Given the exponential growth of the online world in recent years, consumers have come to expect access to the internet wherever they happen to be in their daily lives, and guest Wi-Fi is a fitting example of this.
For businesses and organisations, this demand and expectation mean that offering guests free Wi-Fi as part of the customer experience is now part and parcel of being in business. The provision (or lack) of this service is a factor that consumers consider when choosing where to shop for products or services.
In a previous article, we looked at the possible security implications for businesses offering free Wi-Fi to guests and visitors.
In this article, we explore how important is guest Wi-Fi and what your business can stand to gain from providing it.
Why is it so important to have separate Wi-Fi for guests?
While providing customers and guests with Wi-Fi has great benefits for businesses, it’s important to ensure that there are separate networks for your guests and your employees. By not having a separate guest Wi-Fi, both the business and individuals using the network are at risk.
Here are three key reasons why you should operate separate Wi-Fi networks:
1. Separate networks for employees and customers
Having secure guest Wi-Fi for business means guests are not able to access parts of the network used by the business or its employees.
A business guest wireless network should be kept completely separate from the internal network used by the team. This ensures that guest users are not able to log on and see any of the confidential data held by businesses within their network.
2. In the event of a cyber attack, vital services can be prioritised
As so much of a business’s operations are conducted through a network connection, prioritising this over the guest Wi-Fi could be essential in terms of cyber security. This ensures that, in the event of a malware or ransomware infection, the level of damage will be limited.
Furthermore, in the event of a network breakdown, having a segregated network ensures that business-critical systems get the Wi-Fi priority they require to keep the workflow ticking away as efficiently as possible. This allows companies to prioritise credit card terminals, voice applications and other critical services and data over other non-essential systems and devices.
3. Protection of guests from ransomware
Offering a secure and separate network for guests means that all users are kept safe from malware, ransomware or phishing attacks.
This sends a positive message to potential customers as it shows the business is following good cyber security protocols and cares for the cyber safety of its visitors.
How does your business benefit from offering guest Wi-Fi?
Because consumers spend a considerable amount of time on the internet, businesses need to look at the benefits of offering guest Wi-Fi, particularly if the business is dependent on sales being converted by traffic coming across their threshold.
1. Customers will spend more time on your premises
Time is precious and people like to feel productive, so when a business offers free guest Wi-Fi, customers will be content to multitask and therefore will more likely spend more time within the space.
The longer they are physically present, the greater the chance they will make a purchase or have more time to familiarise themselves with the product or service.
2. More money will be spent on your products or services
Many consumers will shop both online and in-store and will want to compare prices accordingly. While they may crave the personal approach in-store, they equally don’t want to miss out on offers that are potentially available online.
As well as this, when they have access to free Wi-Fi, they can take the opportunity to read reviews on products and make an informed decision there and then. By making it easier for customers to see all of the buying options, they are more likely to make a purchase in-store.
3. Guest Wi-Fi provides an advertising opportunity
When a business offers free Wi-Fi to its guests, it’s important to use this opportunity to advertise to those using it. There are several different ways to do this and the easiest one is to utilise the landing page that guests have to sign in to as a marketing tool.
Businesses can use this landing page as a prompt to guests to sign up for their newsletter, promote a best-selling product or encourage them to check out their social pages.
4. It allows businesses to gather analytics on guests
Another great benefit to offering guest Wi-Fi is being able to collect information about the traffic coming into the business on a daily basis. Having the ability to track footfall is valuable to every company. Collecting insights such as the number of users each hour will help determine when you’re likely to have higher levels of traffic.
This information will help management make strategic moves, such as ensuring the business is adequately staffed during busier times.
5. Greater security makes customers feel safe
According to a survey conducted by KPMG on Irish consumers in 2021, 92% of consumers want companies to protect their data. So, it’s clear that at a time when cyber security is on the rise, consumers feel that businesses should take responsibility when it comes to keeping their data safe.
When customers see that there’s a separate guest Wi-Fi in operation, it demonstrates that cyber security is being taken seriously, which sends out a positive message about the business.
Managed Guest Wi-Fi From One Contact
At One Contact, we offer the perfect solution for a Managed Wi-Fi System, powered by our stable and secure Business Broadband, and it’s this service that makes it possible for your guests to avail of secure, free Wi-Fi. This allows them to shop securely at your business while building customer and brand loyalty.
In addition, our experienced team can set up separate networks for guests, staff and sensitive business devices, which prevents unauthorised access to your business network.
To find out more about the enormous benefits that your business can enjoy from offering guest Wi-Fi, get in touch with us today.