The first thing a customer sees when they attempt to log on to your wifi is the landing page you’ve designed to welcome them. Think of this as another chance at a first impression, a rare thing in the hospitality industry! You can use this opportunity to tell your customer something more about your establishment and invite them to become a part of the community you’ve built. This might seem like a lot to ask from a landing page, but the steps are simple and proven. Following these eight guidelines will open the door for your guests to feel at home and welcome in your restaurant.
Showcase Your Brand
Your brand should be front and center on your landing page. You may be worried that it looks self-promotional or vain to give your logo a place of pride on the page, but it really has the opposite effect. You are providing a free service to your guests; let them know who is providing that. Not only will it cement your reputation as a full-service establishment it also gives the customer a sense of safety and security because they’ll know who is providing their internet connection. It’s a much more comfortable experience to sign in to a network with a trusted facilitator.
Make Your Page Updatable
We all know that attention spans have gotten smaller. Your landing page is a great opportunity to convey of-the-moment messaging to your guests, so it needs to be adaptable to your needs. If you have a special, an event, or a promotion, this is a great way to let your customers know. Think of it from the guest’s perspective: they are used to having a moment’s pause between clicking the “log on” button and actually connecting. If you can give them the added benefit of some insider information about your specials, isn’t that a win/win? You get to advertise your promotions and they feel like a cherished regular, with the scoop on what’s going on in your restaurant.
Utilize Responsive Design
One of the great advantages you have when designing your landing page is that you’ve been using them for so long! The frustration when a page fails to load or a smartphone button doesn’t work is palpable. In order to avoid this, you’ll need to make sure that your designer prioritizes mobile design for all available devices. Whether it’s a compact phone or an expansive tablet, all of your functions need to be quick and easy to use. If your customer base includes laptop users, you need to be sure to include that as well. This isn’t just a matter of scaling your page to fit on a given screen. You’ll also need to control what information you provide from format to format. Make sure to take a close look at menus and data entry screens and ensure that the user interface is friendly and accessible to anyone, regardless of what they’re using.
Choose Your Background Image Wisely
This is a classic mistake that owners make when they don’t know the parameters of what a web developer is looking for. Your background image serves a lot of purposes, and you need to make sure that it’s working on all levels. It should be beautiful, of course, and reflect the ambiance and tone of your restaurant. It should also be high enough quality that when a customer zooms in (and they will!) it still retains enough clarity to seem thought out. Lastly, it needs to fill the page, giving a wall-to-wall image. This prevents your page from looking ill-fitting and cheap. Wifi Marketing systems such as Gazella often include cool looking filters for make your background images pop even more.
Give Login Options
Customers have different comfort levels for how much information they are willing to share in order to access free wifi. Giving them the option of signing in with email, Facebook, phone number, or any other option allows them to maintain their comfort while still taking advantage of this service. It might seem restrictive for you, but don’t ignore the information your guest is giving you just with the simple choice that they make here. If a customer chooses not to sign up via email and decides they’d rather use Phone Number, you have gained valuable data about them from that alone. They are interested in brevity, interactivity, and fun. If they choose Facebook, you know community, social approval, and memories are at the top of their list. Take the time to parse any information your customer gives you. This will give you the best chance of intuiting the best way to serve them.
Give Your Customers a Reason To Come Back
Adding an option for a coupon on the next visit is a great thing. Adding the same coupon, but making it conditional on more information (such as a Twitter follow, Facebook like, or newsletter subscription), is even better. Even without giving away a discount or coupon, simply inviting your guests to make another reservation can be a powerful tool in generating return business.
Co-Branding Builds Community
One of the keywords we talk about in hospitality is “community.” This, obviously, includes you and your guests, but what about other businesses in your area that could be part of that? The theater down the road, the bakery next door, the ice cream shop up the road; these can all be an opportunity to build a real community of care and service around your customer. So, you should use your landing page to cross-promote with other local businesses. Maybe the perfect after-dinner activity would be a discounted movie ticket or a cocktail at a neighboring bar. Talk to your fellow business owners and see if they might be interested in expanding both of your businesses.
Use Terms of Service To Protect Yourself
Don’t forget to protect yourself, as well. You’ll need an agreement to the terms and conditions in order to use your wifi that spells out where your liability ends in case there is a security breach or other concern. Luckily, there are boilerplate TOS scripts that you can adapt to your specific circumstances and your web developer can help you find appropriate copy for you.
Don’t get in trouble. If someone would come in and download movies and music that they don’t have rights to, If/when the licensing companies such as ASCAP and BMI come knocking on your door, you will have the protection needed to pass that burden on if someone would engage in illegal activity on your network.
We hope this helps you design a landing page that works for you and your customers, and that you’ll find the process a little less daunting now. If you haven’t seen what wifi marketing can do for you, please take a look at our demo HERE!