Free WiFi a customer benefit or a pain for everyone?

Many businesses situated in Tourist Destinations have been jumping on the ‘must offer WiFi’ band wagon. Maybe I’m a cynic but it isn’t the make or break feature for me partly because I don’t believe it’s going to work. Is this just me or have you also experienced this?

I think many businesses didn’t clearly think through the logistics of how they would offer WiFi to customers.

Some common mistakes I have seen:

1. Offering Wi Fi with a really weak signal

This now transforms a perceived benefit into an irritation particularly if customers have relied on the access.

2. No technical support in-house

When the WiFi connection goes down (and it will) there needs to be someone on hand who knows how to get things moving again. I was recently staying in a hotel and the WiFi connection was down for 24 hours. At first when I enquired the staff feigned ignorance that it was down and then blamed a thunder storm. Someone with a bit of technical nous would have rebooted modems and routers and we would have been back in action. It was absolutely infuriating as there was internet access in other fixed areas within the hotel.

3. Not knowing how to answer queries about WiFi

If you offer it there will be questions from customers particularly if there are problems connecting. Make sure you have a list of questions most likely to be asked and provide staff with the answers.

A good marketing strategy thinks through the all possible scenarios to ensure that you are well equipped to deal with any potential problems.  The last thing you want is a customer benefit to turn into a customer turnoff.

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