Case Study – The Old Rectory B&B
There was once a time when access to Wi-Fi was considered a luxury in hotels and B&Bs. However, as technology has developed and become central to many of our day to day lives, access to a good Wi-Fi connection is now expected. While many businesses benefit primarily from faster upload speeds and website maintenance, our recent visit to a local B&B has emphasised the variety of benefits a fibre broadband connection offers.
The Old Rectory in Broseley, a 5 Star B&B, upgraded to fibre broadband as soon as they learnt of its availability as part of the Connecting Shropshire programme. We met with owner, David Hoyle, who said: “During the 11 years we’ve been running, there has been a growing expectation from our guests of a strong and reliable broadband connection. Prior to upgrading, we were only getting speeds less than 8mbps so needless to say, we upgraded as soon as we had access to the network. Now we consistently average 38mbps.”
David continued: “Before upgrading, we had problems with signal strength and would receive complaints from guests, predominantly business people, unable to access the internet to work from their rooms. For this reason, we tended to avoid targeting the business market. Since upgrading to fibre, however, we have received no complaints and some guests have returned 6 or 7 times, so it has really boosted our customer loyalty.”
Historically, the majority of the Old Rectory’s guests are older people and haven’t had the same expectation of a Wi-Fi connection. However, this is beginning to change as David explained: “Around 80% of our guests are aged 60 and over, but they have become more internet savvy and increasingly bring technology devices such as tablets and mobile phones with them for their stay, so broadband access is now something they expect – so as I’m sure you’ll understand, a reliable connection has become more important for us to have.”
David continued: “We do have younger guests too, who spend a long time connected to the Wi-Fi and often have their devices in their hand. In the past, they have tended to stay here because of the room with a hot tub, but now we have a reliable broadband connection, it has broadened our offer and allowed us to extend our reach to new markets and age groups.”
Recently inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame, The Old Rectory are highly customer focused and enjoy good relationships with their guests – something that has gone from strength to strength since switching to fibre broadband: “Since upgrading, we’ve had no problems with our broadband connection and it’s cured our reception problem. In the past, poor broadband has held us back slightly and been the main cause of complaints. We now have much more confidence in our broadband offer and will be looking to target businesses and business people again in the knowledge they’ll be able to enjoy all aspects of their stay”, David said.
Located on Ironbridge Road, the Old Rectory enjoys scenic views and is ideally situated between the Shropshire towns of Telford, Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock and Bridgnorth. David explained: “Given our location, we’ve always liked to make our guests aware of the many nearby attractions, and an effective way for us to do this is online. For years it’s been essential for businesses to have an online presence. Now we’ve a reliable broadband connection, we’re able to do this much more effectively through our website, making our product offering more appealing and competitive.”
David concluded: “It’s a case of so far, so good. We couldn’t be happier with the speeds and reliability. It’s allowed us to update and broaden our offer making us more attractive and accessible to new and wider markets.”