LONDON—Fast, secure and accessible WiFi is paramount to the hotel stay. With that in focus, The Mercantile Hotel New Orleans linked up with GlobalReach Technology, a global provider of WiFi technology, to implement its Hotspot 2.0 functionality.
As a result of having GlobalReach’s Hotspot 2.0 available throughout the property, guests and their various devices are able to benefit from a quick one-time connection process that eliminates the need to later re-login or remember passwords.
Founded in the U.K. in 2009, GlobalReach Technology has built a worldwide reputation for providing high-performance carrier-grade WiFi services and solutions.
“Its platform and other technologies are purpose-built to build, launch, manage and monetize WiFi services for the world’s largest service providers and enterprises,” said Chris Bruce, managing director, GlobalReach Technology. “These include such global enterprises as Cisco, Vodafone, CenturyLink, XLN, Virgin Media and the London Underground, as well as national rail operators, city centers, major coffee shop chains, hotels, shopping centers and thousands of small businesses.”
For any industry that caters to mainstream consumers on a large scale, demands will always exist for access to an instant, fast and reliable WiFi connection. In the hospitality industry, guests regularly rate WiFi availability and quality as being one of the single most important factors in booking decisions.
“Providing a seamless online experience has long been a pain point for hoteliers, as evidenced by a large number of troubleshooting requests and poor reviews about the WiFi service that many properties receive from their guests on a daily basis,” said Bruce. “This negatively impacts a hotel’s reputation, affects guest satisfaction and loyalty, and can also significantly pose a drain on front-of-house and IT labor resources.”
At The Mercantile, the hotel team wanted to reduce a potential frustration for guests traveling with multiple mobile devices by getting rid of the need to continuously log in to WiFi services on every visit to the property.
“GlobalReach added Hotspot 2.0 functionality to the existing guest WiFi service at The Mercantile Hotel New Orleans. Once hotel guests download a Hotspot 2.0 profile to their mobile devices, each guest device seamlessly and securely connects to hotel WiFi, in a similar way to using a cellular network—no more passwords or need to re-register,” he said.
“Guests simply scan a QR code at reception or on the in-room Angie virtual assistant device (present in all 90 luxury suites) to download the secure profile,” he added. “Once downloaded, a guest’s phone, laptop or tablet automatically connects to the hotel’s WiFi service whenever in range, eliminating the need to remember passwords or log in again. By also adding Hotspot 2.0 to the property’s 24-hour Angie Hospitality guestroom assistant, which also acts as a secure WiFi access point, each guest can further be assured of their ability to always encounter a strong signal connection at all times.”
As a result, The Mercantile was able to reduce the number of support calls it was experiencing with guests.
“Similar to many hospitality businesses, The Mercantile Hotel New Orleans previously experienced guests reporting issues with attempting to connect their devices,” he said. “Some reported difficulties with attempting to navigate the WiFi sign-up page, while others encountered issues with remaining connected to the internet. Such occurrences have now been dramatically reduced since the implementation of Hotspot 2.0, with The Mercantile Hotel New Orleans reporting a 70-80% reduction in WiFi support calls. The reduced call volume has also produced the additional benefit of freeing staff to have more productive conversations with guests that lead to enhanced value and satisfaction.”
For hoteliers looking to gauge return on investment, Bruce believes they should look no further than the improved reputation and higher online review scores.
“It can serve as a competitive edge when guests are considering their booking options,” he said. “Providing guests with a quick and straightforward connection process can further increase the likelihood of online service purchases being made, such as requests for room service being made via a property’s mobile app.”
Heading into 2020, the future looks bright for GlobalReach as new offerings come to the forefront.
“As well as the integration with Angie in-room assistants, we’ve also announced that Nomadix is adding our Hotspot 2.0 technology to its WiFi network gateway solutions, so hotel guests will be able securely and frictionlessly connect to a property’s internet service wherever Nomadix is,” he concluded.