Guests are quick to incorporate the latest technologies and gadgets into their day-to-day lives and expect your property to be compatible. The common thread between most new devices is their need for internet connectivity, typically through WiFi. WiFi availability is consistently rated as a top factor in the decisions making process when booking a hotel. Most guests expect it to be free, but some are still willing to pay for higher quality service. The problem is, most property websites say nothing about the quality or speed of the service. They list if it is available and at what cost, but leave out the most critical information about the guest experience.
To help address this problem, a service is available that allows guests to compare hotels based only on their WiFi speeds. Hotelwifitest.com ranks hotels based on their reported internet speeds. If your hotel isn’t listed, log on, and run the tests, and the website will attempt to record your property’s IP Address location. If it can’t be located, you can submit a request to have it added. It’s essential to run this test from many places around your property to get a more accurate report. Unfortunately, Hotelwifitest.com has partnered with various OTA sites and list their rates and availability for each property. Currently, there isn’t a platform for hotels to compete directly in this space, but as the site matures, more functionality will be added.
So what can hoteliers do in the meantime? The best bet would be to incorporate this data into your website directly. Instead of just listing that you offer WiFi, list what speeds guests should experience while they are there. If your speeds are on the lower end, it may be time to contact your provider to see about increasing them. Depending on your area, increased speeds may not be an option, but this will also apply to your competition. They will most likely be using the same provider and will have comparable speeds. So don’t let lower speeds keep you from advertising precisely what your hotel has to offer. If you have the option to upgrade, do it and use your faster connection speeds as a selling point and brand yourself as the hotel with the fastest internet in town.
If you want to go a step farther, find out what cellular coverage is available in your area and which works best in your rooms. Chances are your staff will have a variety of providers, so ask them to walk around different parts of the property and see what kind of signal strength they get. Have your front desk staff keep track of this and incorporate it into the check-in process. Ask your guests who their providers are, and you can attempt to match them in a room with the best reception.
If you host a lot of business travelers, these little touches can help to build loyalty and overall satisfaction. These are the kind of details guests typically don’t think about when booking their hotels, but often come up during their stay. Being able to address unknown needs will keep the positive reviews coming in and help to differentiate yourself from the competition.