Why Offer Free WiFi ?
As more and more businesses are offering free WiFi, you may naturally be wondering if you should join them. Below we offer a breakdown of the pros and cons.
A nicer experience Just like spring-fresh towels or a hot drink, offering free WiFi is a form of hospitality. It says you care about your customer’s experience, that their happiness is important to you.
New customers Regardless of your business, from luxurious hotel to a burger van, if you’re offering free WiFi more people will come. It’s not just lap tops today; people want to check their email and show off their smartphone!
Customer loyalty It’s always easier to sell to existing customers than to attract new ones. WiFi is a great way to keep them coming back again and again to you (and if you don’t offer free WiFi, your competition might).
Word of mouth Considered the ultimate in advertising, word of mouth recommendations carry a lot of weight. Research suggests a natural restriction on such recommendations is that so many businesses are the same as each other, unless the person doing the recommendation makes an effort in describing you. Make it easy for them, by letting them add “..and they’ve got free WiFi!”
Become a meeting spot If you’re going to arrive early and might have to wait awhile, wouldn’t you want WiFi too?
Warm fuzzies (goodwill) The offer of “free” always attracts attention, even for people who were not looking for WiFi at the time. Once people use and realize that yes, you really do give them free WiFi that works well, they develop affection towards your brand. It’s human nature.
They spend more money If your business is one where the longer the customers are there, the more money they tend to spend, then offering free Internet access is a very effective way of pinning them to their seats.
Really, the list of reasons why is as long as the reasons why people like the Internet! So let’s look at some common questions:
Common questions about offering free WiFi
Cost? While the cost of operating a free WiFi hotspot used to be a serious factor, today the entire operation is very affordable. Unlike providing fixed and wired computers, your customers and clients tend to bring their own equipment, so you don’t have to worry about your hardware looking old or getting damaged. Some systems dating from 1999 are still working today!
Hi-tech and difficult? Like any subject you don’t yet know, it sounds complicated and technically tricky. Perhaps it used to be, but with Antamedia’s Hotspot WiFi software and some very basic “plug and play” hardware, it’s easy. The instructions with Hotspot will show you how.
Hardware is out of date quickly? Unlike most things to do with computing WiFi is a “standard”, with no particular reason or need to change rapidly. The hardware that uses it is constantly evolving, mobile phones, netbooks and so on, while the infrastructure hardware that you use doesn’t change.
At worst, you may need to update or patch your software if you’re using really old equipment.
One thing our clients have told us is that since offering WiFi they have found local people actually adopting WiFi devices! People who have never used such things before do so, simply because they know you’re offering WiFi, for free!
There is one area we’d suggest you be cautious, which is if you’re thinking of allowing guests access to your company’s network. That raises security issues we cannot cover here.
If you’re considering offering free WiFi, on a system that does not house your company’s sensitive data, there’s no risk involved.
Offering WiFi, especially if for free, is a simple and easy thing to do, that will definitely improve your profit margin, along with customer loyalty. Our specialist software, Hotspot, has all the features you need for this, already built in. This includes bandwidth management, “captive portals” and a lot more.
Try downloading the free trial, to see the control panel in action. It installs and shows you what it can do, on any plain PC. Just because you’re offering WiFi without charge doesn’t mean you have to settle for less.
If you do decide later to charge for access to your WiFi hotspot, you’ll then see why Hotspot’s billing features make it such a firm favorite among IT professionals! Here’s your link: