Why Hotel Guests Still Gripe About Cell Phone Reception
By Pam Angelucci Senior Vice President of Operations, RoamBOOST | January 03, 2016
The quality of cell phone reception at hotels and resorts is critical to guests. Popular online review sites even have categories such as: best hotels with cell phone reception. Why is this so revealing? Because many hotels don't offer good cellphone reception – and that it's a big consumer concern.
Today's travelers live on their mobile devices. The United States is catching up to the rest of the world, which went wireless long ago in order to establish a voice communications infrastructure. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-half of U.S. adults aged 18 to 44 were living in mobile phone only households during the second half of 2014.1
Consumers-especially those completely dependent on wireless devices-demand excellent voice and data access everywhere. The days of walking down to the lobby or going outside to make a cellphone call are over. Hotel guests expect to send texts, make calls, and connect to the Internet wherever they are, without waiting or wandering for a signal.
"Hotels have an opportunity to substantially improve satisfaction by proactively addressing guest needs," said Rich Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power in a 2015 J.D. Power Study. "Hotels that proactively meet guest needs have the ability to create a positive guest experience."
Ubiquitous cellphone reception does more for hotel owners and operators than make guests happy: it meets the new standard of access to technology that helps retain them. A few years ago, at the dawn of the smart phone age, a landmark survey found that 54 percent of affluent adults aged 35-54 might not re-book at a hotel where cell phone reception was poor.