In modern business, the customer experience is everything. For small businesses with physical locations, providing an excellent wireless experience is no longer a nice-to-have, especially now that enterprise-grade, ultra-high-speed gigabit Wi-Fi is the standard for every business in a digital-first world.
When it comes to customer experience, fast wireless connectivity is about more than enabling patrons to browse the web, check email, and text on a single device. Increasingly, customers are using multiple devices for various application on a single network. For example, a customer might use their cell phone to order food at their table while also working on their laptop and streaming music on their tablet. Or they might use their tablet to scan QR codes for more product information and their cell phone to sign up for promotions and discounts.
By presenting customers with online experiences over a Wi-Fi network that can handle high bandwidth consumption and interconnected devices, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can increase customer loyalty and, potentially, revenue. According to a report by the Sitel Group, 90% of customers say a great experience makes them willing to pay more for a product or service.
A strong Wi-Fi network also enables employees to easily connect and get their work done. Point-of-sale terminals, printers, and smart TVs can all be securely connected to the network. There’s no need to run cable, and with modern, easy-to-use wireless solutions, there’s also no need to bring in a dedicated IT expert.
Reliable high-speed connectivity also enables next-generation customer applications and services. In a dentist’s or vet’s office, for example, practitioners can always view patient records no matter what room they’re working from. A small law firm can provide secure access to legal documents for all attorneys. A hardware store can connect point of sale devices without worrying about the network going down.
But complicated technology often gets in the way of deploying a Wi-Fi network. In fact, maintaining current IT infrastructure and migrating to modern IT are the #1 and #3 biggest IT challenges for SMBs, according to this year’s study from Techaisle, a global SMB IT research and industry company.
Given that there is already a general shortage of tech skills, SMBs are also at a particular disadvantage when it comes to hiring IT staff. Even if they are available, many companies are too small to justify a dedicated IT person. And while third-party business will provide tech services on an as-needed basis, it’s not cheap. If a Wi-Fi network goes down, no one wants to wait until a tech arrives to fix it.