Your hotel guests and staff expect strong WiFi that is available throughout your hotel or campus environment. More so than any other amenity, bad WiFi is sure to lead to negative guest feedback.
You may be struggling with issues in your wireless network, such as:
Your employees rely on WiFi when they are away from their desk. Your guests expect to have access to the internet at least as fast and as readily as they have it at home.
Wireless technologies can enable location-based services that may provide additional revenue-generating opportunities for your hotel.
Why has WiFi become so important to hotel operations?
Your guests expect strong WiFi that is available throughout your property, as soon as they enter your hotel or resort.
WiFi has become a critical factor to hotel operations for the following reasons:
1) For most hotel guests, free WiFi is no longer considered an optional amenity but rather an absolute necessity.
One of the most common complaints hotel staff hear from guests is "I can't access the WiFi." (See "The top 5 hotel guest complaints and how staff can respond," https://insights.ehotelier.com/insights/2019/01/09/the-top-5-hotel-guest-complaints-and-how-staff-can-respond/.)
Growing interest in accessing a hotel's WiFi (or learning about the quality of a property's WiFi) is reflected in online searches over the last several years.
The availability of free WiFi is no longer enough. The WiFi service at your hotel must be robust and available throughout your property, including auxiliary buildings. Guests who experience frequent dropped service will be unhappy, which will be reflected in online reviews.
In today's world where people have high-speed internet service at home, everyone, whether traveling for business or pleasure, expects enterprise-quality WiFi service when they visit hotels, resorts, and other hospitality businesses.
2) Guests are bringing multiple devices that all need a WiFi connection.
When a typical family checks into your hotel, they may have up to a dozen devices with them. Guests are bringing everything from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles to media streaming sticks.
Your guests expect to be able to use their video streaming services, music services, location-based services, and more, just like they do at home.
But your legacy WiFi infrastructure may be unable to keep up with today's increased wireless demands.
3) Staff have also come to depend on WiFi.
Not only do your guests expect to have good WiFi when visiting your property, your staff have come to rely on it too.
Throughout your property are opportunities for additional revenue-generating activities that may be under-utilized. When your staff can be equipped with mobile devices, they can order services for guests wherever they are, such as poolside and spas.
Having a strong wireless network also enables staff to respond to guest problems immediately, wherever they are encountered on your property. There are no delays waiting for a staff member to return to his workstation to begin remediation steps.
4) The opportunity for location-based services.
Wireless technologies can enable location-based messaging, which you can leverage to increase sales. Examples include indoor way-finding applications, mobile check-in, and proximity-aware push notifications.
With these capabilities, you can promote features or specific areas of your property. You can send time-sensitive offers to your guests that they can use immediately, such as retail discounts, restaurant meal promotions, and ticket packages, to name a few. You can even provide turn-by-turn directions for visitors as they traverse your property.
5) The growing use of IoT devices in hotel settings requires a strong wireless network to support.
Opportunities exist today to integrate multiple technologies such as hotel door locks, thermostats, televisions, window coverings, lighting, and water valves. These integrations can result in reduced operating expenses for property owners and an improved guest experience.
Hoteliers reduce costs when energy-consuming systems within unoccupied rooms can be turned off or turned down. This cost savings is realized through the wireless capabilities of access control systems, which captures the information on which rooms are occupied or not. This is the mechanism used to turn off or down systems within a guest room.
But advanced systems such as electronic access control require a strong wireless infrastructure on which to operate. Legacy wireless networks designed before the popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) may be unable to support multiple integrated systems.
Why is hotel WiFi so bad?
1) Old Equipment
The wireless network infrastructure put in place at a property might be several years old. The original equipment may be unable to support the heavier traffic demands of today where everybody has a smartphone and hotel guests expect to be able to stream video from their devices using the hotel WiFi. This type of use may have never been planned for in the initial wireless network design.
Also, wireless capabilities have been built into integrated systems such as door locks, thermostats, lights, window coverings, and more. If you have adopted any of these advanced systems (or would like to), you need a strong wireless network infrastructure to support them.
New solutions offering additional revenue-producing opportunities are available to hoteliers, but they require a strong wireless network infrastructure. For example, there are location-based services and brand loyalty programs that can increase revenue at your property, but again, you need a strong wireless infrastructure.
2) Legacy Wireless Network Design
The design of the legacy wireless infrastructure may have created bottlenecks due to today's increased usage. That is, it may be that the existing wireless network works okay until usage becomes heavy — at which point, the internet experience for some or all users becomes very poor.
A legacy wireless infrastructure may not be very scalable, depending on how it was designed. If the WiFi needs increase, a user's WiFi experience suffers.
3) Property Expansion
The property may have expanded without upgrading or adding wireless equipment. Even if additional rooms have not been added, the hotel may have added more services within the property, such as a new restaurant, which increases WiFi use.
