Hearing the dreaded, “I have no WiFi!” or, “The WiFi here STINKS!” can send chills down any business owner’s spine. When it comes to making customers and employees happy, providing connectivity is crucial, whether at a restaurant, hospital, office building, hotel, or even school. With data-hungry devices growing in numbers every day, including wearables, headphones, IoT devices, tablets, and laptops, connectivity is the name of the game. But not all WiFi is created equal. Finding a router that could reach your lobby a few years ago was your biggest worry. That was before everyone had multiple devices.
Why Free WiFi is Critical for Business
Studies have shown that free WiFi encourages customers and guests to stay longer, spend more money, and come back more often. Unfortunately, most existing WiFi networks were designed for yesterday’s coverage models, not the device density and demand that exists today. Organizations can be left behind by not adequately supporting their current infrastructure. This creates a business-critical need for improved WiFi in all industries, including retail, hospitality, education, health, and others.
A Necessity, Not a Luxury
Once considered a luxury or a perk — or even a pay-for-use guest service — readily available, reliable WiFi is now a basic necessity. According to a survey sponsored by the Wi-Fi Alliance, 60% of people do not want to go without WiFi for more than one day; 75% of American respondents surveyed said: “that a week without WiFi would leave [them] grumpier than a week without coffee or tea.” So it is no surprise that iGR reported that 75% of businesses consider free wireless access to be either “important” or “very important” to their business. Given a choice, customers prefer a business that caters to their requirement for seamless, safe internet access. Offering WiFi significantly increases a business’s advantage in industries where patrons have many options, including hospitality and retail.
Slow WiFi is Just as Damaging as No WiFi
It’s not enough to simply hang up some wireless access points and flip a switch. In fact, setting up WiFi can exceed the levels of attention, expertise, and investment needed for an enterprise’s wired LAN. Poorly implemented WiFi frustrates users and hurts productivity. The accelerated ramp-up of users, devices, sophisticated applications, and security risks are straining the average wireless network. Secure onboarding for both employee and guest devices needs to be maintained, along with keeping up with all the device variations out there. The process needs to be fast and secure. An expert team should evaluate your technology, security, and capacity needs across all network layers to enable your employees and provide a reliable, cost-effective wireless network solution to your guests, patrons, and partners.
Managed WiFi is the Solution
A flaky, sluggish WiFi experience can quickly impact organizational performance, annoy employees, and customers, plus drive up support costs. Managed WiFi allows you to bring in a team with broad and deep experience evaluating, installing, and operating wireless networks without the need for upfront capital investment. You have ensured the latest technology updates, 24/7 proactive monitoring, and support, and expertly configured security to meet all the unique needs of your business and industry. Just having WiFi doesn’t cut it anymore. The good news is that you don’t have to DIY your WiFi. Lightpath’s Managed WiFi can be optimized and customized for your environment, is fast and flexible, and is offered with 24/7 support. Learn more about Lighpath’s Manage WiFi offerings here.