We expect to be connected everywhere we go with access to a fast, secure and reliable internet connection.
This expectation has increased with the millennial generation becoming a larger share of the population that books to stay and eat in hotels, B&Bs, camp sites, restaurants, cafés, etc. Millennials have grown up with the internet and expect to be able to get online and stay connected no matter where they are.
With many places, including shops, banks, public transport and festivals, offering free Wi-Fi now, it isn’t just millennials who expect connectivity.
Some establishments may not offer Wi-Fi, choosing to sell their businesses as quiet, secluded retreats. Some places even have passive aggressive signs hanging stating: “no, we don’t have Wi-Fi - talk to each other”.
However, if people are not prepared for a Wi-Fi-free experience, they may not thank you for it, especially in areas where 4G is poor or non-existent.
People rely heavily on the internet to keep in contact with friends and family on social media and instant message apps. Others use it to check their work inbox to stay in contact with colleagues, clients and suppliers, to make sure they don’t miss out on any business opportunities. With unified communications apps becoming more commonplace too, they may wish to join a video conference, link to cloud-based CRMs, remotely connect to the corporate network, etc. These people will be reliant on decent Wi-Fi and may choose their destinations based on the reviews of others.
In a lot of cases, if an establishment has poor Wi-Fi, this may be worse for a business than if they didn’t have it at all. With poor Wi-Fi, customers may be told that they are connected to the internet, but when they try to access a web page, they will be met with the spinning wheel or turning egg timer which represents a poor connection.
If you’re advertising that you have a Wi-Fi, but it is slow or unreliable with poor coverage, customers will get a negative impression of your business, especially if you are charging for it!
If your guests then post bad reviews on websites, like TripAdvisor, potential guests may be put off booking with you, which will have financial consequences.
As we head towards the busy period Christmas and New Year period, now isn’t the best time to start looking at improving your Wi-Fi or your connectivity! When the off-season starts, get in contact with me for some sensible advice. Until then, you can research how Wi-Fi and connectivity work together in this recent blog "Is your business suffering from poor Wi-Fi and internet connectivity?"