Guest Internet Installation: Common Practices & Complications
By Michael Kasprzyk CEO, Thinwires, LLC | January 27, 2012
In a perfect world, everything would happen and work as it's supposed to... forever without fault or complication. In network technology, as with most everything else in reality, that's rarely the case. Unfortunately, during your HSIA (High Speed Internet Access) installation, or later on, there's bound to be a hiccup here or there for one reason or another. Knowing how to deal with these hiccups, or how to avoid them all together as they arise, will make a big difference in your guest's satisfaction and your bottom line. In this article, we'll provide some tips and common practices to help you prevent HSIA complications from complicating your guest experience and ultimately your profits.
Complications come in all shapes and sizes. Your first line of defense in avoiding potential HSIA installation complications and disasters is to hire experience. Since every property is different, each installation presents its own unique circumstances and hurdles. Hiring a vendor that has seen it all, or at least a lot, can make all the difference. It is important to understand that in today's business travel segment, Guest Internet Service is one of the top factors driving satisfaction and repeat business. Therefore, ensuring you have industrial grade equipment and solid plans for service and support will help you cope with complications as they arrive.
Your organization needs to maintain an understanding of the network system being installed in your hotel or resort. One of the most common post-installation problems we see is change in staff - even within a week of completing the installation. Make sure you've got your access point locations and wiring diagram on paper and in your hands before your installation team leaves the building! Maintaining continuity of knowledge regarding your Guest Internet Service is as essential as hiring the right team for the job. If possible, make sure your "Building Expert" is onsite for the installation. That person likely knows the best pathways for cabling, secure locations for mounting equipment around your property and will be able to assist in replacing an access point gone bad two years down the road.
During the installation, make sure you have a good plan for the access points and all cabling required. It is important that you maintain your building in a consistent manner, regardless of the types of systems being installed. When you have low voltage cable being installed for access points, make sure it's labeled and rides a logical path in your building - perhaps the path that the smoke detectors have followed, for example.
Equipment placement is important - but not as important as your ability to service the equipment after installation. If you have an especially busy hotel, it may be best to install hand traps in the ceiling for easy access to your equipment, rather than above the drop ceilings in your bathrooms where you'll have to disturb a guest to perform a replacement or reset.
Keep it simple. Keep it consistent. Your guests show up at your door with varying levels of technical know-how-you never really know what to expect. But, it's your job to be able to accommodate everyone as best you can. From the guest's perspective, the more straightforward and less obtrusive the user experience, the less likely there will be confusion leading to problems when using your Guest Internet Service. Making the setup and log on process as simple as possible is key to avoiding front desk hassle, support calls, and dissatisfaction scores.