In-Room Wi-Fi Success Stories: Rules to Live by

By Jason Guest Account Manager, Americas, Aptilo Networks | November 13, 2011

Guest wireless is growing by leaps and bounds as today's guests are bringing laptops, tablets, smartphones and even wireless-enabled gaming devices -- all in one room, and sharing a single broadband connection. Additionally, revenue-drivers such as video-on-demand are being cannibalized by on-demand movie streaming services.

How can today's hotel keep up?

In-room wireless can be a huge opportunity to generate new revenue streams and cultivate loyalty. Tap into its full potential - and sidestep potential roadblocks - by following a few simple rules that will generate new revenue, cultivate customer loyalty and streamline your resources.

The "Capacity Crunch"

Bandwidth is a hot topic right now. At a recent hospitality-focused convention several speakers spoke about the "capacity crunch" that has descended upon the industry.

Why is this an issue now? Travelers of all types are bringing more wireless-enabled devices into hotels. Think of it: business travelers tote around a laptop, a smartphone and likely a tablet device for entertainment. Increasingly, these kinds of devices are Wi-Fi-enabled. Carriers appreciate Wi-Fi because it offloads some of the traffic from their data network, which is helping to drive the Wi-Fi ecosystem of products. Recreational travelers, too, bring laptops, smartphones, tablet devices and even gaming devices (such as the PSP, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360).

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.