impress today’s guests. Guests are happier when they can quickly sign into WiFi via email, cell phone or social credentials and have the network remember them from one visit to the next.
Myth No. 2: Hotel guests love the classic experience of waiting in line to check in and using the phone to call room service.
Reality: Today’s guests are eagerly adopting branded hotel apps to streamline their stays. Apps can let guests seamlessly check in and out, find their rooms, request housekeeping or room service, and even open their room doors, allowing your hotel staff to focus on higher-value activities that provide a quality guest experience. Robust branded apps also provide valuable data you can use to better personalize the guest experience, upsell additional services and re-market to guests after their stay. Providing fast, reliable and secure WiFi ensures that apps work smoothly, and guests feel confident securely sharing their data.
Myth No. 3: The average hotel guest travels with just one or two devices.
Reality: Peek into a typical hotel room and you’ll see something like this: Mom’s on her laptop getting work done. Dad’s using his tablet to plan tomorrow’s itinerary. Tina the Teen is scrolling through social media on her phone and Toby the Toddler is watching a video on his tablet. Just 6% of hotel guests say they typically connect one device to the hotel WiFi. Almost half (47%) connect two devices, 30% connect three and 16% connect four or more. This can overload inadequate hotel WiFi: Some 68% of hotel guests complain about slow internet speeds and 43% have had problems with insufficient bandwidth. A strong, fast and reliable network is essential for guest satisfaction, but network requirements and complexity are increasing exponentially. For instance, Netflix recommends a range of 1 to 2 megabits per room for a good guest experience, but as the quality of streaming video increases, so does the demand for bandwidth.
Myth No. 4: Hotel guests spend most of their time in their rooms.
Reality: Technically, that may be true if you count the hours guests spend sleeping. However, many memorable moments in a hotel stay occur outside the room. When your guests attend a conference in your hotel’s meeting rooms, snap a selfie by the pool, or decompress at the spa and fitness center, you have an opportunity to create an unforgettable connected experience. But if they can’t get WiFi coverage (a complaint of 71% of hotel guests), that lasting impression may be a negative one. Providing fast WiFi with plenty of bandwidth and well-placed access points enables seamless roaming across the entire property, both inside and outside.
Myth No. 5: Hotel guests don’t expect their hotel rooms to have all the comforts of home.
Reality: Your guests expect their hotel rooms to be just like home: tailored to their every need. More than two-thirds (68%) expect smart TVs in their hotel rooms, 65% want to wirelessly cast streaming services from their personal devices to in-room TVs, and 62% expect smart lighting and smart thermostats. Incorporating IoT-enabled devices in hotel rooms allows guests to control everything from the temperature and lighting to the time the curtains open in the morning. You can even save the settings in the guest’s profile to personalize their next stay, making them feel at home every time they visit your hotel.
Use of smart devices is on the rise; by 2025, it’s projected there will be more than 75 billion IoT devices worldwide. But the more IoT devices your property adds, the more important high-capacity connectivity becomes. Provide sufficient bandwidth and speed so smart devices and streaming don’t overload your WiFi network.
A whopping 85% of hotel guests say the quality of a hotel’s WiFi network affects whether they rebook with that property or brand. Clearly, an outstanding WiFi experience is key to creating an unforgettable connected guest experience, differentiating your brand and increasing revenues. But as guest expectations continue to rise, so will the demands on the WiFi network that supports that technology.
Implementing technology on disparate networks with multiple providers makes it more difficult to expand and update your technology as your needs change. For best results, work with a provider that can design, deploy and manage your network, taking WiFi hassles off your hands. A turnkey WiFi solution can help ensure your hotel not only delights your guests today but is also prepared to meet tomorrow’s technology demands.
Is your hotel equipped to meet guests’ expectations for personalized, digitally connected experiences?