New Mobile Technologies and Networking Capabilities Can Help Enhance the Guest Experience

By Tom Moore Retail and Hospitality Industry Lead , Zebra Technologies | June 09, 2013

As hospitality professionals look at their technology strategies, they must focus on four key factors: operational efficiencies, discretion, flexibility and seamless connectivity. Communication solutions, such as advanced two-way radio technology, must address all four factors to enable personalized, highly-responsive customer service. In addition, a secure, reliable, application-aware wireless network allows employees to be more efficient and productive in managing client transactions, such as checking hotel guests in at the curb, expediting valet parking and placing food orders immediately.

Wi-Fi wireless networks and staff communication solutions can improve the effectiveness of your staff. They work together to create a cohesive solution that truly transforms the way your staff works.

Wi-Fi Wireless Networks

A secure and reliable Wi-Fi network is the backbone of your hotel's infrastructure. Guests today are bringing an average of 2-3 mobile devices with them to their hotel rooms. That demand can strain hotels' wireless networking capabilities, potentially interrupting your staff's ability to be efficient while using Wi-Fi communications devices, which can diminish the guest's experience. The hotel's wireless local area network, or WLAN, is a method of providing a wireless communication network over a limited distance to a number of devices. WLAN can also provide wireless Internet access, also known as Wi-Fi. The hotel's WLAN and Wi-Fi have to provide a great guest experience, while ensuring hotel operational efficiency and high-quality, reliable staff communications.

Hoteliers should evaluate their WLAN to determine if it is meeting the current demands and needs of their guests and staff today and in the near future. Consider the following:

  • Are there any dead spots or Wi-Fi coverage issues that hinder your staff's ability to use Wi-Fi enabled devices or voice-over WLAN for communications?
  • Are guests complaining about performance issues in general or in specific areas?
  • Is there an outdoor area of the hotel that needs a better Wi-Fi coverage, e.g. outdoor lounge or pool side?
  • Is the staff soon to be equipped with more mobile applications as tools to serve guests?
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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.