Success isn’t solely defined by providing a great customer experience, it’s also measured by providing a customer experience that’s better than what your competitors are offering. This is especially true in industries like retail where customer demands change rapidly and competition is fierce.
Businesses that successfully tailor their products, services and operations to meet evolving customer demands know this can be easier said than done. Understanding your customer, their behaviors and buying habits is essential to providing the kind of experience that will keep them returning, as well as referring others. However, gaining the quality intel you need is an entirely different challenge.
Gathering quality intel
Obtaining customer feedback can be challenging. Traditional methods like surveys are commonly used, but rarely provide the level of detail needed. Customers often ignore surveys and can sometimes even provide inaccurate information—a large reason businesses are turning to more advanced methods for obtaining data. Many are now utilizing cloud-based technology to gather detailed information about customer behaviors in a less intrusive way. Equipment like WiFi access points and intelligent IP security cameras are being leveraged to provide deep insights and rich data to enable more informed decision-making regarding traffic flow, product positioning and customer engagement.
WiFi has become an essential service for almost every business, but especially for those related to commerce where the shopping experience, checkout experience and customization of purchases through loyalty programs and promotions are more heavily relied upon. WiFi today is also being leveraged to gather location-specific information about customers. Helpful intel, such as, how many people walked past your business, how many came in, how long they stayed and how many are repeat customers, are just a few of the data points that enable businesses to make strategic decisions concerning curb appeal, staffing demands and the need for more personalized experiences and offers through proximity-based marketing.
Intelligent IP cameras
The latest evolution in cameras goes well beyond security, leveraging advanced technology like object detection and machine-learning to help you understand how people are moving through your business and interacting with your merchandise and staff. This technology has the ability to recognize people and objects, helping to paint a clear picture of how many customers were in your business at a specific time. Using heatmapping technology, foot traffic is recorded by displaying a range of colors that indicate motion in a specific area, from red (high motion) to green (low motion). This type of intelligence can help you make informed decisions regarding staff and product placements and the overall layout of your business.
There’s no denying the need for valuable business insight today. With the rapid adoption of mobile devices and continuously shifting customer demands, businesses are more inclined to leverage the latest technology to better understand foot traffic patterns and behaviors at their locations. Understandably, cloud-based analytic technology is becoming a preferred method for gathering this information because of its unique ability to capture customer’s natural behaviors. One insight we can count on is that technology advances will continue to shape the way businesses respond to changes in consumer preferences and behaviors as they seek an advantage over the competition.
Travis Mininger is a Senior Product Manager at Windstream Enterprise where he is responsible for the LAN Services, Managed LAN/WAN, Managed Network Services and Hospitality WiFi solution portfolios. He has over 15 years of experience managing many different products and services with a strong background in LAN, CPE-based and security-based services. Travis joined Windstream in 2017 and held previous product management positions with Broadview Networks and EarthLink.
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