“Auld Lang Syne.” We sing it as one year ends and the next begins, but do you really know what it means? The title and key phrase of a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns, the phrase “auld lang syne ” literally translates as times long past, old long since, long, long ago, days gone by, or even old times.
Taking this idea one step further into the world of digital signs (see what we did there?) and signage, you’re stuck in days gone by if you’re not incorporating digital signage on your property.
As 2018 begins, it’s time to make some digital signage resolutions.
Resolution: Keep up with the joneses
A 2015 Embed Signage study found that digital signage captures 400 percent more views than static (i.e., paper) displays, and a 2010 Forrester study found that 80 percent of people watch programming on digital signage when it is present.
Consider the benefits of deploying digital signage in the waiting room of a hospital or the lobby of a hotel. In the former, you can display messages encouraging healthy behaviors or about upcoming seminars or studies. In the latter, you can display messages about events at your facility or around town, or post welcome messages for attendees at an on-site conference or meeting.
And no matter the type of facility, a 2013 Retail Business Development study found that customers, while viewing digital signage displays, felt like they waited less time than they actually did (a 30-minute wait felt like a 20-minute wait), and many customers enjoyed taking care of business via a digital screen rather than waiting in line for help.
Been to a McDonald’s lately? Many locations have incorporated digital menu boards and order stations. You can skip the line at the register, place your order at the screen, and pay with a debit or credit card. Your order is queued with orders placed at registers, so you keep your place in line without actually waiting in line. And at some high-end hotels, guests can check-in, check-out, book services (e.g., appointments at on-site spas or reservations at on-site restaurants), and even check the status of flights.
In other words, digital signage helps to improve the overall experience a customer, guest, visitor, or other user has at a property and/or location. And if you don’t pull the trigger, you’ll be left behind.
Resolution: Make digital signage a necessity
But what about the cost? We can’t dodge that elephant in the room, and neither can you. Yes, digital signage comes with upfront costs, but, once you pay for a digital signage solution, you’ll only pay for hardware and software maintenance and updates (and electricity) going forward. Forget spending money on printing signs that you simply dispose of, and forget paying employees to put up and take down signs, flyers and posters.
You also must consider the costs you’ll save in employee time. A visitor trying to get somewhere will ask anyone they see for help, and if that person can’t help, then the visitor will ask someone else until they get what they need. On average, giving directions or answering questions takes around three minutes. If one of your employees is stopped twice a day, that’s six minutes of down time. Multiply that across your workforce, and you can see the instant savings a digital signage solution creates. Integrating digital signage on your property simply makes good business cents.
Resolution: Improve guest engagement
In our office, most of our employees admit to looking at their phones first thing in the morning and right before going to bed. Thanks to advancements in technology, we’re always reachable by phone, text, or e-mail, and let’s not even get into how smartphones have revolutionized how we search for information and buy things. Could you live without your smartphone?
Think of a digital signage solution as a smartphone for your property. Depending on the bells and whistles you want to make available, your guests can get access to flight and weather information, directions to on-site amenities and area restaurants, and even information about events in your area. You can make information available about meetings and conferences at your location, and depending on your usage, sell advertising space on the system and use it as a revenue stream.
For example, at a healthcare facility, you can take this guest engagement one step further and broadcast information about appointments and on-site events. Waiting for a doctor doesn’t have to be painful, at least not if you easily can see via a digital display where you’re at in the queue or if your doctor is running behind schedule.
Look ahead one year. When 2018 ends and 2019 begins, do you want to be realizing the benefits of a digital signage solution, or do you want to be where you are right now, neither better nor worse? Make 2018 the year you take the plunge and implement a digital signage solution. That’s one resolution you can’t afford not to keep.
Image via Istock.com.