It’s that time of year again – as quickly as the winter gripped Wales, it’ll soon be Easter and the start of the tourist season again.
I love this time of year. Spring brings such welcome change to our weather and lighter evenings mean time spent outdoors in Pembrokeshire – usually walking the coast path or one of our beaches – albeit with a winter coat! It also means that our customers in the tourism industry are gearing up for another season of trade and making sure everything is ship-shape for their first guests.
This time of year normally entails giving the bedrooms a fresh lick of paint or perhaps rearranging furniture – but when was the last time you thought about your guest Wi-Fi provision? Do you know if your internet speeds are as fast as they can be, or what your guests think about the level of internet access available in their rooms?
All too often, we see TripAdvisor reviews for hotels and guest houses in West Wales which say something along the lines of ‘Great accommodation, BUT…..’ followed by something about poor internet access. Love it or hate it, Wi-Fi is an essential part of your business and whether you choose to charge for it or give it free, your guests are judging you on it.
We know that broadband speeds and reliability are a contentious issue here and we often find that B&Bs in remote areas are fighting an uphill battle to get any sort of acceptable bandwidth to offer to their guests. But – and it’s a big But – are you shooting yourself in the foot by using inadequate, domestic hardware for your guest Wi-Fi?
Far too often, we see hoteliers and guest house owners simply giving out the password to their main broadband router to guests and hoping that this will be enough to please guests (or worse – removing the password altogether). Although this approach does allow you to say ‘We have Wi-Fi!’, when it comes to guest satisfaction – it just doesn’t cut the mustard. A domestic Wi-Fi router is simply not designed to be used by so many people under one roof – it does not ensure that your internet connection is divided up fairly amongst guests and it is just not capable of reaching all of your rooms or outdoor areas.
If you’re not thinking about your Wi-Fi provision as part of your yearly checks, you ought to be – with over 65% of all overnight guests logging into Wi-Fi within 7 minutes of setting foot on the premises, you can hardly afford not to.