Free Wi-Fi is fast becoming the norm - from coffee shops to hotels and everywhere in between - so when you ask a customer to pony up hard earned cash to access your network, it feels like a money grab that is hard to swallow. Ian Altman, a contributing writer for forbes.com suggests you ask yourself this question: “Would the value of incremental revenue outweigh the potential impact on customer loyalty for NOT charging?” If you answered no, then you need to stop charging for the service.
Customers expect to pay a little more for services sometimes, but requiring them to pay for those little extras, like Wi-Fi, can turn a great customer experience into a sour experience as quick as you can click “accept charges.” Wi-Fi might seem like an odd thing to worry about for a small business owner, but there are a lot of positives to letting your customers have free access to your network.
The benefits of providing free Wi-Fi in your place of business are:
- If keeping your customers satisfied and engaged is your number one priority, free Wi-Fi allows you to increase loyalty with people who frequent your business and stay for a bit. Offering your customers a little extra is always a way to build loyalty for your business.
- Many times people see a sign that advertises free Wi-Fi as an invitation to visit the business for the first time. Your sign gets people through the door, now it’s up to you to seal the deal and sell these walk-ins a cup of coffee, sandwich or whatever your business is famous for.
- Create a login page. No one said you had to offer unfettered access to your network. Make those who want to use your Wi-Fi have to use a login page where you can advertise all of your goods and services. The captive audience offers you endless marketing possibilities including a coupon for an in-store purchases or the daily special you’re trying to push to all of your patrons. It may be a bit intrusive, but customers won’t mind as long as they have free access to your Wi-Fi.
- Don’t be a roadblock. Customers are going mobile and do an unparalleled amount of browsing and price comparisons on their smartphones. You don’t want to be the business that hampered them from using their phones the way they want. Use your customer’s accessing your Wi-Fi to your benefit by getting them to “check in” when they’re at your place of business. For the cost of Wi-Fi, you get word of mouth advertising from a satisfied customer.
Every business owner is looking for ways to add value to their customers' experiences without breaking the bank, and offering free Wi-Fi will help you increase customer interaction and make those same customers loyal to your business.