Wi-Fi is the invisible glue holding a digital-age business together. A good Wi-Fi connection in your auto dealership will help your employees connect to the applications they need to use to complete their everyday tasks, and offering a free network for customers to use may make their shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable.
With that said, a surprising number of dealerships are holding onto outdated or sub-optimal Wi-Fi networks that aren't living up to their potential. Whether the problem is a slow, unreliable connection, a lack of differentiation between customers and corporate resources or any other shortcoming, the result could be lost value. This is why Wi-Fi is one of the categories examined in a dealership IT assessment.
The Role of Wi-Fi
An ideal Wi-Fi network for your company will provide two separate experiences. First, it will act as the way for your employees to access critical business applications and information. With the bring-your-own-device era in full swing, it's common for laptop PCs and smartphones to be key business devices. When employees are helping customers on the sales floor or looking up information in the service department, they'll need solid coverage to make their phones, tablets or internet of things-enabled wearable devices work effectively.
Secondly, your Wi-Fi network is an amenity for customers. Free and fast Wi-Fi connections on the sales floor may encourage shoppers to spend more time in the dealership. Today's consumers love to look up information on their personal devices, performing research on cars they're considering. Enabling this process may increase their loyalty.
Qualities of a Great Network
There are a few necessary elements of a business Wi-Fi network that will please consumers and employees alike – and a surprising number of dealerships don't have them. The technology is moving quickly, and waiting several years between upgrades can leave companies with outdated hardware that isn't living up to standards or expectations. As CIO magazine pointed out, current development priorities include huge and dense networks that turn large spaces into Wi-Fi networks, while ensuring more users than ever can log on at one time.
Reliability is one of the main pillars of Wi-Fi. CIO added that individuals and companies alike are using more data-intensive applications than ever. Having a network slow down or fail due to capacity problems could slow your dealership's day-to-day operations to a crawl. If you haven't inspected your hardware in a while, it may be surprisingly outdated.
Security is another must. To this end, your company should be separating its enterprise and guest channels. Inc. magazine explained companies need separate access points for customers and employees, otherwise, it's too easy for guest users to accidentally or intentionally get into sensitive company files. Furthermore, you should be on the lookout for any unauthorized connections coming from users on your network. Inc. pointed out third-party tech companies can help with this element of ongoing security.
Making the Decision to Upgrade
It's neither difficult nor expensive to upgrade your Wi-Fi network – at least, that's true if you work with the right IT services provider. Given the importance of solid and safe wireless connectivity, you can't afford to let this slide.