Top 5 Guest Wi-Fi Concerns

Do your TripAdvisor reviews include complaints about your Wi-Fi? Ever wonder why? We’ve outlined the top 5 concerns guests have about Wi-Fi when they are planning a hotel stay. The more you tailor the Wi-Fi experience at your property to avoid these concerns – the happier and more loyal your guests will be!

1. Weak security

One of the biggest exposures guests have when connecting to visitor-based public Wi-Fi networks is that they are usually unencrypted ‘open’ SSIDs. Any network communication will be sent over the airwaves and can be captured by anyone in close proximity. If the guest’s Internet traffic is also unencrypted (i.e. they are not using a VPN or not browsing HTTPS/SSL sites) then their traffic can be viewed by anyone. WEP keys do not solve the issue, as anyone with the key can easily decrypt the traffic and the keys are easy to break. The Wi-Fi Alliance‘s Passpoint (a.k.a. Hotspot 2.0 certification) solves the problem of open air interception by providing a secure, WPA2 encrypted wireless communication for guests. This technology prevents others from eavesdropping on the guest‘s Internet traffic - even then they fail to take steps (VPN or HTTPS) to encrypt it.

2. Spinning wheel of death

Attention spans are continuing to get shorter as more aspects of life become on demand. This means that no one has time to deal with a slow Internet connection. Watching your favorite TV show buffer or news site load for 15 seconds is unacceptable to the always-on culture people have adopted. On average, home Internet runs at 5.8 Mbps. Guests expect (and demand) that anywhere they logon, they have the same HSIA that they get at home. At a minimum, 3 Mbps will allow travelers to operate their basic web activities. By maintaining a strong connection for at least email and web browsing, you can rest assured that your guests Internet thirst is at least partially quenched.

3. Only one device to rule them all

Picture this: you’re relaxing in the hotel room watching Netflix on your tablet. Your wife wants to send an email from her laptop. After a heavy sigh you pause the show, disconnect from the Wi-Fi and wait for her to connect her laptop, authenticate with last name and room number, compose, edit, and send the email. Then she has to disconnect to allow you to log on, authenticate, refresh the app, and resume your show. No one walks away from that experience thinking it was seamless or easy. Giving guests a consistent and reliable connection across multiple devices gives them the freedom to relax or work at their leisure. The less guests have to think about how they connect to your hotel’s Wi-Fi, the happier they will be.

4. Spotty or location-specific connection

Having spotty Wi-Fi is almost worse than just having a slow connection. If your guest has to hold their tablet at a tilt while holding it directly above their head because that is the Wi-Fi sweet spot – that just won’t cut it. Less dramatically, if you only offer HSIA in the lobby, you’re bound to hit a sore spot with most of your guests. According to a study done by Hotel Internet Services, 98% of guests expect Wi-Fi in their hotel room compared to 69% who expect Wi-Fi in the lobby. The best way to make a strong impression with your guests is to blanket your entire property hotel with a strong connection.

5. Exhaustive sign on process

Gaining access to Wi-Fi should not require your emergency contact and social security number. The more barriers between your guest and Netflix, the more frustrated they become. A simple portal page with the option to authenticate with a social account, email, or last name and room number should be enough to let you know who is on your network, and let them continue on to what really matters – “checking in” to your hotel on Facebook.

Keep these 5 guest Wi-Fi concerns at bay and you are on your way to loyalty-building, guest-pleasing Wi-Fi. Want to know more about hotel Wi-Fi and how to keep your guests happy? Check out our infographic: The Hotel Wi-Fi Story: Guest Expectations vs Hotel Perceptions