Over the past few years the provision of free Wi-Fi has gone from a nice to have, to something often expected by visitors. In fact, it can even be the deciding factor between a long visitor stay and a fleeting one.
With the increased use of smartphones, the fears of giving access to cheaper options online is no longer a rational one, as through mobile data they could access this anyway. The finer point here is that by offering the ability to stop burning through mobile data, you are increasing the chances of a longer stay and opening the door to further engagement and loyalty.
The benefits of improving customer service in line with the offering of free Wi-Fi are ever-increasing with improving technology. We have created a guide which looks at this in a little more depth, which can be downloaded here.
Here are 5 ways Wi-Fi can improve your customer service:
- Extending the shop floor
In a classic retail environment, this could involve shop assistants having access to devices in order to provide extra styles or sizes, which may not be available in-store. Facilitating an impulse buy - by offering an online order, there and then - boosts customer satisfaction and reduces the risk of a sale loss. Offering free delivery if they purchase it online via the store device could be an added bonus to encourage uptake.
Considering this in a slightly less conventional setting could even open up the boundaries of a gift shop in a museum or gallery. If connected to the Wi-Fi, visitors could have the option to reserve or buy a print of a particular painting whilst stood in front of it. This would not only encourage engagement outside of traditional parameters, but would add to the overall experience and perhaps inspire a return visit.
- Bespoke experience
Wi-Fi can give you the ability to provide a bespoke experience to individuals amongst the masses. By recognising a regularly returning visitor or a VIP, you would have the ability to welcome them back or provide tailored offers based on their previous actions. Highlighting a new exhibition, or giving them the option to reserve a table in the quickly filling restaurant, is the difference between standard service and going that extra mile.
- Uniting online and offline experience
The online and physical areas of a business do not need to be competing against one another. In fact, the potential for success - if they are used together in an omni-channel way -can be huge. One example here would be using an email list gleaned from the free Wi-Fi log-in to drive footfall to a one day event, or to deliver personalised offers to previous visitors in order to entice them back.
An ultimate goal would be to have complete symmetry across online and offline channels as there will be an inevitable drop off in store transactions if you are continually offering website-only discounts.
- Tracking the flow of traffic
Customer Wi-Fi is not just a front-end benefit. Whether a smartphone is actively connected is irrelevant, as any device that has Wi-Fi is continuously scanning the air and advertising its location to network infrastructure. The Wi-Fi access points will simply listen to these broadcasts, and compile the data into business insights.
Behaviour analytics, including tracking the flow of traffic, can significantly improve back-end operations. If visitors are not moving about the space as you expect, and are spending less time at an information centre and more in the cafe, it could be time for a refresh of your staffing plan, or new signage to encourage better distribution of footfall.
- The expansion of your CRM
The information contained in your CRM could become even more powerful if combined with physical location-based data, building a more comprehensive profile of customers. Not only will you be expanding its scope by actively encouraging people to enter details in order to access the Wi-Fi, you will also have the ability to offer a more personalised approach to marketing as a result of their recorded actions.
So, in conclusion...
The possibilities for enhancing customer experience through the provision of free Wi-Fi are constantly evolving as new technologies surface. As the basic offering becomes the norm in all customer facing environments, those organisations which are a step ahead - and are using Wi-Fi to improve their services - will be the ones who succeed.
To find out more about how Wi-Fi can lead to improved profits in any environment which regularly interacts with customers in a physical setting, download our guide by clicking below: