We're at the height of the summer tourist season in West Wales - a few short weeks that can make or break our local hotels, caravan parks and B&Bs.
From speaking to our customers, it would appear that this year so far has been a somewhat bumper year for the British 'Staycation' - with holidaymakers opting to stay in the UK as opposed to travelling abroad for their summer holidays. Whether it be down to the hot weather, Brexit uncertainty or a mixture of both, our Hospitality customers are telling us that they're enjoying the benefits of being full.
The last thing a busy Hotelier or caravan park owner needs right now, however, is for something to go wrong. Accommodation providers can live and die by TripAdvisor reviews and, while things may look good this year, if your customers aren't happy it could be disastrous in years to come.
One of the issues quite widely overlooked in the grand scheme of things is providing access to good Wi-Fi. Whether you opt to offer it out free or to charge for it, reliable internet access is a must. In fact, more than 50% of holidaymakers now say that, when booking a break, Wi-Fi plays a key part in their decision-making process. We're sometimes met with caravan park owners who say that 'not having Wi-Fi is one of our USPs!' - but with so many people looking for excellent connectivity, can you really afford not to make sure that your system is up-to-scratch?
Of course, it's one thing to get a Wi-Fi system installed, but how can you guarantee that it's working properly for months and years to come? Wi-Fi systems are definitely not a 'set and forget' commodity - they need regular maintenance and management to remain effective. If you aren't keeping an eye on your access points to ensure that they're working properly, you'll find yourself dealing with bad reviews from customers in no time. The sad fact is that the type of customer to leave a negative review very rarely brings problems to attention at the time of their visit, so the opportunity to put things right before the keyboard warriors start their work is seldom there.
This is why we manage and maintain all of the Wi-Fi systems we install on behalf of our customers. Our service desk monitors our customers' Wi-Fi networks 24/7, reacting quickly to any issues that arise and resolving faults promptly. If one of your Wi-Fi points stops working, chances are that we'll be on site fixing it before you've even noticed there's an issue.
To do this, we use groundbreaking cloud-based software to monitor our networks which shows us (amongst other things):
- Which access points are online or offline
- How fast the access points are running at
- How long the points have been online
- How many users are connected to each point
We then use this data to assess whether access points are in the right location and have the best internet uplink available to them, whether they're the correct type of access point and whether the software needs to be updated in order to keep things running smoothly. The software will also generate an automatic alert to our team when any access point slows down or goes offline, allowing us to remotely diagnose the fault before heading to site for a repair or replacement if needs be.
Food for thought - do you know enough about Wi-Fi to guarantee that your guests are getting online successfully?