For today’s connected consumers, getting through a stay in a businesses’ waiting room no longer has to equate to idle time spent with little to do besides make a cup of coffee, flip through outdated magazines or watch whatever happens to be on the waiting-room TV. With a speedy Wi-Fi connection and a laptop computer, or even just a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, waiting-room guests can get their work done, catch up on online chores or the news, or take their pick from a broad array of online entertainment options.
But as most consumers are painfully aware, not all waiting rooms are created equally, especially when it comes to the Wi-Fi experiences they offer. Businesses looking to boost the Wi-Fi connectivity and online experience in their waiting rooms should consider these five ways to up the internet game for their waiting-room clientele:
- Step up the speed: Nobody enjoys a slow internet connection, and when customers must endure one at a place of business, it lends the establishment a less-than-professional look. Further, with numerous guests trying to connect their devices to the public Wi-Fi in a waiting room, providing beefed-up bandwidth is even more critical for a business. To ensure that guests do not experience annoying slowdowns, it is advisable to secure a Wi-Fi connection with enough bandwidth to cover peak needs. This is definitely one of those situations where erring on the side of exceeding the typical need is a good call. This will help to ensure that guests experience speedy downloads without having to wait through buffering, as well as increased connection reliability.
- Post prominent password details: Especially in a common space where customers are encouraged to use the internet service, providing the name of the public Wi-Fi network along with any username and password information needed to connect to it can create added convenience. And in addition to making the connection easier for customers, posting this information in a prominent place can be a big timesaver for staff members, too, as they can avoid having to answer the predictable “What is the Wi-Fi password?” question numerous times a day.
- Ensure stellar security: Of course, business owners will want to ensure that their public Wi-Fi is set up in such a way that not only are customers’ devices protected from any sort of cyberattacks or hacking attempts while they are on the network, but that the business’s data is also safeguarded. The latter is especially important in environments where the business handles any sort of sensitive client information, such as a medical office or a facility providing financial services. For the protection and peace of mind of all involved, it is critical for businesses’ public Wi-Fi networks to have in place security features such as advanced firewall services, antivirus and spyware protections, and other safeguards against malicious online actors.
- Treat them to a tablet: Not all customers in the waiting room will arrive with their own devices in tow. So, to let everyone in on the online fun, especially in waiting rooms where lengthier waits are the norm, business owners can consider providing some sort of avenue to online access, such as in-house tablet (or multiple tablets) or a community computer station. When such devices are provided in a public space, of course, steps will need to be taken to prevent any attempted thefts. And in the age of coronavirus, the device(s) will need to be sanitized frequently, too. But when necessary precautions are taken, customers will appreciate being provided with a way to enjoy the waiting room’s revved-up online experience.
- Supply subscription services: To take the online experience up yet another notch (especially in waiting rooms where longer waits are anticipated), business owners could even consider providing premium online entertainment services for those using the public Wi-Fi connection. Offering paid-for access to popular streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Apple Music (if headphones are also provided) or other subscription-based services would provide added entertainment options for guests, going a long way toward making the wait more enjoyable. Of course, business owners who do this would want to ensure that all content provided was age-appropriate for the waiting-room audience, and most subscription services provide parental-control features that allow administrators to block access to objectionable content.
Ready to offer a better Wi-Fi experience to the customers in your waiting room? Visit ftc.net/business to explore FTC’s business internet plans, with speeds up to a blazing-fast 1 Gig available. And to get local, expert IT help for your business in a number of tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services and more, visit FTC IT Solutions today.