Always-Connected Guests Demand Mobility & WiFi from Hotels

If you doubted that today’s guests are digital and always connected, data from HT’s 2016 Customer Engagement Technology Study is evidence. Consumer research reveals that the majority of prospective hotel guests actually make booking decisions based on if the hotel offers free WiFi (91%) and if the hotel boasts high-tech features in the guestroom (56%).

These numbers indicate that as guests are accustomed to these digital comforts at home, they are expecting and demanding these amenities at hotels. With the pace at which technology is evolving, it is important that hoteliers keep a watchful eye on trends that will ultimately impact the guest experience. The absence of influential modern conveniences could result in lost bookings.

The findings from the 2016 Customer Engagement Study indicate that in some areas – especially concerning mobile features, hoteliers are lagging customers’ expectations. The majority of guests (53%) want to be able to use their smartphones as room keys, but according to the study, only 12% of hotels offer that technology. Even more guests (61%) want to be able to use their smartphones to control environmental settings, but only 1% of hotels have invested in that technology.

Mobility will only increase in importance as all generations are increasingly tethered to personal devices to conduct all manners of personal and professional business. The disconnect between where hotels are in terms of deploying mobile capabilities that guests want, shows that there is a misalignment in priorities. This also represents areas of opportunities for hoteliers to differentiate and gain an advantage over competitors.
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