It’s something we keep hearing, and something we can’t get away from - the demand for access has heightened dramatically in the last few years. More of us are carrying multiple devices, and hand in hand with that has come an expectation for Wi-Fi in the places we spend our time.
Many visitor attractions now understand the need for the provision of free access, but many underestimate the extent of the potential benefits it brings.
Providing guest Wi-Fi could have a beneficial impact on your whole business - by enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction, and thereby actually impacting your bottom line. This could help put you ahead of your competitors.
The data your Wi-Fi is collecting from visitors can be a fantastic information source from which to start improving your services. From increased visibility into footfall and resourcing to determining whether your merchandising and signage is up to scratch, thinking outside the box a little opens up a whole host of possibilities.
A host of possibilities
For example, by looking at the data from Wi-Fi connections you might notice that people are walking to the door of your gift shop, but are then turning away. Rather than wondering why the shop is often empty, you have the insight to do something about it. You could consider bringing bestselling merchandise forward, widening the entrance or even creating some better signage.
You could also use Wi-Fi to create a more efficient flow of traffic around your site. If one area is particularly full, you could send some of your visitors a discount voucher to direct them to the empty restaurant, and apologise for the queues. This would enable you to turn around a situation which may have left visitors frustrated into a moment of good customer service.
Impact your bottom line
There are two areas in which Wi-Fi can provide benefits to your bottom line: resourcing and the alignment of online and offline activity. Let’s delve into those a little deeper...
Visitor movements can be extremely difficult to predict and as a result, planning staffing levels (and distributing them correctly) is often a challenge. Wi-Fi opens up the possibility of tracking visitor movements and highlighting crowded areas which may require staff redistribution. No one wants to have a fully staffed (but empty) restaurant at 3pm, if the gift shop is struggling to meet demand at the same time.
As we spend more time online, our desire for a consistent experience grows. Often a visitor will begin their visit by looking at your website, perhaps to research or book tickets. Ensuring that the your online site and physical site (or sites) reflect one another is crucial for encouraging positive word of mouth and return visits.
The concept of personalisation can take this further. When a visitor logs into your Wi-Fi, it is possible to marry up their actions with their online persona, and further enhance their experience with your now-boosted CRM records. You might encourage visits with promotions tailored to things they have seen before, offer a free coffee on their birthday or even recognise multiple visits with VIP status - suddenly your marketing is far more than just a blanket message or the latest deal, but something which actually matters to each visitor.
The key is to keep on top of security
Remember, for all of the exciting things you can do with your infrastructure, you need to be making sure that it’s secure, too. As visitors will often be submitting their details to gain access, you need to consider data protection and the governance around it.
Visibility into your infrastructure will not only give you insight into movements, but will also make sure that you are ready to react quickly to any cyberattacks that might occur.
The final area of security which is often overlooked is the level of access required by the people visiting (or working at) your site. Staff access and visitor access are two very different things, and you need to take appropriate precautions to ensure that this issue is handled effectively.
Far more than just being a 'nice to have', Wi-Fi can now help you to transform your operations and stand out from the competition by providing a first-rate customer experience.
The boundaries between online and offline are continually moving, and it is important to keep up with the latest innovations in order to keep your attraction relevant and interesting.