Offering free WiFi access to your customers is proven to help you build brand loyalty and boost sales— as long as your network is reliable, reasonably secure, and meets expectations. However, you can’t just set up your wireless network and forget about it. You must always be on the lookout for potential problems, as well as taking steps to prevent and solve them. By educating yourself about these possible problems and taking adequate steps to prevent them, you can both maximise the benefits and lessen any drawbacks.
Here are some of the biggest issues to keep an eye out for: when providing free WiFi:
Your free WiFi network must be constantly secure, both for the sake of customers’ personal data as well as your own business data. So, before you begin offering your free WiFi service to customers, you must ensure that you can provide a reliable service by checking with your internet service provider. This includes finding out how many users the network can support simultaneously; whether you can install parental controls at the ISP level; whether video streams can get priority and whether you’ll pay extra for too much data transfer. Once customers grow accustomed to using your WiFi connection, they will be extremely disappointed whenever it goes down. If it happens too often, they may take their business elsewhere meaning you lose money.
At Live-WiFi we ensure peace of mind for our clients by providing a fully secure and compliant service.
You need to know how much bandwidth you require to keep your customers happy. Every computer and smartphone that connects to your free Wi-Fi network adds to its total data load, and if you don’t pay for adequate bandwidth it will make the connection slow and users unhappy. Generally, you want to provide around 120 kilobits per second for each user you plan to support at one time. To put this in easier terms, ten users will need 1.2 megabits per second, and 20 users will need double that. Bear in mind that your bandwidth needs will only increase over time. It may be best to include some padding in your calculations to account for this growth. Once you’ve worked out how much you think you’ll require, shop around and compare prices among service providers to get the best bandwidth deals.
At Live-WiFi we provide a free WiFi audit to ascertain your needs and make sure your customers’ expectations are met.
Those people who sit at a table for hours taking advantage of the free internet access, but spend as little as possible, you’re aware of them right? These squatters take up space that otherwise might serve several customers in the same time period. They may even fill up your business to the point that newcomers leave due to lack of seating. They can be annoying for fellow customers, your staff but most importantly of all – your profits.
With a bespoke installation from Live-WiFi you can control customer dwell time to a reasonable and not excessive amount ensuring that genuine customers can enjoy the benefits of your service and eliminate those who are there for the free ride!
If your connection is spotty or slow, investigate why. After all, your WiFi provision should be fast and reliable at all times. Customers may be even more frustrated with very slow connections than no internet access at all. An old router model, interference from nearby networks, frequency issues, out of date router firmware and bandwidth are all possible culprits when it comes to too slow or dropped connections. The solution may be as simple as moving your router or updating its firmware, but make sure you treat it before it starts damaging your customer relationships and your business.
At Live-WiFi our ‘ WiFi Audit’ is a free service which will ensure your WiFi is easily accessible, high quality and cost effective. Get in touch today to see how we can help you provide a great WiFi experience to your customer base, increase loyalty to your brand and drive sales.