It’s no secret that consumer expectations continue to rise. The digital age has led the hospitality industry to become more competitive than ever, and the pandemic has only accelerated the need for modern hospitality technology.
High-speed Internet access (HSIA) and robust Wi-Fi networks enable guests to use their devices the way they use them at home, which is what they now expect when staying at a hotel. Implementing modern technology can set your property apart from the competition and ensure your guests will be likely to return.
Additionally, staff operations should be thoughtfully considered in the design of the network. Property management and point-of-sale systems are critical for the success of your business and are best supported through the combination of wired endpoints and wireless access points.
The Importance of HSIA in Hotels
Hotels that don’t offer high-speed Internet access simply cannot meet guest expectations.
To illustrate, one recent study found that 75 percent of business travelers said free Internet access is “very important” when choosing a hotel, and 21 percent said it was “somewhat important.” Another study found that 57 percent of millennials would return to a hotel if it offered a high-end Wi-Fi experience. Further, a separate report found that 84.2 percent of millennials connect to hotel Wi-Fi during their stays.
Add it all up, and HSIA presents a great way to boost the guest experience and strengthen guest satisfaction scores—which should be the goal of every hotel.
Keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply offer Wi-Fi and connectivity in guest rooms. Leading hospitality properties increasingly understand the importance of enabling guests to connect to Wi-Fi throughout the entire property—including in conference rooms and the hotel lobby itself. In fact, in the age of the remote worker, hotel lobbies are increasingly doubling as creative workspaces for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business travelers.
Another consideration is bandwidth. It’s one thing to invest in an enterprise-grade HSIA solution, but in the age of laptops, smartphones, and tablets, your network needs to be able to accommodate a lot of traffic. Without enough bandwidth, your network will not perform—which won’t meet guest expectations.
The good news is that by partnering with the right HSIA provider, your hotel can exceed guest expectations and stand out from the rest of your competitors by offering a robust HSIA experience that lets guests use all of their devices anywhere on your property the same way they would use them at home.
Finding the Right HSIA Partner
If you’re considering upgrading your existing data network, consider these key areas to protect your investment and meet guest expectations:
Experienced Design of Enterprise-Grade Hardware
Travelers today are often carrying multiple devices that will simultaneously connect to your network, adding to the connections required by other guests and hotel staff. The first step to implementing a quality network is to make certain that you are investing in enterprise-grade hardware that meet the demands of the hospitality environment. Partnering with an experienced provider ensures cabling needs are met, access points are placed appropriately, and optimal redundancy is contemplated.
Your system must have the speed to support guest expectations. To ensure high-speed connections are available throughout your property, you need a network that delivers the bandwidth necessary to handle multiple devices and types of Internet usage simultaneously. You can also leverage a high-speed connection to better support your TV programming package and phone lines.
Cloud Management Capabilities
The last thing you want is to invest in a new network that’s a headache to manage. Look for a provider that implements a high-speed network with simplified deployment and bandwidth management via the cloud. That way, you’re able to troubleshoot problems faster, and the provider can even remedy them remotely.
Data breaches and data security are top of mind for any consumer, so ensuring your network is secure is more important than ever before. Look for solutions that offer best-in-class security features, such as user privacy configuration settings and guest authentication that ensures only authorized individuals can access your network. That way, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your network is protected.
Premium Support Services
Technology is ever-changing and is bound to create some obstacles. As such, it’s important to choose an HSIA provider that offers high-touch support. Look for providers that are partners in managing your network. They will offer remote monitoring, diagnostics, reporting, and troubleshooting capabilities. The right partner will offer around-the-clock support so that in the event an issue comes up, you can address it immediately, perhaps even before your guests realize an issue exists.
There are many options when considering providers, but there are only a handful of true industry partners who understand the needs of hotels and their guests. Choosing a technology partner to guide you through the process—including scalable network design with optimal redundancy and expert installation—can save you time and money in the long-run.
One last thing: If you’re considering migrating to a new Internet provider so you can deliver HSIA to your guests, you may want to look into whether you’re happy with your voice and video services, too. There may be an opportunity for you to invest in a converged network that combines your Internet, video, and voice networks—and, as a result, deliver one connected experience to your guests.