By Bal Rena and WAKEUP CALL
In this day and age consumers have come to expect free WiFi to be accessible wherever they go, connecting WiFi enabled devices at their convenience has become a must have.
With the majority of hospitality businesses now offering internet browsing for free to their customers is it just going to become ‘the norm’ and what really are the advantages of investing in the service from a business point of view? Here’s what you need to think about when choosing whether or not to offer WiFi and how you can benefit once you have it.
Should I offer guests free WiFi?
Offering free WiFi to your customers can give you a great selling point especially if companies in your local area aren’t on the ball, offering the service could give you a huge advantage over other businesses.
Free WiFi comes at a cost to the business, but so do all amenities like water and heating. These costs can be recouped in increased customer volume and with the demand for free WiFi at its highest it has the potential for great ROI.
Customers are researching where they want to stay, eat, or even what gym they want to join and your business needs to stand out when being compared to your competitors. One of the first things consumers will look for in a company they are considering to use is a WiFi connection, so with this in mind can you afford not to offer a free WiFi service to your customers?
What type of connection should I choose?
There are a selection of different ways to create your WiFi service from a WiFi Network, Wireless LAN (WLAN) or if you are looking for a network to work in a smaller
environment there is a wireless router which is sometimes referred to as a SoHo set up. With the addition of a Hotspot service these methods allow you to manage and control the WiFi Service that will be delivered to the end users.
Keeping your customers safe when browsing
Most customers will be aware of the security risks that come with browsing through their devices, so it is a must to provide them with reassurance that they are secure on the network you are providing.
There are various ways to protect your users from potential hack threats, one of the top precautions I would suggest is really simple yet surprisingly effective, by setting up a password and giving it to users upon arrival rather than having an open public connection or saving the default password will lower the risk substantially and can put your user worries to rest.
Advertise the fact you have free WiFi
Make the most of advertising by letting your customers know you have free WiFi, it could be a sign or entered on the facilities list on your website. Either way make sure your potential customers know what you have to offer.
Capture data for analysis
Supplying guests with free WiFi is a quick and effortless way of collecting useful data about your customers, this works as an invaluable tool to help you understand what your customers wants and needs are.
Analyzing the data sent back to you opens up a pathway for you to target and aim your marketing at the correct audience by simplifying the way you gather small bits of info about your customer, for example name, email, age etc.
Hospitality businesses offering free WiFi can monitor customer trends as mentioned above, channeling that data into marketing strategies or promotional deals to increase sales is a real perk of offering the service and is a powerful tool.