Small businesses used to consider free WiFi “a nice to have.” Then it became a “must have.”
Today, small businesses see WiFi in an altogether new way: as a key way to improve the customer experience and boost sales.
It’s true. Studies show that providing free WiFi increases foot traffic, the amount of time customers spend on your premises, and even the amount they spend.
“The near-term technology for Internet access is WiFi and local businesses can either get on board or see their customers potentially start to look elsewhere,” says Aaron Striegel, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Notre Dame.
In an age when people become anxious if they walk out of their house without their cellphone, it’s hard to find a small business whose customers don’t use—and even expect—free WiFi.
Consider these examples:
• One in five patients in a doctor’s waiting1 room look up information on their smartphone related to their appointment.
• Three quarters of millennials would rather give up coffee for a week than WiFi , 2 which tells you the chances of their patronizing a coffee shop that doesn’t let them log onto WiFi for free.
• Given that people tend to overestimate the time they spend in line by 36 percent, 3 it’s smart to find ways to keep customers occupied during what Striegel calls handling the “biding time issue” for car dealerships, medical offices, restaurants, and other small business with wait times.
WiFi becomes a “must have”
Take a moment to look at how your customers behave on your premises and ask yourself the following questions:
• How often are your customers standing around and pulling out their phones to browse the Internet?
• Do you have periods when a rush of customers put a huge demand on your network?
• Do you operate a professional services business where customers are likely to look up information right before an appointment?
• Do your customers often do price comparisons, or seek out reviews or other information about your products, while they shop?
• Do customers use laptops, which probably means a more intense period of WiFi use?
• Do your customers frequently bring kids into your business that are playing or streaming video on mom or dad’s phone?
If you’re nodding your head, you’re making a case for the business benefits of WiFi. Today, WiFi carries half of all Internet traffic . 4 That’s yet another reason why businesses need to consider adding this coverage for employees and customers: They expect you to provide the same WiFi experience they are used to at home.
By becoming an Optimum WiFi hotspot, a company can offer its customers fast and free Internet at no additional cost. Customers stay connected, saving costly data charges on their mobile devices, so they come back more often. Best of all, becoming an Optimum WiFi hotspot is easy and free to business-qualified customers.
No wonder hotspots are becoming the way that small businesses can build their business and keep their customers happy.
To learn more about Optimum and how we can help, call or chat today
1 Patients Dial Up While Waiting for the Doctor,” June 2014, Medical Marketing & Media (http://www.mmm-online.com/channel/patients-dial-up-info-while-waiting-for-doctor-study/article/355300/)
2 Coffee, TV or Wi-Fi?” October 2014, New York Times Blog (http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/coffee-tv-or-wi-fi/?_r=1)
3 Why Waiting Is Torture,” June 2012, New York Times SundayReview (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/why-waiting-in-line-is-torture.html?pagewanted=all)
4 WiFi: The Next 15 Years Bring Higher Expectations,” September 2014, CED Magazine (http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/2014/09/wifi-next-15-years-bring-higher-expectations)
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