Betting on Wi-Fi: The Guest Experience
The wireless network is critical to the new guest experience in hospitality gaming environments. The days of providing a poor and costly wireless experience are in the past and organizations are working to make this an integral part of the stay. To be competitive now, the guest network must meet “three Is”—Intuitive, Intelligent, and Interactive.
An intuitive wireless network is one that has been designed with the guest use cases and needs in mind. For hospitality this is ubiquitous coverage with the bandwidth to do everything guests want to do—make Voice over Wi-Fi calls, Netflix, FaceTime, provide connectivity pool side, etc. Mobile apps and analytics are becoming a big part of this process to better help organizations engage and understand their consumer’s behavior in an effort to better refine their product which is quickly shifting away from purely gaming to a destination experience. In planning for these networks, meeting with line of business owners and getting outside of IT is critical for the initial planning and design, while maintaining those non-IT relationships is important to the refinement, improvement, and development of future services.
The intelligence component simplifies user experience by being aware of the user’s context and their preferences so that an organization can anticipate their users’ needs and populate choices within a mobile app based on location or proximity to areas of interest. Simple things like detecting a known user is on-site and adjusting their room environment to their preferences such as lights on or off, curtains opened or closed, and the temperature of their room. Enabling features like location-based food and beverage ordering both improve the guest experience and generate revenue for the property. Sensor networks can provide more data points that can be factors in the overall equation. Additionally, adding a layer of analytics that are aware of movement in the network and a specific user’s demographic information can help tailor the notifications or types of interactions that are made.
An interactive network defines the moments of engagement and is an opportunity to add some human elements to the process. These interactions should feel natural, for example some organizations are leveraging beacons and mobile app technology to notify employees of the presence of a VIP guest and allow for the employees to greet that person directly. This interaction while powered by technology is very personable and can make all the difference in that person’s daily experience. Using language localization on Smartphones could be a way to detect a large foreign group and automatically shift digital signage to their native language. People are sensitive to technical interactions that feel forced or artificial (e.g. push notification via SMS to a phone) however they are almost ubiquitously open to a human interaction that makes them feel singled out for being important to the business.
Building an intuitive, intelligent, and interactive networks takes careful planning and inclusion of a multidisciplinary team that combined have a firm grasp of the business and technology to ensure a well thought out design. Aruba’s suite of products and the open RESTful API structure are ideal for building this sort of environment.