The dramatic rise of Internet usage within the last decade has also dramatically changed lifestyles and preferences of users. Thanks in particular to the increasing popularity of mobile devices, Internet access is no longer restricted to desktop devices. Users can continuously have Internet access through technologies such as Wi-Fi and 3G. Naturally, a lifestyle based on this “constant connectivity” brings changes to users’ habits and expectations.
Properties in the hospitality industry are affected by the shift in these expectations. In our era, Wi-Fi access is among the necessities for the majority of potential guests. According to a study, 34 % of business travelers avoid properties that do not provide Wi-Fi service. Therefore, Wi-Fi Internet has become a significant criterion, surpassing many other needs.
There is a lot that your property can do about this particularly significant issue. As HotelRunner, we share with you some notes related to this issue.
Considering IT infrastructure expenses as an investment
Many businesses cut back on their expenses to reduce their budget due to heavy competition in the accommodation industry. However, if you cut back on your IT department’s budget, which manages your technical infrastructure, this will only result in losses rather than profits. 37 percent of customer complaints are caused by Wi-Fi unavailability. 38 percent complain about not being able to connect through multiple devices. Therefore, you have to consider IT infrastructure expenses as an investment and give priority to them if you would like to prevent such problems.
Free-of-charge or paid?
Whether paid or free-of-charge, it is obvious that Wi-Fi access matters so much for over 80 percent of potential guests. Some properties provide paid Wi-Fi Internet access, while others provide it for free.
Offering free Wi-Fi access is undeniably a point of attraction for potential guests. You will have an advantage over your rivals if you provide such a service for free.
It is only natural for properties to seek income from the services they offer to their guests. Also, research shows that almost half of business travelers are willing to pay an additional fee of 1-10 dollars for high speed Internet access.
Building a system combining the two methods seems to be a reasonable solution for this. For example, access to Internet with normal speed can be free-of-charge, while high speed Internet may be made subject to charge. The more convenient the pricing is, the more likely it becomes for potential guests to prefer you.
There are numerous things you can do with Wi-Fi
If you have a good Wi-Fi infrastructure, you can use it as a customer offering or to provide alternative services. For example, you can introduce various applications allowing your guests to use their smart phones as room keys or to receive room service.
Wi-Fi is not a luxury anymore; instead, it has become a necessity for many people. For the accommodation industry, you better provide Wi-Fi service to satisfy your existing guests as well as attract new ones to your hotel.
In addition to providing Wi-Fi service, using the Internet as a marketing tool is fast becoming more and more of a necessity. Having your own website whereby you can accept bookings can be an opportunity for you to attract new guests and expand your business, particularly in the accommodation industry where the pre-purchasing research rate is remarkably high. You can create your account for free now to benefit from the free-of-charge infrastructure services we offer you as HotelRunner.