The Definitive Guide to Small Business WiFi Services
No one wants to find these symbols on their smartphone – poor WiFi signal, buffering, low battery. Any one of these can cause a hiccup in your day at a time when you least need it.
There are ways for businesses to minimalize exposure to these issues given the importance of WiFi connection in delivering today’s customer experiences.
Here are some key reasons why small businesses should be investing in great WiFi.
More small businesses are offering customers WiFi than ever before. Perhaps you’re considering implementing WiFi in your business. You may be looking to understand consumer-oriented WiFi products, and how they differ from those made for business.
Or maybe you didn’t even know you had these options to choose from. Don’t worry, we’re here to explain.
The role that WiFi plays in an organization’s ability to be productive and give its customers a quality experience cannot be overstated. In a few short years, business WiFi has gone from being a luxury to a baseline expectation for organizations throughout Canada and the world.
According to Business Insider Intelligence, 84% of consumers say that access to fast internet is a “must-have.” In other words, the vast majority of consumers expect to have access to WiFi while they’re visiting your business. It takes a specialist who is invested in business WiFi solutions to craft the optimal solutions that take the burden off business owners allowing them to stay focused on their work.
We recognize that understanding the differences between consumer WiFi products and made-for-business WiFi services can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created this resource to summarize everything you need to know about our WiFi services and how these services are unique. Let’s get to it.
What Is The Difference Between Business WiFi & Consumer WiFi?
One of the most common questions we get about Business WiFi is: “What’s the difference between this service and the WiFi products I can pick up at my favorite electronics store?”
Both options offer great benefits, in the right setting. Let us explain further:
Consideration 1 – Think about volume of traffic in your business location.
As a business owner, your WiFi needs are more complex than your WiFi needs at home. For example, it’s unlikely that your home WiFi will be used by 100s or even 1000s of people over the course of a year, let alone a month. At home, you have a relatively small number of people with a few devices each connecting with a password to your home WiFi network.
At your business, you might have 100 customers in a month – maybe even a single day, if you own a restaurant, for example – each person wanting to connect, hassle-free, with one of many types of devices. Delivering this experience, ensuring both your operational and customer WiFi networks remain separate and secure, while not having to take on the burden of helping each individual person connect, requires a business WiFi approach.
Speaking of security… Consideration 2 – What level of security would be required for your business operation?
Businesses often have sensitive information on their computers and servers, making it important to keep corporate WiFi separate from WiFi for guests and visitors. Further, businesses need to ensure their operational WiFi network is robust and ready to handle transactions at all times without being impacted by customer/guest traffic. At home, you simply don’t need two separate types of WiFi because you know who’s using your WiFi and when.
But that’s not all. Consideration 3 – what needs to be factored into the design layout for your WiFi access points in your business location?
Another complexity is making sure WiFi works for your physical space.
For example, did you know that some walls are nearly impenetrable by WiFi? It is possible that some people in your space won’t receive a WiFi signal because of the type of construction materials. Therefore, planning the design of your WiFi service is very important.
Business WiFi services, like Eastlink’s Managed WiFi, help organizations prevent this problem. Our Managed WiFi designers take the time to understand your floor plan including where and how to achieve the best WiFi coverage. We use custom WiFi heat map technology to ensure that our WiFi solution meets all of your needs:
Whether your restaurant needs coverage in every square foot to ensure that your hand held point-of-sale terminals work efficiently, or your staff needs coverage in offices and meeting rooms, ensuring easy-to-connect, everywhere WiFi in each space is important.
How Does Business WiFi Help Small Businesses?
Every business is unique and all businesses understand the importance of keeping their customers happy. Here are some key reasons why small businesses should be investing in great Managed WiFi.
To give people what they want: The necessity of offering WiFi has carried over into every service industry. At bars, coffee shops, restaurants, dentists’ offices, doctors’ offices, golf courses and more, WiFi is becoming an expectation rather than a bonus. According to TripAdvisor, the amenity that travelers find most influential when booking an accommodation is free, in-room WiFi.
