HEY BUSINESS OWNERS: Should you invest in better cell service or better Wi-Fi?

Lately I’ve been calling out business owners for their bad cell service. I hate when I go somewhere and there is practically no service. I think it’s rude and I don’t understand it. I recently called out a jewelry store owner for this very problem. The store was set up in every way to make you feel comfortable. There were snacks, comfy chairs, and a serene environment. Yet, I had to go outside to get any cell signal at all.

It’s 21st-century hospitality

Hey store owners, it’s not 2005 anymore. You can’t just expect that people will buy from you just because they can’t price-check you on Amazon. If you have bad cell service, people will just leave and not come back. You may not like it, but that little slab of glass, plastic, and metal is here to stay. People aren’t going to be happy if they’re not connected

Most free Wi-Fi stinks. I mean really stinks.

I’m going to call out two chains that made their names offering free Wi-Fi: Starbucks and Panera Bread. Ten years ago, people came there, and stayed there, because the Wi-Fi was free and it was robust. College students would park it for a whole day, guzzling java and eating snacks as they did.

The problem is that the free Wi-Fi at these places is really bad. It’s basically 2009-level Wi-Fi meaning you probably get better speed on your phone. I don’t know why but this is true even in brand new Starbucks and Paneras.

Free Wi-Fi has gotten so bad overall, it almost seems like a plot. It’s like store owners just don’t think they need to offer it in order to attract customers. Maybe they’re right: with unlimited data plans and tethering, who needs Wi-Fi? So, this sets up the real question of this article:

If you’re going to upgrade, are you going to improve your Wi-Fi or your cell signal?

Let’s say you finally “get it.” You realize that the cell signal is poor in your store. You offer free Wi-Fi but it requires a code and it’s slow as molasses. You’ve decided to do something about it, but you don’t want to waste money. So which is a better investment: upgraded Wi-Fi or improved cell service?

Easy answer: Upgrade your cell service

I actually agree. Free Wi-Fi isn’t usually important. If you are going to be somewhere for a long time like a hospital, Wi-Fi makes sense. Pretty much all unlimited plans eventually get to a point where they slow your speeds down if you overuse them.

However if you have a business where people come and go a lot, more bars are better than Wi-Fi. People don’t really want to connect to the free Wi-Fi because most companies have made it difficult. You have to agree to terms and conditions, sometimes you have to know a password. Business owners do this to limit their liability and because they don’t really want you using the Wi-Fi. That internet connection costs money.

That’s why an upgrade to your cell service makes more sense. If people only get one or two bars inside your store, they’re more likely to leave early. And if they get no service at all, they’re more likely to leave and never come back

Cellular booster systems for businesses

The latest systems for business install easily and quickly. They take signal from outside and amplify it until it’s even stronger inside. They provide voice and data coverage for nearly every carrier and they will even work with some 5G systems in the future. You’ll get the opportunity to keep people around longer and keep them happier.

These commercial systems can work in areas up to 100,000 square feet and can be custom designed to work with the dead spots in your building. Your customers will love it, and so will your employees.

Because you can’t just wish cell phones away

As I said this isn’t 2005. You can’t just take away cell service and hope your customers won’t notice. You can’t put in a policy that takes cell phone service from employees. That time has passed. By providing great cell service to every user, you increase satisfaction. That means happier employees and more generous customers. And those things translate out to more profits.

When you’re ready to get an upgrade to your cellular service, check out the great selection of professional cellular signal boosters at Solid Signal. If you don’t see exactly what you want, call us at 888-233-7563 or fill out the form below.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.