Free, reliable and fast Wi-Fi is today an essential part of the guest experience and is just as much an expectation, if not more so, as a comfortable bed and fluffy bathrobe. While free Wi-Fi networks are a ubiquitous essential for most customer-facing businesses, its true value has yet to be harnessed by the vast majority of hotel businesses.

Internet opportunity

Next-generation guest Wi-Fi platforms have much more to offer than simply providing hotel guests with unlimited access to the internet. Wi-Fi offers the savvy hotelier the opportunity to engage with guests by promoting hotel services to them directly and encouraging customer loyalty programme registrations. This is all made possible with branded login pages, data collection forms, triggered email and SMS messages, and redirects to online guest surveys. This guest information can then be used to promote targeted products and services to them and to complete their guest profile details.

These features can help hotels generate a return on their investment and complement or enhance existing marketing efforts. Using Wi-Fi to connect guests to the hotel brand, and keep them updated with the latest information, delivers great value to the guests, but there are also many other ways hotels can enhance their guests’ experience with Wi-Fi.

As an innovative provider of Wi-Fi software, Airangel has teamed up with Ruckus, a leading hotel Wi-Fi hardware provider, to deliver a unique solution to the hospitality sector, offering guests the ultimate hotel home experience (HHE).

As loyal business travellers roam from one hotel to another, they are instantly recognised, remembered and logged onto their own personal Wi-Fi network.

Personalised network services

A key objective for many hotels is to make every part of the guest’s stay as enjoyable as possible, and offer even more comfort than they might expect in their own home. However, what’s missing is the ability to seamlessly access the hotel’s Wi-Fi without completing a lengthy login form. On a home wireless network, users also benefit from being able to network devices and even stream content to a large-screen TV. They can add games consoles and other Wi-Fi-enabled systems and, once connected, the devices will instantly log in every time they detect the Wi-Fi network’s name (SSID).

HHE can bring this capability to hotel establishments. With the introduction of a ‘personal area networks’ feature, guests can take their home Wi-Fi experience with them to any hotel where HHE is installed.

On first set-up, guests are able to choose their own personal SSID. They can even use the same one they use at home, allowing all their devices to seamlessly connect as soon as they enter their hotel room. As loyal business travellers roam from one hotel to another, they are instantly recognised, remembered and logged onto their own personal Wi-Fi network. This enables guests to connect any or all of their devices and stream personal content to the biggest screen in the room. Hoteliers can also use HHE as a reward for regular guests, loyalty members or even use it as an upsell opportunity.

Wi-Fi has the potential to really strengthen the bond between the hotel and their guests. Personal area networks, better engagement and an overall positive Wi-Fi experience are surefire ways of improving satisfaction, promoting loyalty and generating additional revenue for business.