I don’t know about you, but lately it seems like I’ve been craving convenience everywhere. When my typical morning includes checking the latest tweets on my tablet while watching the news on TV while preparing for work in between sips of coffee, the idea of waiting around for anything seems so, well, inconvenient. We’re used to squeezing every usable minute out of our jam-packed days and convenient solutions make things that much quicker and easier for us.
Today’s consumer expects the buying experience to be easy and effortless and is willing to pay more for convenience. Don’t believe me? Have you bought baby carrots, frozen pizza, or pre-moistened cleaning wipes at the grocery store? Have you filed your taxes online? Have you ever paid a higher price for a flight leaving on a more desirable date/time? If so, join the club: you’ve paid a premium for convenience products and services. As the economy bounces back from the recession, customers aren’t only focused on getting the most bang for their buck anymore, but also the most bang for their time.
Omni-channel communications provide convenience by anticipating the needs of a customer and bringing together the channels that satisfy those needs. The idea of omni-channel communications is all about making the process easy and seamless for the customer, so they don’t have to go looking for solutions, they’re already there. Adding convenience into the shopping experience makes customers feel that they’re getting the most bang for their time and they’re happy to reward businesses who make it easy for them. Speed and convenience are their own form of currency, after all. Time is money in our world.
The Stratosphere Casino in Las Vegas is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US and attracts tourists from all over the world. It has all sorts of attractions for thrill-seekers, from sky dives to a roller coaster to spine-tingling plunges up and down the Tower. The Stratosphere came to us with a convenience challenge they needed to solve.
They only had the manpower to sell Tower tickets during certain times of the day…and in the city that never sleeps, this was a huge inconvenience. Thrill seekers were rocking up to the ticket booth, ready and raring to buy, only to find out the booth was closed. This was bad news for the Tower, which didn’t make the sale, and bad news for the customer who either had to come back at another time to buy their ticket, or didn’t get to ride the Tower at all.
An interactive ticketing kiosk was the perfect convenience solution. The self-service kiosk is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is exactly what the Vegas crowd calls for. Customers can buy their tickets on their way to the Early-bird breakfast special or while stumbling home from the late, late show. Either way is just as easy for the kiosk.
Customers use digital signage with interactive screens to learn about ticket options and attractions and to make their purchases. There’s no need for someone to man the digital kiosk, it’s totally self-serve. The information is clearly displayed with digital signage, and then customers can easily select which ticket they want by touching the screen.
Lucky casino-lovers also tend to carry a lot of cash on them so we needed to make sure the kiosks could handle cash, as well as many other forms of payment (it’s all about convenience, after all). That presented a new challenge because we needed to figure out a way to make sure there was always enough cash in the machine. It wouldn’t be very convenient to walk up to the digital kiosk at 3am with a crisp $100 bill only to see it couldn’t give you change. So we designed the system to notify attendants when the cash acceptor had too much cash in it or the cash dispenser was low. This is great from a customer perspective, because they’ll always be able to pay with cash and get correct change, and also from a security standpoint, so armed security needs to attend the units only a few times a day.
Your customers live in a world where they get what they want, when they want it, and it’s smart for your business to provide the same convenient solutions. Incorporating omni-channel communications along with convenient solutions like self-service kiosks, digital signage, and mobile app integration makes your customers’ experience that much easier. And we know anything that gives customers more bang for their time is sure to be rewarded.
How can you make your customers’ experience more convenient? How could you use interactive kiosks or digital signage like Stratosphere Casino did to make the shopping process easier?