Thought Leadership Series

The ROI of Guest Wi-Fi

A laptop and mobile phone on a desk

Customer experience transformation is at top of mind across most industries –  89% of companies are currently competing on a customer experience basis, especially as products and pricing becomes commoditised. Some organisations may still question the value of implementing free Wi-Fi for their customers. They may have no issue providing it for staff but wonder what’s the ROI and value in offering it to customers?

Let’s look at the travel and hospitality vertical. In a study by Forrester Research, 94% of respondents cited Wi-Fi as important and even a deal breaker when selecting a hotel. TripAdvisor’s 2015 Trip Barometer report which crosses Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers when traveling for business and/or vacation found that free in-room Wi-Fi ranks as the top must-have amenity. What traditionally were seen as the most important amenities (like complimentary breakfast and free parking), now come after Wi-Fi in level of importance.

It’s not enough to provide connected PCs and other gadgets, guests today travel with their own devices and it’s through these devices that new revenue streams can be generated. When measuring ROI, hotels should take into account the positive revenue streams that can be driven by:

  • customer acquisition through Wi-Fi (learn about the ‘shadow customer base’)
  • increased ancillary revenue through promotions (such as food and beverage)
  • targeted communications
  • creation of lookalike audiences through customer data.

     “Guests today travel with their own devices and it's through these devices that new revenue streams can be generated.’’                                                                                                

Not to be underestimated, are the ways revenue can be lost by not investing in Wi-Fi:

  • lost bookings because online customer reviews show complaints about Wi-Fi
  • waived fees because guests were frustrated with an intermittent Wi-Fi connection
  • corporate events cancelled because business travellers found out the Wi-Fi wasn’t up to expected standards
  • fewer returning guests because their poor experience with the Wi-Fi cast a shadow on their overall experience.

When businesses uncover new insights about onsite customers and visitors, it is truly an eye-opening experience. Customer Wi-Fi is one such way to uncover the insights needed to provide a great experience. Add in social data to the customer profile, and it’s that much richer of an investment. Learn more about the Local Measure platform and our partnership with Cisco.

November 18, 2021

Peter Hughes

VP Strategic Alliances, Local Measure

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