There’s more demand than ever on guest networks. The challenge lies in the ever-increasing number of Wi-Fi enabled devices, along with ever-increasing demand for bandwidth to support more activity. It has become not just a one time upgrade, but an ongoing cycle where hoteliers must foot the bill.
There’s no secret to offsetting the costs, but the value of the incremental revenue is often overlooked. In a recent Hotel Executive article, author Jeremy Rock offers a couple solutions, which we’ve highlighted below with a few of our own:
Increase your room rate to compensate for high infrastructure costs, Rock suggests. Be aware of your competitive market and price fairly. This option is mainly for the luxury market where guests are typically not as price-sensitive.
Offer tiered Internet plans; basic bandwidth for typical search and email could be free-to-guest while higher levels of bandwidth should be for-charge. Many major brands, as well as boutique hotels, have instigated tiered bandwidth plans. Even HotelChatter, a proponent of free Wi-Fi, deemed this a fair practice in its 2012 Wi-Fi Report.
Provide easy in-session upgrades. There’s nothing more irritating than waiting for a video to buffer every few seconds. Giving guests the option to upgrade their Internet plan will surely boost satisfaction. In a recent iPass survey, 35% of business travelers said they would pay for a faster connection even when a free network is available, so they can work more efficiently.
Charge for conference Internet. Especially if you offer free Wi-Fi in other parts of your hotel, charging for Internet in your conferences and meeting spaces can yield high margins as well as better guest satisfaction. Check out our Conference Series Manager series to learn more.
Promote for-pay amenities, like your spa or restaurant, on your guest Internet login screen. This indirect revenue opportunity is often overlooked, but there is a lot of value in the captive number of eyes on this screen every day.
Using software, like ElevenOS, to manage your guest network is the key to successfully implementing many of the above options.
View 4 Ways to Monetize (Free) Wi-Fi for more details.