5 Ways to Convince Your Customers to Connect to Your Free Wi-Fi
The importance of staying connecting in today’s world is something that cannot be ignored. Mobile users check their phone 150 times a day (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s). They do so to check the weather, coordinate get togethers, catch up with friends and family and for no particular reason other than their entertainment. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to separate ourselves from our devices, as a result we see more and more content being created for our devices. With all this new content we need more ways to stream and download. Therefore it should come as no surprise that more and more places are offering free Wi-Fi to lure patrons into their businesses. In fact Wi-Fi has become so prevalent, it has become the medium of choice by 2/3 of US consumers (Deloitte). If so many people say that they would connect to free Wi-Fi, why aren’t they connecting to yours? Here are some reasons why.
THE THREE BIG PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS:
Nobody is going to connect to your Wi-Fi if they don’t know that it is there. Simple as that.
The easiest way to gain more connections to your free Wi-Fi is to advertise that you have free Wi-Fi. Send an email to your guest before they arrive. Don’t have their emails? Put up a sign, so they see it as they walk in. People are not going to connect to Wi-Fi they don’t know that it is there. They also are not going to connect if they don’t know which one is the safe and reliable Wi-Fi that has been created for them, the customer. Customers need that first push. They need reminders that say “hey there is free Wi-Fi, this is the network name, go ahead CONNECT!”
The second issue involves personal information. Often times when attempting to connect to free Wi-Fi I have been asked for personal information. I personally have often times opted not to join the Wi-Fi because there were too many questions about my demographics. When connecting to free Wi-Fi customers are not looking to share their age, gender and birthday simply to connect.
SEAMLESS LOG IN
People should be able to log into your Wi-Fi without telling you everything about themselves. Therefore don’t ask intrusive questions. A verified login system with an email or a phone number should be sufficient information for a customer to log into your Wi-Fi.
ONE TIME REGISTRATION
After logging in, people don’t want to login every hour. They also don’t want to login every time they visit. A customer should be able to provide an email or phone number the first time they visit a stadium or an airport and be automatically reconnected each time they return. That is how the Wi-Fi works at home, isn’t that how it should work everywhere else?
Most people are not familiar with ways to spot the differences between legitimate Wi-Fi Hot Spots and those that are set up by an “attacker” looking to gain access to people’s personal information. Often times it is not well advertised which of the “free” Wi-Fi networks is the network that I should be connecting to. After clicking on the free Wi-Fi the next level of concerns comes in. I only want to connect to a network that is safe. Most likely I am going to provide an email address or phone number when connecting to the Wi-Fi and if the page that I am taken to, to connect is “sketchy” or seems suspicious, I log off immediately and remove it from my trusted networks. It is important for customers concerned with security that the log on experience is one that feels safe, and secure.
CONSISTENT BRAND EXPERIENCE
For the customers that are more concerned with security, they are going to need a little bit more of a push, than just advertisements and a seamless login. They need to feel as though the security risk of connecting to this Wi-Fi is near to none. The way that you achieve this is providing them with a consistent and familiar brand experience. Customers should be able to see the same types of login pages everywhere they go. They should be informed on who is providing this free Wi-Fi experience, without even asking.
More important than anything else individuals need to know why they should connect to the Wi-Fi. Those of us who do not regularly connect to free Wi-Fi probably don’t because we don’t have a reason to. The benefits don’t outweigh the risks or the time or the energy. So as the risks are mediated (using any or all of the suggestions above) the benefits should also be made known. Say a customer has a giant data plan, so connecting to Wi-Fi is not going to save them money on their cell phone bill so what will it do? One option is promotions. Incentivize customers with an offer or a discount; maybe provide them with loyalty points (if you have such a system). All they have to do is connect to the Wi-Fi one time and suddenly they receive all of the benefits.
While these aren’t the only things that concern customers when considering whether or not to connect to free Wi-Fi they are problems that consumers hope will be addressed in the near future.
Looking for an innovative solution to engage your customers on Wi-Fi?