All hoteliers, whether an independent brand with only one property or an international brand with thousands of locations, have a common goal: to provide guests with the best possible on-property experience. IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) is no exception. In its quest to enhance the guest experience, the brand knew it had to improve the on-property Wi-Fi experience.
IHG noticed there was a significant point of friction among guests during the Wi-Fi logon process. Guests had to locate the Wi-Fi network, ask employees for the access code, and would often have to log multiple devices onto the network, one at a time.
IHG knew it wanted to make that experience much easier. It wanted its guests to have an experience similar to the one they have at home, where individuals automatically connect to their Wi-Fi network without having to reauthenticate their devices each time they step out of their home and get back in. But the hotel brand knew that improving this guest experience was also an opportunity for it to create an even deeper connection with its loyalty members.
“We pride ourselves on building a valuable relationship with our loyalty members,” says an IHG spokesperson “We want them to feel like they are coming into a hotel that really knows them and offers a tech experience that efficient and easy to use. And we want them to have that same experience at every IHG hotel, no matter where they are in the world.”
The Creation of Wi-Fi Auto Connect
The IHG team spent two years developing in-house the product that would eventually come to be called: Wi-Fi Auto Connect. Launched in June 2023, this innovative feature automatically connects IHG One Rewards members’ mobile devices to the Wi-Fi at every single one of IHG Hotels worldwide. All it requires is for guests to sign up for the hotel’s loyalty program, download the IHG One Rewards loyalty app on their mobile device, and enable the Wi-Fi Auto Connect feature.
Wi-Fi Auto Connect leverages Passpoint technology while addressing some of its gaps. For example, Wi-Fi Auto Connect allows IHG to identify a guest by their loyalty ID so that the hotel is able to provide that specific guest with personalized interactions while they are staying at the hotel.