Internet connectivity is essential worldwide. Most public venues are now expected also to have a public network. For many customers at airports, hotels, cafes, restaurants, or stores, a Wi-Fi connection is one of the first things they look for. To this end, more and more businesses are providing a public network for customer use. But this network is only used sometimes, despite the increasing demand for it.
There are many reasons a business would want its customers to connect to public Wi-Fi, especially if a captive portal is utilized. So how can a business encourage its customers to use its public network? There are many ways: by making it easy, by incentivizing customers, by ensuring network security, by promoting the benefits, and by providing a good experience. Read on to learn more!
Logging onto the internet shouldn’t be a complicated process. Allow your customers to access your network and log in with as few steps as possible. While using a captive portal is certainly best practice, there’s no need to make it complicated. Try and limit the amount of information you ask for from a customer to connect to only what is essential to your business. The more information requested from a customer, the less likely they are to submit.
Another way to make it easy is to place signage in prominent areas around your business to indicate that a Wi-Fi network is available. On the signs, you can list the name of your Wi-Fi network and instructions to connect (if needed). By creating these visual reminders, customers will be more likely to realize that a network is available and connect to it.
A less common yet still effective tactic is to offer incentives for the customers to connect to your Wi-Fi network. For example, you could offer coupons for your products or services, either digitally or physically, such as ‘buy one, get one free’ or ‘10% off.’ Digitally has the bonus of ensuring users enter their real e-mails. You could also offer freebies- coffee, confection, or pens. Customers are far more likely to connect when incentivized.
Security is one of the top consumer concerns when connecting to a public network. Thankfully, there are many ways to make your public Wi-Fi connection more secure. Choosing enterprise-grade equipment allows for WPA2 encryption. This will ensure that data transfers on your wireless network are encrypted and secure. This will help keep customers safe even when they are entering or accessing sensitive information, such as online banking.
Another way to increase the security of your network is by encouraging the use of digital certificates, such as Passpoint. Digital certificates simplify the users’ sign-on experience. Once a user has signed on to a network, they will automatically connect to the network upon each future visit without the hassle of re-entering authentication credentials. Furthermore, data transfers could be secured with enhanced encryption. Adding digital certificates to your connection will help keep your network secure, which will help to build your customer’s trust.
While most people know the benefits of connecting to a Wi-Fi network, having signage promoting this will encourage them to connect. Some may still need to be convinced of the benefits, so having them displayed will go a long way. Benefits of connecting to a Wi-Fi network include saving on mobile data, using a stable connection, and being able to connect during future visits automatically.
All the above tips will help improve your customer experience – something that is highly valuable in today’s competitive market. But there is another way to ensure that the experience you provide is exemplary. Ensuring that your connection is strong, fast, and reliable will go a long way. Customers are more likely to enjoy a network when they don’t have to worry about the connection dropping or being slow. This, in turn, leads to a good experience, which can increase customer retention rates.
Another way to enhance the experience for your customer a loyalty program. If your company has a loyalty app, it can be set up to automatically allow a customer to connect to your store’s Wi-Fi. You gain a wealth of information by linking your customer’s journey to your wireless network – including purchases. With this information, you can directly measure the impact of internet marketing campaigns, push notifications, and more- in dollars and cents.
The Internet has become something that is not optional but expected – from businesses as well. When customers leave their homes to visit public spaces, they assume a public connection will be available. This is one of the first things customers look for when entering certain places, such as a coffee shop or hotel room. More businesses are getting connected every day for this reason.
Yet, having a public connection does not guarantee that your customers will use it. When your network is set up to provide business value- such as with a captive portal- this can be a concern. Thankfully, there are a few ways to increase the use of your Wi-Fi network: