Attitudes toward internet access has changed, and that has altered the expectation on businesses. Free guest Wi-Fi was a bonus feature, and now it is an expected utility by customers. Whether you own a hotel, coffee shop, pub, or even a grocery store, today’s customers absolutely expect to be able to use Wi-Fi in your establishment for free. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense and can be daunting to those who don’t know much about how to set up guest Wi-Fi. We’ve been helping our clients set up Wi-Fi for their customers for years, and we’d love to share a bit with you about how it’s done and explain the benefits of guest Wi-Fi.
1) Marketing Opportunities
Free guest Wi-Fi is not only an excellent service for the customer, but it can be a fantastic tool for you the business owner. It can be a compelling factor for getting more traffic through the door of your business. Another way to use guest Wi-Fi for marketing purposes is to require guests connecting to your network to supply an email address and agree to receive marketing emails from the company. From this you will be able to grow your email newsletter list and be able to send out promotions and other information to these customers.
You can also go further than just asking for an email and have the customer fill out a short demographic survey. For example, this could ask for gender, income range, and location. This information can then be used for audience research, which will help you better target your online advertising. Your company will be more likely to make sales if, say, your Facebook ads are being shown to the people who are already most likely to buy your product or service.
2) Convenience & Comfort
Guest Wi-Fi provides an unrivalled ability and the most accessible method of customers staying connected and comfortable outside the home. Providing this service may be the key in retaining customers, over losing them to competitors. Customers may forgive a lack of Wi-Fi while they are at your business, but they are less likely to return.
If you have a business where your customers may have to wait for service, having guest Wi-Fi available is an excellent way to keep them occupied while waiting. Having an outstanding service is key, but providing guest Wi-Fi can help mitigate customer frustrations, as well as giving them the means to write a positive review and share the good word about your business.
3) Customer Behaviour
Another great business utility of free guest Wi-Fi is that it gives you the opportunity to record the online behaviour of your customers and understand them better. When do people visit your business? How long do they stay? What kind of online services are people using while at your business? This information can allow your business to maximise the customer experience and help focus your marketing to retain your customers, or expand to even wider demographics.
4) Increased Security
One of the worries business owners may have about setting up guest Wi-Fi is that it won’t be secure enough and could be used for nefarious purposes. This does not have to be the case. You can absolutely control access to your guest Wi-Fi by requiring the user to sign up or at least provide an email address. They will not have anonymity on your guest Wi-Fi. Also, traffic on the guest Wi-Fi can and should be separated from your businesses own traffic, their usage will not impede your needs as a business.
As well as access you can also limit the usage of your guest Wi-Fi, how much data or bandwidth is used, and how long a guest can be connected for, is all very much controllable. These limiters allow you to create the business environment you want, without risk of high internet costs. As with anything of quality intended to last, maintenance is required, occasional security audits should conducted to make sure that there are no gaps in your network that will let in viruses or malware.
If you were unsure about the idea of setting up guest Wi-Fi for your customers, we hope this has given you the confidence to go forward and offer it, now knowing its benefits and the easy ways in which to prevent negatives. If you are still unsure or would like help getting your guest Wi-Fi set up then please do contact us so we can determine the best plan for your business.
We know technology can be hard. That’s why we’re here to help you with all your IT needs. We have the expertise to get the job done right, from network design and installation, to cloud services and security. Our goal is to make sure that your business has the right and reliable infrastructure in place so you can focus on what matters most – running your company! So, if you need any help, get in touch. We’ll be happy to lend a hand!