Speed isn’t everything. In a world of multiple-device-toting, content-carrying consumers, Wi-Fi speed (the faster, the better) in guest rooms and public spaces is essential. However, there’s more to the conversation – and that chief consideration is data security.
With each device, every activity being managed remotely, and the constant streaming of content, the amount of private information being circulated among a hotel’s technology network is unprecedented. Seamless Wi-Fi connectivity is crucial to providing guest satisfaction, but hotels now have a need to take that degree of satisfaction to the next level. Incorporating the best data security protocols into a property’s digital solutions gives the hotel a competitive advantage, so they can confidently protect their assets, block unsanctioned access to guest information, and cultivate loyalty.
Here are five key reasons why data security should matter to hoteliers in a world where the speed and security demands of the today’s mobile-savvy travelers are ever-evolving.
#1 Security Breaches Sink Reputations & Loyalty
Today’s mobile-enabled travelers are increasingly managing their business and leisure trips from the multiple devices they carry. Therefore, safeguarding guest data and ensuring seamless security at all times is imperative.
Hotel data breaches, which have become commonplace in the news media, strike a deep chord of concern and sense of “information violation” with travelers. They shatter consumer trust in a hotel and negatively impact a property’s reputation. In fact, the effects of a security breach can traveler far beyond the property walls. The result? Guests won’t stay again at a hotel where their information (or that of others) has been compromised – and they will be sure to share the adverse experience with friends and family, on social media channels and review sites. With the plethora of communications channels that are fueled by these tech-enabled consumers, hotel data breaches are much more likely to make the 24-hour news cycle than issues with Internet speed satisfaction.
The trickle-down effect of a data breach is devastating. Hotels that arm themselves with a smart digital solution that fuses a solid defense against data infringement with high-speed connectivity are protecting their future and strengthening the all-important relationship with their guests. It’s the difference between rising to the occasion and sinking below the surface.
#2 Guests Believe Viewing Content Securely Is A Right
Ours is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world, and the culture of content consumption has dramatically altered the way hotel guests seek out and view in-room entertainment. Travelers bring their personalized content with them, and they aim to watch what they want when they want, just as if they were in the comfort of their home – and without the worry of stolen passwords or other private information.
In a recent industry study, nearly 80% of travelers indicated that they would prefer to stream their personal content, such as Netflix or Hulu on the guestroom TV. Multiply this by the number of guests passing through a hotel’s doors, and the quantity of private data increases exponentially.
Streaming is here to stay, so it is critical to create a worry-free, “home away from home” environment for its execution by working with the right digital solutions provider, where both speed and security are top-of-mind. For example, Hotel Internet Services (HIS) offers the BeyondTV Wireless Streaming System, where each guestroom exists on its own private platform. Achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction now means guests can effortlessly access their content, watch it on a hotel room television, and be assured that their private information will be erased into oblivion upon check-out.
#3 Hotels Thrive & Bustle With Human Activity
Without question, hotels are transient public spaces with an immense volume of guests checking in and out on a daily basis. The large amount of personal and financial data that is shared during day-to-day transactions makes data security paramount. Antiquated system, dropped or lost signals, and inferior security measure won’t suffice, especially when hackers are constantly seeking out the next network to infiltrate.
Align with an Internet solutions provider that is continuously analyzing and modifying its programming and protocols to adapt to the latest hacking techniques. The open-source SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption method that many hotels use has shown cracks in reliability, but now there are superior, innovative security options to explore.
Prevent a data breach from becoming part of a hotel’s history because it likely damages a property’s financial stability for many years to come.
#4 Benefits of Enhanced Data Security Outweighs Costs
Costs are always a major consideration for hoteliers, as they constantly evaluate the bottom line while striving for profitability. With robust Wi-Fi considered as essential to a hotel stay as water and electricity, implementing a digital solution that also integrates the latest data protection protocols is a smart financial expenditure. Reliable, scalable, secure networks, such as the HIS Fusion Gateway, are easy to install and have low maintenance costs.
Guests’ desire for privacy is stronger than ever before, and they are willing to pay – meaning there’s a way for hotels to start recouping costs. Further, in the wake of diminishing video-on-demand (VOD) revenue because guests are carrying their own content, high-speed Wi-Fi with superior data security affords a potential revenue stream. Recent industry statistics show that 57% of travelers would be willing to pay a small fee ($1-$2) to have a secure encrypted connection.
With strong data security measures in place, guests are also more likely to interact with hotel services such as in-room dining, valet, express check-out and more, yielding further revenue-earning opportunities.
#5 Data Security Affects Hotels Of All Shapes, Sizes and Brands
Delivering the highest levels of secure connectivity transcends boundaries of room count or any brand affiliation. Ensuring that both Wi-Fi speed operates fast and effectively and the best data protection measures have been implemented is as vital as delivering housekeeping and other services, whether it’s at a 20-room beachfront inn, a mid-scale hotel or luxury property.
Viable solutions exist for properties of all shapes and sizes, including hotel management companies that must effectively monitor the reputation and revenue of a portfolio of properties. Hotels are encouraged to develop risk management programs, ensure PCI compliance when Internet strategies are applied, and create a culture where information security is a core aspect of hotel policy, not a second thought.
Today’s cutting-edge technology meets the needs of today’s evolving hotel guests, who expect the convenience of high-speed Wi-Fi and the comfort of data security, so they can proceed with life uninterrupted. Flawless connectivity with Wi-Fi speed and security at the forefront has redefined the vision of customer service delivery, and hotels that recognize this are poised to earn and retain valuable customer loyalty. Speed might not be everything, but speed married with the highest standards of data security just might be. For more information click here.