Tap the Wi-Fi button on your phone or the icon on your computer. What do you see? Unless you live in a rather rural area, you’re likely to see a slew of available wireless hotspots. Some you know, others you don’t. Some are tied to familiar locations you frequent and automatically connect while others look oddly out-of-place. I looked at my own options at the office, and there’s now over 20 of them!
Most of us give little thought to our Wi-Fi strategy. If you own a franchise business, the system was probably dropped in place for you with little opportunity for input. If you put one in yourself, you might still be one of the many “NETGEAR58” networks scattered around town. You may have dropped in a fun password to put a smile on your customers’ faces, or perhaps you picked a complicated one so no one but you can ever join the network.
Does it really matter? How much forethought and strategy do we really need to give to our wireless networks? Let me offer three suggestions for you to consider.
Your hotspot can help make a good first impression.
When a customer drops into your office for an appointment, there’s a good chance they may need to wait a few minutes. Even though cellular network connections are getting faster and stronger, customers still welcome a “Join our free Wi-Fi” placard when they have a few minutes to catch up on their Netflix. Creating a hotspot with a clear identity and a simple joining process can leave a smile on your customer’s face before you even say hello.
Isolate your guests – for their protection and yours.
Many wireless hotspots now offer built-in “guest” networks. This allows you to set up an internal network for business systems and staff while visitors receive private and limited access. All they see is the Internet. Guests can’t see other guests, their devices can’t access your internal resources, and their devices can even be “throttled” so their YouTube binging doesn’t interfere with your staff’s productivity.
Empower your team with a mesh network.
A mesh network is a combination of Wi-Fi hotspots that cooperatively act as a single wireless network. A device connected to one of these networks can “wander” throughout a facility without ever having to connect to another network. Whether your office is a vast sports arena, an open park, or an everyday office filled with metal walls and other interference, a mesh network makes it simple for the team to get work done without wondering if they’re connected to the strongest signal.
Many businesses give more thought to the type of candy and magazines they have in the waiting room than the quality of the Wi-Fi experience they give their customers and team. I hope these ideas get you thinking about how the quality of Wi-Fi life you’re providing those who visit your business.
Written by Chet Cromer for publication in the Business Leader