Wifi not a deal breaker when it comes to recommending a hotel
Travellers might want free wifi in hotels, or in some cases just wifi (even paid) would be nice, but it may not be enough to dissuade them from telling friends about a property or abandoning it altogether.
While a study in the summer (and the ensuing comments) revealed that the majority of travellers expect free wifi in hotels, a report by Market Metrix does not throw it up as an ongoing issue affecting loyalty.
The report, which delved into nine million guest surveys, shows which problems cost the most, not necessarily because they occur more frequently but because of the effect on guest loyalty.
Product problems account for 58% of the total but have less of an impact on loyalty than service problems (particularly staff) which cause a decrease in loyalty of more than 20 points and are, therefore, far more costly to hotels in terms of guest retention and referrals.
The point Market Metrix is getting at is that the most frequent problems may not be the ones to fix as illustrated below. More people complained about noise than check-in delays but the related impact on loyalty and therefore revenue was far greater for check-in delays.
Interestingly, many hotels are now trialling various initiatives around iPads and kiosks to iron or, at least give guests an alternative to, queuing at the check-in desk.
So, where is wifi (or lack of) in all of this? Market Metrix says internet connection and wifi problems do spring up from time to time and sometimes within the top 15 most frequent problems. Also, it depends on the hotel and often the issues arises more for limited service budget brands.
“Although internet problems may become frequent, they rarely have an impact on the likeliness to recommend. So, although it may be a frequent problem, it is not a costly one.”
It would appear it’s not a deal-breaker in terms of loyalty – do you agree?
Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.