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Blog / 2011 / February / Why the iPad + WiFi is a Game Changer fo...
February 25, 2011
Why the iPad + WiFi is a Game Changer for the Service Industry
by Kirby Goble   |   0 COMMENTS
Light and compact with a great battery life the iPad is designed to be a tool to be utilized everywhere and anywhere. Used for fun, to socialize or as the miniature pony of workhorses it is changing the game on how people connect.  Add WiFi to the mix and you have highly portable powerhouse that can in fact increase your bottom line. It's time to make sure that your business is in the game or at least the same ballpark.

Let's look at this from the stand point of customer service and the stand point of operations. In years past my company would have potential customers say that they did not think offering WiFi would be much good to them since they could not imagine a guest whipping out a big laptop at the dinner table.  That thought process is antiquated. Locations that specifically advertize in travel or in-flight magazines know that the mobile business person has become much more tech savvy.  They love their tools of the trade! Those tools are smartphones, laptops and now the iPad.  Instead of staying in their dreary hotel room they venture out while in town on business.  They flock to places that understand their needs and that will cater to those needs. Just look at any downtown Starbucks. They have learned to tap the market on this need to be connected, and they have profited from this market considerably. This is of course why Starbucks now offers free managed WiFi sessions in all of their North American locations.
Starbucks utilizes a sophisticated yet simple hybrid of point-of-purchase marketing and location based marketing with their managed WiFi.  Managed WiFi has now moved beyond customer engagement to direct customer access using the guest's own devices.  Starbucks uses the WiFi to connect these road warriors to content they want them to see with each session, and in turn the guest gets the WiFi that they crave. It's a winning strategy that creates loyalty on both sides of the digital divide.

Now let's look at how employees can take advantage of this tool.  Imagine some of the very useful apps that are available on the iPhone and then imagine them taken to the next level for business on the iPad.  Imagine that the manager no longer spends much time in the office inaccessible to staff or customers. Being able to work on inventory, ordering, scheduling etc and still stay in the front of the house is huge for operations.  Imagine digital menus that you can simultaneously update on the fly when you run out of something or when you want to add a special that day.  Imagine a sleek tableside POS that sends tickets straight to the bar and the kitchen just as soon as the customer orders them.  No need to wear yourself out trying to imagine all these things since they are in use right now in businesses across the country.

Like combining chocolate and peanut butter, or mixing rum and coke, partnering WiFi with the iPad can be highly profitable for your business.  These two things are great on their own, but joined together you have an on-site serious competitive advantage for your business.