Jun 06 2011

Signs Point to Better Customer Experience

Digital signs help SMBs deliver quality and genuine customer experiences.

Argo Tea has a prominent page on its website describing the firm’s passions, which include “delivering consistent quality and a genuine customer experience.” The Chicago-based company has even coined terms such as QualiTea, CreativiTea and CommuniTea, to reflect its values.

With these lofty goals, it should come as no surprise that Argo Tea upgraded its tea cafes from static, printed menu boards to a more engaging format: using digital signs to make the customer experience more interactive and fun.

The move was driven by a number of factors, but high on the list is brand positioning, says Simon Simonian, CIO.

“Our brand gets presented much better to our customers,” he says. Digital signs present not only the typical fare of a menu board — products and prices — but vivid images that bring food choices to life. “It’s more interactive, more informative, more visual,” Simonian adds.

There’s a practical side to digital signs too. Because content can be developed in a central location, housed on a media server and pushed out to digital signs at individual stores, it can be updated once, in real time, for multiple locations. In the restaurant business, for example, that eliminates the need to print new menus every few months.

“You don’t have to go and print a whole new set of materials, ship them to each location and ship old ones back,” Simonian says. “There’s a lot of overhead savings on labor and printing costs.”

Argo Tea began evaluating and testing digital signs about two years ago, Simonian says. The company started with a limited set of product images in its menus, but increased the imagery to make the experience more interactive and engaging.

The retailer uses 55-inch screens for maximum readability and visual quality. Argo recently upgraded its LCDs, choosing ones from manufacturer InFocus because of their image quality and pricing.

VOICES: Digital Signage

Xerex Bueno
“Our digital signs generate walk-in traffic and also conversations when people are performing normal transactions.”
Xerex Bueno, director of technology, Fort Campbell Federal Credit Union
David Marcotte
“There’s reason to believe that putting moving [images and messages] in front of customers reduces the perception of time spent waiting for service.”
David Marcotte, senior vice president, retail insights, Kantar Retail
Brian Holloway
“We use our digital signs to promote anything from upcoming car sales to seminars to ongoing promotions for loans or deposit products. ... Right now we’re mixing it up quite a bit to keep [content] engaging and fresh.”
Brian Holloway, assistant vice president, marketing, Grow Financial Federal Credit Union