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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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.