To enhance the experience: A small business that offers WiFi to its guests and employees has an advantage over small businesses that don’t. WiFi availability provides the capability to offload more expensive cellular data to faster, lower cost/free WiFi, and improves your customers’ experience.
To better understand your customers: Business WiFi gives you data insights to help aid business decisions including the number of customers who walk by your business, those that come in, customers choosing to connect, etc. This is an exclusive benefit of choosing a Managed WiFi solution, helping to identify if you are attracting new customers and/or your customers are returning. A service like Managed WiFi also provides insight into how your customers use WiFi so you can better serve them. The chart below is an example of a Managed WiFi dashboard:
To improve productivity: Whether you are in a meeting and require access to the internet, or in the middle of a presentation that includes a video from You Tube, you need to know that you can rely on your WiFi network. Understanding your business needs and how you plan to use the WiFi network is an important part of designing the network. A seamless connection when you and your team require internet access is important so that you can focus on what’s most important – running your business and being productive.
Why More Businesses Are Choosing Eastlink Managed WiFi
Throughout this article, we’ve talked about Managed WiFi and its benefits for small and medium sized businesses who require a reliable WiFi network for their operations and customer experience.
In the last few months alone, we’ve seen more and more businesses embrace our Managed WiFi solution for the reasons we’ve outlined.
Now, let’s look at more specific differentiators that make Managed WiFi an ideal solution for many small businesses:
Quality WiFi Service: Our Managed WiFi service gives you control over the amount of access your customers or business applications have depending on the most critical needs at any given time. For instance, if you are a coffee shop that customers use as a remote office, you may want to give greater WiFi access during certain hours of the work day.
Support & Security Features: Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about future updates or staying current with latest technology. Managed WiFi offers a remote monitoring system that handles all software and firmware updates. This helps resolve many technical issues that could arise when you are operating with older technology. All automatic updates are done through the cloud, making it easy for businesses to focus on running their business while the WiFi takes care of itself.
Marketing Splash Page: Love your brand by activating the splash page functionality that provides a customized branded experience to anyone connected to your WiFi. For example, the splash page can display a corporate logo or color scheme, or even connect to Facebook so your users are more likely to interact with your social media accounts.
Analytics: Built-in location analytics let you easily gauge visitor foot traffic, dwell time and repeat visits across your property or in specific areas. For example, analytics could help a hotel answer questions like: How long did guests spend at the lobby bar this past week? How many spent over an hour at the hotel restaurant last Thursday? How often did guests use the gym?
Control Access: Thanks to Managed WiFi, businesses can ensure that their teams are only visiting websites that are work-friendly or work-related. To take it a step further, if there were some websites that you only wanted your team to have access to during their break (looking at your Netflix) than that’s an option within Managed WiFi as well.
How to Decide If Business WiFi Is Right for You
At this point, it’s our hope that you have a much clearer idea of how to assess your Business WiFi needs and whether or not a Managed WiFi solution is the right fit for you. If you’re still not 100% sure, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Does your current WiFi solution offer the ability to split guest traffic from staff?
- Can you control what applications and how the WiFi access is being used by your customers and employees?
- Do your employees need internet access to do their jobs?
- Are your customers asking for access to WiFi and what your passcode is?
- Does your business need the internet to process payments?
- Does your current WiFi solution provide data that you can turn into customer insights?
- Are you looking for new ways to promote your business?
- Are you looking for interesting ways to engage with your customers?
- Do you want people to spend more time at your location?
- Does your competition offer WiFi access to their customers?
We know that every business is different. And because of that, we know that every business is going to benefit differently from the various features that business WiFi can offer. If you’re interested in learning more about our WiFi services and how we collaborate with businesses like yours, get in touch today. We’d love to chat and help you unlock the power of a great WiFi solution. We can be reached @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-813-1727.