Sound & Communications June 2019, Vol 65 No 6

Page 72


Digital Signage As A Customer-Service Vehicle

Taking website principles and applying them to digital signs. By Emilyann Phoenix Protective Enclosures Co. (The Display Shield and The TV Shield)


uperb customer ser vice is the Queen of Hearts in business: It rules the land. On the flip side, a lack of customer ser vice leaves us feeling a bit like Alice, wandering lost in Wonderland. Have you noticed that some companies are stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to client satisfaction? Sometimes, question-and-answer (Q&A) listings call to mind the Cheshire Cat, confounding us with riddles. And it’s nearly impossible to reach a live representative to answer a question. The most successful companies know this, and the heart of their ever y move is centered on catering to their customers. That means keeping up with the newest methods to ser ve leads and clients. Examples of customer-ser vice improvement can include not only providing around-the-clock support and offering free shipping, but also utilizing digital-signage solutions.

Digital Signage & Customer Service Today As it stands, the technological evolution of digital signage is dazzling. Who doesn’t love the mesmerizing bright lights and crisp imager y of modern displays? Beneath the surface of all that, however, digital signage ser ves an array of purposes—not least of which is customer ser vice. Modern businesses are already becoming savvy about using digital signage to meet customer needs, whether we’re talking about wayfinding in theme parks or self-bag-tag kiosks in airports. When utilized correctly, digital signage can offer entertain72 Sound & Communications June 2019

ment, answer questions via Q&As, help customers make informed buying decisions, display schedules and more. A decade ago, people couldn’t utilize interactive digital director y displays; now, they can. Answers are at our fingertips. But what’s the next step? What would bring these customer-support efforts to the next level? Could live interactive digital signage be on the horizon?

Live Interactive Digital Signage What does “live interactive digital signage” even mean, anyway? The idea is that this signage is connected to live support on the other end. Do you ever spend too much time looking through materials and Q&As on a website, only not to get your answer? Do you find it frustrating when you’re tr ying to call customer support and you can’t reach anyone? Does any of this sound familiar? Remember that customer ser vice is the Queen of Hearts—it rules the land. Nothing replaces, or substitutes for, the positive experience of interacting with an informed and invested customer-ser vice representative. That truth has been proven time and again. One excellent modern example is the development of instant chats on websites. Companies utilizing chat boxes on their websites are seeing tremendous improvements in lead conversion and customer satisfaction. People don’t want to send an email and then wait hours or days for a response; because of that, tools like LiveChat are changing the game. What if that same solution were applied to digital signage? Does it make sense? Is it plausible to predict that we’ll see solutions like LiveChat, or even live video support representatives, for digital signage become popular in the near future? Custom software could certainly be in development—or even already exist—for this purpose. Some companies might already be using the internet to stream their website to their displays. The potential for growth appears to be boundless; indeed, this seems like a viable customer-ser vice solution, especially for locations that would other wise be too expensive to ser vice sufficiently with on-site staff. You might be wondering if interactive digital signs already provide enough information for customers; if so, you might perceive this concept as being “over the top.” And that might be true for certain applications. But think about websites, which also provide significant amounts of information to users. They nevertheless utilize realtime chat options. This concept could branch out to outdoor digital signage, as well. Imagine you’re walking by a retail store and its digital signage catches your attention. You stop to view the sign and the signage incorporates a pop-up that says, “Chat now.” You think to yourself, “Hmmm…I’d love to know if that red shirt I see in the store is available in blue.” You click “Chat now” and ask about the shirt. The representative checks for you and gives an immediate response. You’re already feeling like a satisfied custom(continued on page 138)

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