As a business owner, you’re likely always on the lookout for new ways to enhance your customers’ experience. In today’s competitive market, this is increasingly important if you want to stay ahead of the game and turn a profit. That’s why more and more businesses are investing in free Wi-Fi for their guests and customers. Wi-Fi has become one of the most important features that you can offer in most businesses today. In fact, if you do not make Wi-Fi available to your guests, then you are likely missing out on the many benefits Wi-Fi offers. Let’s explore some of the perks of offering complimentary guest Wi-Fi and debunk some of the myths.
Having free Wi-Fi access helps your customers stay connected and productive while they’re visiting your business. This usually translates into longer stays. An overwhelming 62% of businesses report that customers spend more time in their venue when complimentary Wi-Fi is offered. Traditionally, a longer time spent on premises usually results in more sales and might further encourage friends and colleagues to join in, which is also a boon for the business. Of course, this is only true if the Wi-Fi you offer ticks all the requisite boxes: it must be fast, reliable, seamless, safe and must support BYOD (bring your own device). While it would be nice to simply offer basic complimentary Wi-Fi, the truth of the matter is that you are selling an experience in exchange for your customers’ business, so if you aren’t planning on offering high-speed, seamless Wi-Fi access in your venue, it might actually be best not to offer guest Wi-Fi at all. Conversely, aiming for the ultimate in Wi-Fi connectivity guarantees happy customers and repeat business.
While this is true of certain businesses such as hotels and hospitals, because the users usually stay longer, most customers are quite savvy and will usually find another venue with free Wi-Fi should you not offer it in yours. Indeed, according to surveys, most customers today think they already pay a hefty enough fee for your services, food or products, and feel that free Wi-Fi should be part of the package deal. As such, if you see offering free Wi-Fi service in your business merely as a financial investment, it’s important you look at the issue from all angles. Complimentary Wi-Fi in fact, increases customer engagement, boosts sales, and builds customer loyalty. It also bolsters social media marketing initiatives and facilitates check-ins at your venue via social media apps, which goes a long way to attracting new business.
Today’s consumers want to be connected at all times – either to chat with friends on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to work, reply to emails, or simply to catch up on the latest news. This can quickly eat up valuable data. This being said, the reality is that not all mobile users have unlimited data plans, and for those who don’t, data caps can make it difficult to stay within their allotted limit. This is why most consumers are on the lookout for Wi-Fi hotspots to access when they are out and about. As such, a majority of customers would happily use safe, secure, fast and reliable free Wi-Fi while in your venue, in exchange for their business. A fair trade, and one that directly contributes to your bottom line.
While you might tell yourself that since you’re already making a considerable investment by providing your customers with complimentary Wi-Fi, you may as well try to manage the backend yourself to offset costs. Unfortunately, most people do not realize all of the work involved in setting up and managing a Wi-Fi infrastructure. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, as well as a variety of finely-honed skills to maintain the health of your wireless network. It is far wiser to outsource your Wi-Fi to a trusted Managed Wi-Fi Solutions provider who will be able to manage your entire Wi-Fi network, ensuring seamless, reliable, and secure wireless connections between people, sites and networks at all times. This, in turn, will save you time and money, and will provide your guests with a better technological experience throughout their stay.
The IT industry is a fast-paced environment where innovation is a constant, and obsolescence is par for the course. While your existing Wi-Fi infrastructure may work perfectly according to your current needs, it’s important to remember that new technologies and devices are coming out every day. Some of these may not be ideally suited to your existing infrastructure. As such, a revision of your equipment and infrastructure should be done frequently in order to ensure you are providing the best, most seamless Wi-Fi service to both your customers and your employees. Given the costs associated with setting up and managing complimentary guest Wi-Fi, it just makes sense to outsource your infrastructure management to an expert Managed Wi-Fi Solutions provider such as Datavalet, so you can focus on your core business.
While offering your guests complimentary Wi-Fi offers you a wealth of advantages, it is also important to realize there are a few caveats to contend with. A common challenge that businesses such as restaurants, cafés, and retail stores come across is finding the right balance between providing a great Wi-Fi experience to customers while deterring loiterers. One approach to managing this reality is by implementing connectivity caps or session limits that dictate how long people can stay connected (for instance 60, 90 minutes, etc.) and how much bandwidth they are allowed. Unfortunately, this also diminishes the quality of the service for everyone, meaning you are falling short of your initial goal of offering an exceptional Wi-Fi experience. Fortunately, expert Wi-Fi Solutions provider Datavalet recently launched a Fair-Use Management functionality which effectively manages Wi-Fi network abusers without impacting other “normal” users. This new functionality means you get to reap all of the benefits of offering guest Wi-Fi without any of the drawbacks.