Can onboard wifi improve passenger numbers and experience?
Bus and coach operators should always be thinking about the customer experience, and what they can do to improve their new buses to help customers to feel more comfortable. If passengers are comfortable and enjoy their journeys, then it makes it more likely that they will return, and that they will let their friends and family members know that they enjoyed their experience and would recommend the service. This can help to build a customer base and ensure that it continues to grow.
There are a number of ways that you can improve the passenger experience, including:
- More comfortable seating
- More attractive buses and coaches
- Faster coach repairs if something goes wrong
- Lower prices
- Safety measures to protect lone travellers
- Free wifi onboard
Having free wifi is one way that you can appeal to whole swathes of customers, rather than just appealing to one group in particular. Wifi is easy to install on a bus or coach, and may help to get customers to choose your company over any other operator.
What do people use wifi for?
Different people will use wifi for different things, but in modern times it is unusual to find a person who does not want or need free wifi on their journey. People may use wifi for:
- Social networking and talking online with friends – Watching videos and streaming television shows – Checking emails and reading through work documents, or even completing work – Listening to music, streamed directly from the internet – Reading articles and blogs online
Different groups of people will use their wifi for different things, and may use a smartphone, laptop, tablet or any other device to connect to the internet. Using these devices helps them to stay entertained and stops the journey from becoming too much of an inconvenience.
How can wifi benefit customers’ journeys?
Being able to connect to the internet for the duration of their journey means that customers on long journeys, particularly those who are on a coach that is travelling between different cities, will be able to carry on with whatever they would have been doing if they weren’t travelling so far. For business travellers, this can save them a lot of time and energy when they reach their destination as, instead of sitting and doing nothing for the duration of their journey, they are able to carry on with their work so that when they do reach their destination they don’t have too much to catch up with. For leisure travellers, it gives them something to do for the duration of the journey so that they don’t become bored. It can help distract passengers who may otherwise find that they feel unwell on longer journeys, and it can also be used to keep passengers in the loop with friends and colleagues so that they don’t miss anything whilst they are on the road.
Why offering wifi will benefit you
Just because customers can benefit in these ways from buses and new coaches offering wifi, how can this benefit you as an operator? The most obvious reason is that customers who find that they can use free wifi on your service are more likely to choose your service again. Although most phones and tablets have their own mobile network, it can be expensive to use this for a long journey, and it can be unreliable, whilst if you can use free wifi it should last for the whole journey and makes the price of the journey seem more worthwhile, as the customer sees this as getting something extra for the price of a ticket. Customers who choose your service are more likely to recommend it to friends and family members, helping your business to grow.
There are also other sneaky ways that having free wifi can benefit your business. You should be able to keep tabs on your customers using wifi, and find out who your customers are, as well as basic details such as their gender and age and so on. This allows you to work out how to aim your business better at the customers that you have travelling with you. If you find that your customers tend to spend the entire time that they are on the road using the internet, then you can start advertising the wifi more specifically to your customers.
There is a reason that most shops, bars, restaurants, libraries and other public places have wifi available now, and this is because customers expect it and will often choose a place to visit because it has wifi. It is definitely worthwhile looking into installing wifi into your buses and coaches to help improve your customer experience.