Large, expansive resorts may find it challenging to provide hospitality WiFi service in extensive outside areas. You may also be dealing with harsh weather conditions. If tropical storms cause frequent outages of your WiFi, you may need to invest in more rugged equipment designed to handle challenging outside environments.
4) Security Issues
Properties that host events may have security concerns about the use of the WiFi. A legacy wireless network may have been implemented without properly segmenting network traffic, in which case your staff and guests are all using the same network. Conference attendees may be uncomfortable sharing the same network with all other guests as well as attendees of other meetings that may occur at the same time.
Other reasons that a property's WiFi may have more traffic on it than for which it was originally designed is that unsecured wireless networks can allow people outside the hotel to steal WiFi, placing additional demands on the network.
How Can I Improve My Hotel's WiFi?
To improve WiFi, hotels and resorts need to expand throughput, optimize traffic, and maximize the use of network connections. Proper traffic balancing from WiFi to switch to WAN is essential to providing great WiFi experiences.
If you haven't had a technical assessment of your wireless infrastructure in some time, there may be technical deficiencies holding you back from adopting today's modern systems.
Perform a Wireless Network Assessment
A wireless network assessment provides the answers as to the specific shortcomings of your wireless infrastructure and where changes need to be made.
Corserva provides wireless network assessments to hoteliers that follow this process:
- Step #1 — We review with you your current concerns about your wireless network infrastructure.
- Step #2 — We assess your existing wireless network to uncover technical deficiencies specific to your environment.
- Step #3 — We design a new or supplemental wireless infrastructure to provide you with enterprise quality WiFi throughout your building or campus.
Customized for Your Specific Environment
The assessment process considers the unique characteristics of your building that can impact WiFi signal strength, including:
- Types of external and internal doors
- Material composition of external and internal walls
- Configurations of staircases and stairwells
- Types of windows
Corserva's Wireless Network Design Services
Corserva installs and maintains enterprise WiFi and beacon-enabled location services. We can also monitor your wireless infrastructure to keep it operating optimally.
The wireless network can be segmented so that guests are using a network separate from your employees. If your property hosts business conferences, you can even segment based on a specific group. When you can provide meeting attendees with unique URLs, this allows for customization options that make for a better user experience.
With Corserva's wireless network design and implementation services, you gain the winning combination of enterprise quality equipment and relevant expertise that ensures you can provide your guests with a simple and secure wireless experience that eliminates frustration and complaints.
Why can't I just buy more equipment?
Without a thorough wireless network assessment, you could be throwing money away buying more equipment. You may not need a completely new network. You could add additional wireless access points and still have dead zones throughout your property.
A network assessment can pinpoint what parts of the network environment can be kept. In a new wireless network design, you may be able to re-use a lot of the existing cabling. You may only need to supplement your existing network to raise its level of quality to one that provides guests and employees with secure WiFi that is available throughout the property.
Corserva can assess your existing wireless network to uncover potential technical deficiencies, and then design and implement a new or supplemental wireless infrastructure.
How can I support my wireless infrastructure?
Once you have a strengthened wireless infrastructure, you need to make sure its performance remains optimized. Corserva monitors your network, installing firmware updates when needed, and checking for anomalies. We report back to you on the health and utilization of your network, as well as providing end-user support to your staff and guests. When we spot potentially troublesome trends on your network, we can isolate problems quickly before they impact hotel operations.
Proactive monitoring of systems prevents issues from affecting the guest experience and enables the hotelier to efficiently maintain all systems in the most cost-effective manner.
Ongoing management of your wireless network includes:
- Bandwidth utilization, application usage
- Health metrics
- Wireless security that detect malicious activity, intrusions, and interference
- User presence analytics to measure customer engagement
- Comprehensive network overview
24x7x365 Support for Staff and Guests
Corserva provides 24x7x365 support for your staff and guests. If a staff member or guest has a question about the WiFi, they can contact Corserva directly, with Corserva acting as an extension of your technical staff. Corserva provides technical support around the clock via phone, email, and web portal.
Benefits of an enterprise-level wireless network from Corserva include:
- Improved guest experience
- Operational efficiencies
- Scalable to grow with your needs
- Fast deployment
- Streamlined equipment footprint
- Fully secure
- Customizable access policies: per user, device, or location
- Health metrics and reporting
- Branded landing pages
- Ongoing monitoring of your wireless network
Features of a wireless network designed by Corserva include:
Rely on Corserva for Wireless Infrastructure Support
Corserva has the expertise to manage complicated infrastructure projects of any size. As a Corserva client, you have a single point of contact for any technology issues. No more trying to pinpoint the source of the issue or figure out who to call.
With wireless solutions from Corserva, you can give your guests a simple and secure wireless experience that eliminates frustration and complaints. Gain flawless WiFi to improve your guest ratings.