As a customer, you’ve more than likely been pleasantly surprised to find Wi-Fi at the hair dresser, the doctor’s office or a restaurant. But as a small business owner, you might not realize the benefits you have as the Wi-Fi provider. Providing a guest network isn’t only a perk for customers, but it can help you grow your business.
Sure, your customers will appreciate the gesture and walk away happier with your business in general. You already know that. But the benefits of offering this service also apply to you, and can help your business work harder, and better. And if you don’t already offer Wi-Fi, you should—for more than just the advantages listed below.
You obviously can’t track down and communicate with all your customers as soon as they’re through the door. But your Wi-Fi’s login page can act as a digital storefront, opening the door for communication your customers might prefer. You can easily update the page with daily specials, or information your customer might need to know. The login page is also a good place to encourage users to follow your social media outlets, or sign up for your emails. It’s all about making those connections a breeze for your customers, on their time.
And to make it even easier for customers to get to the login page, you can make your Wi-Fi network name easily identifiable. Post signs with your network’s name and password around the shop. And if your business is named “Bob’s Seafood Palace,” make sure your network name is something like “SeafoodPalace” and not “Wi-FiNetwork438.”
Yes, the thought of collecting, reading and implementing data is probably the lowest thing on your to-do list. But technology has come so far now that it’s simpler than ever to identify the data your Wi-Fi network captures.
Providing a guest network isn’t only a perk for customers, but it can help you grow your business.
Use your captured Wi-Fi data by filtering out information that focuses on certain aspects of your business. It could be as simple as discovering more people are using your Wi-Fi right when you open at 6 a.m. and less at 6 p.m. So, you might consider changing your hours from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best part? You don’t even have to be present to know this—it’s all stored on the network. It’s about as close as you can get to being in two places at once, without the mess of running into your other self and altering everyone’s future.
Usually your Wi-Fi network extends outside of your brick-and-mortar, so potential customers can still be connected to your business without taking a step inside. (If you’ve been paying attention, you know this is another good reason to customize your “digital storefront” login page.) Once someone connects to your network, their devices usually remember that connection for later, connecting them whenever they’re near your business.
Making the most of these connections isn’t only reserved for big-box stores. You also have the opportunity to reach out to your customers here in real time using additional marketing tools.
Keep in mind these tools are separate solutions not included as part of Wi-Fi service, but you’re probably already familiar with them. For example, when a customer walks by your store and auto-connects to your network, you can use that trigger to send a relevant push notification or email.
If you’re a restaurant and it’s lunch time, let them know your soup of the day. If you’re a car service shop, offer something as simple as $5 off an oil change. A pet shop?—push through a message to let customers know bone-shaped ice cube trays are on sale. You’ll have a relevant message to send no matter your type of business.
Offering Wi-Fi is no longer just an optional freebie for your customers. It’s a valuable tool that’s easy to implement and use to your advantage—and one that doesn’t require you to be tech savvy to reap the benefits. However you want to use your Wi-Fi network, just remember what’s good for your customers is ultimately good for you, too.
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