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Balmforth & Co

The benefits of offering free wifi to customers

Posted on 28/02/2014 by Katie Jackson
Estimated reading time: 2 min read
Categories: HORECA, Latest News

The advantages of offering free wifi in your cafe

Walk down the high street and you’ll probably notice the number of ‘free wifi’ notices pasted on the windows of most cafe’s, restaurants and hotels. In fact, you’ll probably notice they advertise this more so than the coffee! More and more establishments are following the trend by offering free wifi but don’t understand exactly why they should, other than to keep up with the competition. Here we go through some key advantages and benefits of offering free wifi to your customers:

Make sure it’s free and simple!

Have you ever tried connecting to the internet only to be redirected to a daunting online registration form asking for your name, address, mother’s maiden name and shoe size! This experience can put customers off from the beginning and may even have a negative effect on your businesses image. instead, try to make it as easy as possible for customers to get online, printing the wifi password on the receipt or menu is a good way to keep internet use for customers only.

If you are interested in collecting customer data so that you can promote to them on a regular basis, try to keep form fields to a minimum (only asking for their e-mail address) as this will improve the overall experience of their visit.

Allow customers to connect with their friends

People like to connect with their friends across social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (even if they’re sitting next to each other) and social media sites such as Facebook and Foursquare allow them to do this by ‘checking in’ to places. This can be a powerful advertising tool for your business as a recommendation from a friend is more likely to make you visit somewhere than any other kind of advertising you can do.

As well as being able to ‘check in’, sites such as Twitter and Instagram allow customers to post photos and statuses to all their friends and followers. As long as your food and drinks are tasty and well presented, customers will post photos of them online, providing you with free publicity in return for providing the free wifi.

Stand out from the competition and increase loyalty

With little dividing most cafe’s, free wifi could be the swaying factor in the decision making process. Similarly, easy to connect to or faster wifi could be the one thing that persuades a customer to visit your place over your competitors. Cafe’s and coffee shops have become the alternative office, a great place to get away from the daily routine and a place to have some good food and get some work done. Wifi is a great way to get customers to stay in your establishment for longer and the longer they stay, the more they will generally spend.

As well as allowing customers to check in to your place on their own, you can actively promote it by offering certain incentives for customers to do so: for example “FREE LATTE TODAY when you check in on Facebook.” These little rewards can help to increase customer loyalty and overall satisfaction.

There is no doubt that demand for free wifi is increasing and you need to meet customer’s expectations but it’s important to not see this as an expense, but more of an opportunity for your business to grow.

If you have any comments please leave them below and share. Stay in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter.

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