Your freshly renovated lobby is lovely. The new signage is sure to attract attention. And your guests will love what you’ve done with the pool area. There is, however, one upgrade that can dramatically increase business and make your customer satisfaction soar–free and reliable WiFi. After all, your goal is to give the people what they want, and the people want WiFi.

Room service is great, but nothing beats Skyping with your family.

While service with a smile, spic-and-span premises, and a long list of amenities all play an important role in the hospitality realm, the availability of complimentary high speed internet can make or break the relationship you enjoy with many of your guests.

Your Guests Have Spoken

WiFi is extremely important to business travelers. According to Motorola Solutions’ “The Growing Importance of WiFi in Hotels,” a recent study reveals that over 90% of business travelers want WiFi access in their rooms, while a third stated they would not return to a hotel that did not meet this expectation. Poor quality internet service could translate into a painful loss of business.

Leisure travelers also greatly value WiFi and connectivity. According to research conducted by Netgear in “Smaller Hospitality Firms Don’t Understand Importance of WiFi,” one in three people travelling for leisure purposes would not return to a hotel with poor internet access.

What is “Good Enough?”

In order to determine if your hotel is “up to snuff,” you need to know what constitutes “fast” and “reliable” WiFi service. Hotelwifitest.com’s recent report, “Hotelwifitest.com Focuses on Poor WiFi: If Holiday Inn Express was a City, It Would be Las Vegas,” a hotel should have “a download speed of at least 2 Mbps, an upload speed of 1 Mbps, latency not exceeding 500 ms, and an average stability rating of at least 3 out of 5.” Anything less is deemed inadequate.

WiFi’s Added Benefits

Your guests are not the only ones that will benefit from WiFi. In fact, if used to its full potential, WiFi can improve every aspect of your hotel. Here’s how.

  • Housekeeping. Thanks to WiFi devices, your housekeeping staff can be notified when guests check out–enabling them to clean rooms the minute they become available. The housekeeping staff, in turn, can inform the front desk when rooms are ready for new guests to check in.
  • Remote Check-in. Make the check-in process quicker and easier by enabling guests to check in from a remote kiosk on your premises. You could also enable them to check in using their mobile devices before they’ve stepped foot on your property. They can even use GPS to locate their suites and other hotel sweet spots like the gym, restaurant, or swimming pool.
  • Luggage. Your bellmen can more effectively carry out their tasks thanks to WiFi-enabled devices and their ability to stay up-to-date on what needs to be done and when. No longer will they waste time running unnecessarily from floor to floor. Thanks to real-time communication, they can save steps and better serve your clientele.
  • Concierge. By enabling your guests to contact your concierge service remotely, your hotel will be better able to meet the needs of your clientele, build a stronger relationship, and showcase the services you offer. You can even send special invitations, promos, and coupons to clients electronically.
  • Customization. Imagine your guests being able to walk into a suite that is exactly to their liking. The temperature is perfect and the right amount of lights are on. Thanks to WiFi, your hotel can create the perfect setting for each individual guest’s experience before they put the key in the door.
Your top-notch team is even better with WiFi.

Polishing up your premises and adding amenities are all great ideas. But before you invest a wad of cash ensure that your hotel offers reliable and fast Wi-Fi service. It is, after all, at the top of your guests’ wish lists. And the surest way to succeed in business is to give the people what they want.

How has your hotel utilized Wi-Fi to improve customer service?

This post was contributed by Kimberley Laws, a freelance writer and MediaShower.com contributor who could not possibly live without WiFi when travelling. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.