By Gary Patrick
Internet connectivity has only become more vital to hotel business operations as guests continue to increase the number of devices that they travel with and as more property systems and amenities go online. Yet while an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans say that they can’t live without WiFi while on vacation, internet access and performance is something that many properties continue struggling with to get right. Online review sites are filled with a multitude of guest complaints over poor WiFi service, while surveys repeatedly list WiFi as among one of the leading pain points diminishing the quality of guest experiences.
The complexities of effectively managing a fast and reliable network aside, living up to guest expectations for online connectivity has only become more challenging thanks to industry staffing shortages that severely limit the resources needed to oversee and ensure high quality performance. However, hoteliers are not left without viable options when it comes to overcoming these issues and more are discovering the many advantages of signing up for a managed WiFi service. Able to offload the daily managing and monitoring of WiFi services to an expert and dedicated network solutions provider, hotel businesses making the switch to managed WiFi stand to gain a vital competitive edge in catering to one of the industry’s most crucial amenities for achieving guest satisfaction.
Maintaining a Constant Eye on Hotel WiFi Performance
Any hotelier knows that WiFi networks can be prone to sudden dips in performance that can happen unexpectedly and with little indication as to why. When a drop does inevitably occur, countless hours can be spent by onsite staff attempting to identify and resolve the issue, pulling them away from other responsibilities they may have while increasing the length of time that guests experience unsatisfactory internet service.
By instead partnering with a managed WiFi provider, valuable employee time and guest satisfaction rates can be saved by offloading virtually all performance monitoring and management to offsite yet highly experienced technicians. Whether experiencing a malfunctioning WiFi access point or an unusually high increase in network traffic, a managed WiFi service provider can diagnose and swiftly identify an effective resolution, often before guest experiences are negatively impacted. Better still, managed WiFi services on many occasions can identify and correct an issue without even needing a time-consuming onsite visit.
On any given business day, hotel staff can also find themselves inundated with guest troubleshooting requests that are as diverse as overall network performance issues and that can quickly overwhelm a property’s employee teams. If left unresolved in a timely manner, guest complaints are only set to increase while hotel reputations become exposed to unnecessary risks. Yet here as well, a managed WiFi service can provide hotel employees with some much needed support. More established and reputable providers may offer guest troubleshooting support and can interact directly with guests to resolve any difficulty they may be facing, whether it be WiFi service login issues, connecting to an email server or finding a workaround for a lag in video conferencing quality.
Giving online Security a Boost
The hotel industry is notorious for being a victim of cyberattacks, which only seem to increase in frequency with each passing year and which have become more challenging to stave off due to a decrease in the availability of employees able to give the issue the vigilant attention it deserves.
Managed WiFi services significantly add a vital layer of protection that can mean all the difference between successfully preventing an attack, or dealing with consequences such as a hit to reputations and potential exposure to liability. Unlike onsite personnel who may become distracted by other tasks and overlook the warning signs, managed WiFi technicians can be counted on to always maintain a watchful eye. On many occasions, they can identify suspicious activity such as Trojan horses or ransomware and can prevent network intrusion before an attack even has a chance to take place. If a cyberattack ultimately is successful, being able to rely on the support of a managed WiFi provider can prove critical in minimizing any potential damage or legal consequences.
Gaining an Upper hand on Network Customization
Personalization is all the rage within the hotel industry these days and a property’s WiFi network is certainly no exception to the trend. Guests traveling for business can have their own set of unique WiFi service needs compared to those visiting for leisure, while the hosting of events only adds to the number of online options that hotels need to offer in order to live up to expectations.
To be successful and to bypass the complications of creating custom-tailored online experiences, managed WiFi can prove to be essential in gaining a competitive edge. Again with minimal involvement of a hotel’s staff, managed WiFi service technicians can work directly with guests or event organizers to identify and implement a customized network solution that fully meets specific needs. This can include but is certainly not limited to the setting up of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the temporary increase of bandwidth and the creating of a dedicated login page for event attendees. Managed WiFi technicians can even be made available throughout the duration of an event to handle any requests that may arise and to ensure that network service quality remains consistently high.
Looking Ahead to the Future With Network Scalability
If one thing is certain about a hotel’s WiFi network, it’s that it is in need of continuous updating in order to keep pace with evolving business needs and ever-increasing guest standards. For the unprepared, this can easily translate into unpredictable disruptions to operations and considerable costs. Such issues are only made more frequent with the industry’s shift towards IoT-enabled services and amenities, each adding to the strain that is placed on a hotel’s existing network.
By relying on the support of a managed WiFi services provider, hoteliers can gain valuable guidance on adopting a network strategy that’s flexible and able to seamlessly adapt without requiring a cost-prohibitive and extensive overhaul of network infrastructure. Industry professionals can effortlessly work with such providers to extend WiFi service coverage areas or increase bandwidth, to name a few examples, by building off of a scalable network design. This advantage is increasingly vital as hotel locations look to implement smart technologies such as thermostats or motion sensors, technologies that promise to take guest experiences to new heights and slash operating costs, but that can only do so if provided with a fast and reliable online connection.
As more hotel businesses strive to adopt smart solutions while meeting guest demands for ever faster and dependable internet access, managed WiFi services with its wide range of offerings and support services will undoubtedly serve as a game-changing factor in staying a step ahead. With the quality of WiFi experiences set to continue being a top guest priority, those that that make the switch to managed WiFi sooner rather than later can gain a foothold over the competition that ultimately safeguards reputations and makes business operations that much more profitable.