Collecting customers’ information is one of the most significant benefits of offering guest Wi-Fi at your business locations. However, just installing a Wi-Fi access point will not accomplish this.

Collecting customer information requires an advanced guest Wi-Fi platform to gather information from customers, manage social media profiles, record customers’ opt-in permissions, turn the data into targeted lists, and integrate with email marketing platforms.

First, know your customer

This information is incredibly powerful, yet we often meet customer prospects that are unaware what is easily possible. Many are amazed to learn just how quickly a marketing list is gathered when guest Wi-Fi is offered.

Data collection, in other words Smart Onboarding, is an easily-implemented, standard feature of the Cloud4Wi platform. Information is collected when customers access the Wi-Fi service for the first time. This enables customers to select the login option they prefer, for example an email address or social media account.

The result is a marketing list that simply cannot be purchased. It includes real customers who have agreed to receive your promotional communications. The alternative is using a purchased list, probably expensive, not as targeted, and likely to be perceived as spam by recipients.

What to collect

The information gathered may include only the customer’s email address, but can include their name and demographic data, such as birthday/date, gender, telephone number, and home address for mailings.

The amount of information gathered depends on how it will be used and on customers’ tendency to sharing. Interestingly, Cloud4Wi has noticed that while North Americans usually provide only an email address, residents of other regions more often log in through social media. Login options are configurable by location in the Cloud4Wi platform.

It is critical, however, that the business makes it very clear how the information will be used and by whom. A statement that information will not be sold or shared goes a long way in reassuring customers, provided it is scrupulously followed.

Your most loyal, most frequent customers

Customers happily provide the requested information, because they appreciate free Internet and already like the business providing it to them. The result is a list of the company’s most loyal and often most frequent customers, who have agreed to receive your messages.

The Loyalty program sign-up can be an optional step during registration. As can a prize drawing, coupons, and other inducements.

Best Practices

  1. While choosing a guest Wi-Fi platform, make sure it supports multiple login methods and that it can collect the information you desire. Login options can be complex and they vary among vendors, so ask questions.
  2. Select the login options that meet your business needs, whilst assuring the compliance with local privacy regulations.
  3. You should tell customers how often they should expect to hear from you and what types of messages they will receive.
  4. Provide clear benefits for customers who provide information, more than just free Internet access. Coupons, loyalty programs, and other benefits keep customers returning to your business.
  5. Use the information you collect, such the number of visits to your business and customer demographic data, to generate personalized messages to your customers. Finding what customers want and like, then giving them more of it, are keys to success.