Guest Post: Curtis Campbell, HughesON
As margins in retail continue to be a challenge, and retailers also wrestle with the pressure from Amazon and other eCommerce competitors, as well as the Buy Online, Pickup In Store movement, traditional retailers are looking to focus on the shopper/customer experience to deliver additional value to draw customers into their stores.
Whether that means training associates how to quickly fetch online orders or it’s simply answering everyday questions about product features and functionality, shoppers demand speed, agility, and information at a rate and level of detail higher than before.
Therefore, retailers have been looking to digital signage to immerse customers in your brand’s experience.
Yes, signage provides messaging, but who is actually delivering on that message? Your employees. This has led more retailers to come to the realization that the most valuable asset is no longer customers and their data, but rather their employees. Your employees are the front-line associates who interact with customers every day.
With that in mind, here are five ways that digital signage can elevate your employee engagement tools – and in turn – improve the customer experience.
Access to real-time information
Whether it’s something as simple as an HR update, a marketing promotion, or a loyalty program launch, or it’s a company-wide “town-hall” broadcast from the CEO, enterprise digital signage serves as perfect medium to disseminate that information in a way that is easily consumable (and likewise trackable). Employees can in turn feel more connected to the brand and are less likely to leave because they have the information they need to better do their job
Provide quick-hit, Just In Time training
We live in a day and age of customers demand information immediately. In fact, studies have shown that customers typically enter a store having made their decision about what they are going to buy.
Therefore, the employee must be able to deliver on that demand by knowing product location, features, functionality, and reviews, as well as what items may complement the purchase. If an employee fails to do this, there is no experience for the customer – simply a transaction. But when the employee enhances the buying journey, a customer will most likely share the experience with family and friends – thus increasing their loyalty and the loyalty of others.
Provide a public forum for recognition
While companies have long believed that a raise or an extra day of Personal Time Off is all that is needed to recognize a job well done, an employee becomes accustomed to those once or twice a year practices and over time these fail to motivate employees.
But, studies have shown countless times that when an employee is recognized in front of their peers it raises everyone’s game. When praised in public, a person will enjoy it and even crave it. Then the effect grows, coworkers will crave it, and everyone continuously elevates their performance.
However, it is critical to remember that recognition must be relevant and local. No one outside of the immediate store will care that a local employee was recognized, so keeping praise relevant to those immediately around the employee is key. If this is done right, and in a way that everyone can see the praise – it will pay of huge dividends.
Provide transparency to expectations
No one likes reading from a ‘smudged’ dry erase board. Why? Because typically it is not updated regularly enough, and in most cases, it is hard to read. Therefore, the metrics people are driving towards are murky at best, and oftentimes confusing.
But, when digital signage is used to provide real-time visibility into local KPIs and metrics, information is clearly disseminated, and everyone is easily able to work together towards a unified goal. And, when metrics for other stores and regions are shown, information contests can start – thus elevating the performance of all stores.
Provide entertainment during breaks
In more cases than we could ever count, when an employee is scheduled for a break, they are most likely going to exit the store. But when they do so, they will routinely be late coming back – thus disrupting store performance and operations.
By putting digital signage screens in breakrooms – something my company does extensively – employees see a high-definition screen with ever-changing information, and in some cases, integrated live TV, they can relax on-site and watch TV – while also passively subjected to corporate information. Additionally, social media feeds can also be incorporated – thus sharing exciting perspectives from employees all across the company – creating a sense of attachment and camaraderie.
While this list just scratches the surface, digital signage provides a fabulous medium to elevate your employee engagement tools, especially across widely distributed organizations.
But, it is critical to mention at this point that you find your “WHY” and stress the importance of content. While some may feel that they are doing employee-facing signage because their competitors are doing it – the problem here is that they will most likely fail – because they don’t know their “WHY.”
Defining a “WHY” means knowing what goals you are trying to measure and knowing the content to use (or at least start with). Sure, corporate content can be relatively limited – but those cases where we have seen digital signage rapidly expanding, the department owning the solution proactively reaches out to multiple departments – so that ultimately, content is regularly refreshed and current – thus preventing the signage from becoming stale.
Curtis Campbell is a senior marketing leader with Hughes’ large enterprise digital media and training business. He helps companies deliver better customer experiences and greater employee engagement with better digital signage solutions from Hughes.