You, like many other hoteliers and travellers spend countless hours online. Take now for example, you’re reading this post on the web.
So it’s no surprise that offering Wi-Fi to hotel guests is as important to your business as it is to their stay. People are now plugged in to their devices and surfing the Internet more than ever before. In Western Europe alone, 78% of the population is online.* Who does that include?
You, your guest, their friends, and, well, you get the idea. Almost everyone is online.
According to recent trivago’s data, the ‘Wi-Fi’ search filter is most indicative of this trend. It is one of the 5 most used filters in trivago search. This is not limited to just business travellers either. Leisure travellers, families and singles are also looking for Internet access when they choose a hotel.
Posting selfies on Facebook, answering emails and booking the next leg of the trip online are top priorities. As such, almost 65% of hotels in Great Britain now offer free, in-room Internet access. If you’re a part of this group then you already understand how appreciated Wi-Fi access is. If you’re not, providing guests with Internet in your hotel, note that it can be a huge investment for your business.
Here are three smart tips to help you leverage Wi-Fi to attract more guests:
1. The quality of your Internet should reflect the quality of your hotel, or exceed it
Limiting Internet access to the lobby or common areas might be accepted in a low cost hotel but do not assume that’s the norm. Middle to high range hotels should definitely offer quality Wi-Fi throughout the property and preferably for free. This means providing a speedy and reliable connection and making sure that visitors are made aware of the login credentials and procedures before they even ask for them. As Wi-Fi becomes more and more important for travellers, they won’t hesitate to mention their disappointment or satisfaction with Internet connectivity in an online review. More importantly, their experience can influence their future booking decisions at your hotel as well as your online reputation. Interestingly enough Great Britain has some catching up to do. Turkey has the highest percentage of hotels offering free Wi-Fi with Sweden and Poland close behind. Over 80% of the hotels in these countries provide this amenity to their guests free of charge.
2. Keep your guests in mind when telling them about your Wi-Fi access
For business and generation Y travellers Wi-Fi is a must. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes for a moment. This will help you identify how best to advertise Wi-Fi in your offline and online materials. For example, a new hotel in the center of Copenhagen targeting urban travellers under the age of 40, mentions its Wi-Fi service prominently in its description on their official website:
Before you need to ask – we’ve got Wi-Fi, and it’s FREE (that’s right!). You can find our hotel right behind the central train station and each private room comes equipped with a full bathroom. We have a luggage storage room, and we’re wheelchair-accessible. Check-in starts at 4 PM, and checkout is 12 noon. You’ll receive all the check-in details via email or SMS, whichever you prefer, on the day of your arrival. It’s simple and it’s that convenient.
3. Communicate both online and offline
Think of where potential customers will look when seeking information about your hotel. This includes your official website, booking sites (OTAs), review sites and of course hotel metasearch sites such as trivago.
Here is a list of the main communication channels for promoting your Wi-Fi service:
- Your official website is a start. Mention your Wi-Fi service in the description of your hotel. Include it in your hotel amenities and room descriptions. If you charge for Internet access, indicate the price policy clearly (per day, per hour, in certain rooms only). Also, consider adding a Wi-Fi logo on your landing page.
- Your offline materials are equally important. Include information about Wi-Fi on flyers, business cards, signs in your lobby and common areas. Don’t forget to put Wi-Fi stickers on your front door and in guest rooms. This could encourage the hesitant walk-ins to stay at your hotel and it will make a difference in the customer experience overall.
- Hotel Metasearch is one of the first sources of information for travellers who search for accommodations online. It’s the most important platform for your hotel’s visibility. Hotel metasearch users select filters in order to specify what they are looking for and they are sure that the search results will match their preferences.
Be sure to include Wi-Fi in the listing of your amenities on your hotel profile.
trivago, the world’s largest hotel metasearch
In order to finalize their choice, travellers compare and check more details about hotels via their online hotel profiles. If your hotel profile is not complete, you take the risk of being filtered out; losing visibility and not being chosen. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You have the possibility to take control of your hotel profile now. TIP: If you’re looking for a free platform where millions of travellers can find your hotel, you’ll want to check this out. It’s FREE and it makes updating your hotel information easy.
“I am an avid traveller and I often choose which cafes and restaurants to visit based on their having Wi-Fi available. The easiest way to see this is via a logo decal on their window, or on their signage. When abroad, this is the ONLY way I choose where to go. You know why? I need Wi-Fi to find and book that evening’s hotel stay, do some work, email family and find out where I am headed next. This is my typical strategy when on long vacations as I go where the trip takes me rather than book ahead.” Jamie, millennial, traveller, blogger
In order to profit even more from your Wi-Fi investment make sure your offer matches your guests expectations and hotel standards. Align your communication with their needs and expectations. Finally, display the message accordingly on various channels of communication, giving priorities to metasearch.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started now.