Travelling around Scotland it is becoming clear to me that free WiFi should no longer be seen as a perk it should be standard and everywhere from chain resort hotel to four bed guesthouse. Now I have no idea what percentage of people travel with WiFi enabled laptops but it's clearly not a market worth ignoring. Nor should it be seen in my opinion as a revenue stream.
For small hotels and accommodation providers it offers a statement of intent. "Free WiFi" screams customer service and relationship building. It expresses that you've thought about those needs and therefore by a related thought process you'll have thought about the other little things that make a difference to them too. Anything that increases the desire to move from browsing to purchase has merit.
And no longer is there a cost issue; BT and others are actively looking for businesses to become their WiFi hubs. We all know of certain chains and larger hotels that continue to offer four hours access to the internet through a third party provider for a tenner. Major loyalty disincentive and it may be about time that these hotels considered buying their way out of their long term customer unfriendly communciations contracts. Hotels should be shouting from their homepages that they offer it free.
Anyway, as I sit here in a hotel in Kilmarnock writing the blog, I know for sure that my next business meeting - even over coffee - will take place here because I know I can access all my work and present and communicate professionally.
One thought when putting in WiFi; consider highlighting areas or table with safe connections to plugs - some of us idiots continue to leave the office without charge machines!