If you’re reading this from the US or the UK you might think this is some kind of premature April Fool’s joke. But I kid you not, many a coffee establishment in the fine city of Cape Town persist in offering limited MB to customers. Here’s why this is crazy.
1. Free wifi leads to regulars not free-loaders
For the crew who work remotely and enjoy doing so from a coffee shop, it is not a once off occurrence. It is a lifestyle and repeats itself at least weekly. If you count up all the coffees those people will have, it will outstrip whatever it is you think you are gaining or saving by making them leave after one cup. I haven’t done the numbers but I’m willing to bet anybody this is true. It’s like free delivery for online shopping. One. Simply. Must.
2. Free wifi makes people happy
When I go to a coffee shop and log onto their wifi and it says there is a 500MB limit, all it makes me think is that the owners are either really snoep or really not with it. When there is free wifi I like them. It is a fairly simple train of thought, but to make your customers feel tricked and cornered and limited is not nice and being generous is.
3. Brand loyalty trumps everything
I love Red Sofa Café. It is a little spot down the road from my house that I go to every week for the day. Because the wifi is unlimited I sit there and have coffee, lunch, tea and more. When I got wifi at home I told them and they said to me that I had to keep coming back. I love them for it. Field Office are the same. Generous brands are loved and win fans.
4. Just do it (or you’ll be left in the dust)
All coffee shops everywhere: you should offer free wifi. if you don’t, people will just switch to places that do. Unless you create a no-free-wifi monopoly akin to Eskom there will always be a more generous, friendly option nearby where one’s time is never up.
Have you noticed coffee shop reviews include whether or not there is free wifi? Yup.