In today’s super-connected world, people expect easy access to WiFi and as we’re approaching 2017, it’s disappointing that many WiFi networks still provide a poor experience. Providing a more streamlined user experience for both customers and businesses was the reason we founded Purple and although we’ve evolved, it’s still one of our main focuses.
SMSGlobal states that there are over 2 billion smartphones in use around the world. That’s over 25% of our total population, an incredible number. Of all those smartphones, over 90% of them can use WiFi, and according to Wi-Fi Alliance, by the end of this year, shipments of WiFi enabled devices will have surpassed 15 billion.
Clearly, these numbers show that there are a lot of consumers out there with devices that utilize a WiFi connection. Plenty of businesses today are taking advantage of this to generate revenue by offering guest WiFi networks. These networks can make money for a business through ads, non-invasive data collection, or making the connection a paid service. But simply offering WiFi isn’t enough to entice many people into consistently connecting if it’s a hassle to do so. For maximum efficiency, a guest network must be easy to use and interact with.
The best guest WiFi networks for both the business owner and their customers provides a seamless experience. By that, I mean letting users connect quickly and easily during initial visits, and only requiring devices to be manually logged in that first time. After that, they should be automatically reconnected to the network whenever they are in range to ensure that users are connected as often as they can. This feature is a must if you want to provide a great customer experience. Even better is allowing users to log in at one of a business’s locations, and be able to automatically connect to any of their locations throughout the world.
Our recent food and drink infographic states that 69% of Brits work remotely from coffee shops at least twice a week. These kinds of customers can be relied on to manually reconnect to a network every visit if need be. But what about customers who don’t actually have any reason for needing to be connected? If your network doesn’t allow for auto-reconnection, you’ll be losing traffic from people who connected once but don’t need to do so again in future visits. That leaves plenty of untapped potential for, say, hotels, whose guests are often in and out of range of the network multiple times during their stay. With automatic reconnection, quality of customer service is increased along with the returning user base.
Not only is an easily-accessible connection good for repeat business and customer service, but it can result in a boost to a business’s online presence. Integrating social media into the experience, for example, by allowing users to login to your network using Twitter or Linkedin, or by placing a Facebook ‘Like’ button on the network’s landing page, can be a huge help in increasing user social media engagement with a business.
Accessibility is imperative when trying to make your WiFi as appealing as possible. And since it can be expensive to maintain a network, squeezing every dollar out of it is a must. We live in a fast-paced world, time is precious and no one wants to waste it with a less-than-stellar connection process.