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When you think of the perfect guest Wi-Fi experience, what words would you use to describe it? Fast? Reliable? Easy?
One thing these all have in common is they make the guest Wi-Fi experience lovable; a delightful experience that guests will come back for. It’s not an adjective we commonly think of when it comes to Wi-Fi, but as the #1 demanded amenity, shouldn’t it be our goal? To make guest Wi-Fi more lovable rather than cumbersome, confusing, or frustrating? In this post, we explore three ways to get there.
1. Make a good first impression
As more guests opt for mobile check-in and smartphone room keys in lieu of the front desk, Wi-Fi is often your first – and, in some cases, only – guest touchpoint. It’s important that the initial experience is welcoming and easy. Your captive portal should be consistently branded, mobile-ready, and user-friendly. The Wi-Fi login process is like a first date; if it doesn’t go well, it’s unlikely there will be a second date – or repeat stay. It’s also important this experience extends across your entire brand so that a guest gets the same familiar experience at any one of your properties.
2. Get personal (but ask first)
Yes, Wi-Fi is about connecting devices to the Internet, but it’s also about connecting people to your brand. In order to understand who is using the Wi-Fi, you need a centralized guest Wi-Fi platform that provides automatic authentication and connections to guest information systems like PMS and CRM to better understand and engage your most loyal guests. It is at the point of authentication that we are able to move beyond what device is connecting, to who is connecting to serve up a more personalized experience. That is the true value of authentication. It enables brands to centrally manage Wi-Fi and add colour to their guests with rich guest profiles, which opens up the doors to better guest engagement.
3. Expect a little give and take
Compromise is key to a successful relationship. Free Wi-Fi is still the #1 most desired amenity…but today guests have begun to understand the value of a higher level of Wi-Fi performance. By offering tiered Internet service plans – with clear value at each level – guests choose the plan that fits their needs, based on the speed they need and number of devices they use. Guests who just need to surf the web or check email may be satisfied with your free offering. Power users, like online gamers or business people who need large file-sharing or videoconferencing, may be willing to pay for higher levels of performance to support their more complex needs.