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WiFi: A Product Every Business Can (and Should) Offer

November 14, 2018

Today’s consumers – especially Millennials – expect always-on connectivity to apps, email, streaming content and social media no matter where they are.

As a business owner, you focus every day on the core product or service you offer -- whether that’s accounting services, pizza or shoes. You may think that by offering the best, fastest, or least expensive accounting services, pizza or shoes, you’re doing everything you can to attract new customers and repeat business.

However, the experience that customers have with your business can be equally important as what you sell or offer. That experience depends on a number of variables, including your location, opening hours, friendliness of your staff, and promptness of service. Today, the customer experience also depends on the “extras” they expect – which includes free WiFi service.

Providing free WiFi to your customers, clients, guests and visitors takes a relatively small investment, but results in big dividends by driving both new and repeat business. For businesses with waiting rooms, such as mechanic shops, doctors' offices, and professional services firms, it gives customers a way to stay entertained while they wait. For businesses with general public access like retail stores, restaurants and hotels, it lets customers stay connected with and share their experiences on social media during their visit and gives them a reason to linger and order more. It also gives these businesses a quick and efficient way to check customers in/out and process payments.

For all types of businesses, free guest WiFi can also provide an effective marketing tool by allowing you to employ a more sophisticated social media strategy, giving you the ability to promote specials and offers on your branded log-in page, and letting you use location-based services to drive foot traffic.

Offering free WiFi to your customers doesn’t need to mean sacrificing your own business WiFi speeds or security. For example, with WiFi Pro from Comcast Business, you get completely separate WiFi networks for public and business use. With fast connection speeds and no bottlenecks, your staff will be able to continue to use mobile devices to get their jobs done, regardless of the volume of guest traffic. Business data and transactions remain secure behind your private WiFi firewall. You can also set the public or guest WiFi to only be available during certain hours and to filter out certain types of content.

When deciding on a guest WiFi strategy for your place of business, consider the following:

  • Desired upload and download speeds: Does your business work with large files or computationally sophisticated data processes? Do your customers want to stream content like music, video or TV? Do you need to process on-site payments?
  • The square footage of the desired coverage area: Do you need to cover multiple floors and/or basement areas? Outdoor areas?
  • Flexibility and scalability for future growth: Is your staff size growing? Are you looking to increase customer foot traffic?
  • Your advertising and PR goals: Will you use WiFi for promotions, special offers, social media and location-based marketing? Do you want to custom-brand your free WiFi connection?
  • Security: Do you need to filter content for family-friendly internet access? Limit access to business hours only? Keep client data secure?
  • Analytics and management: How much time and expertise can you devote to managing your WiFi service? How do you plan to use it to identify customer trends?

Today’s consumers – especially Millennials – expect always-on connectivity to apps, email, streaming content and social media no matter where they are. Give them the experience they expect by making free customer and guest WiFi a key offering of your business and see the influence it has on your bottom line.

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Kimberly Bolton

September 16, 2018

Home WiFi and wireless cell phone s... I can't wait


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