Life just got easier for the IT team. Well, a particular IT team in Rosebery NSW that is. One of our clients is setting up a new store and they just received two Chromebox media players that we sent to them. One will service a display screen for digital signage and the other is for a touch screen kiosk.

In error (our error – just being candidly honest here), both media players had been set up as digital signage players. No problem, this was simply an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the power of Chrome.

Using other technology, it could have been a complicated and time-consuming exercise to reconfigure the kiosk player. Uninstalling software and reinstalling other software, changing multiple device settings and depending on the use case, possibly needing to re-image the device. The last thing any IT Team wants is another complicated, time-consuming job in their workload.

However, with the simple yet powerful Chrome Enterprise system, it was as easy as logging into the Cloud-based dashboard and moving the device from one group to another (one that had already been set up for kiosks at other stores). And that was it! All the device needed was an internet connection and a reboot (which never takes longer than 10 seconds on a Chrome device), and it was instantly transformed from a digital signage player into a touch screen kiosk.

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Let that just sink in for a minute… How many hours of your IT team’s valuable time do you reckon we could save if we could simplify device management policies and settings at scale? Not just that, in this year of the distributed workforce that is 2020, the IT team doesn’t even need to be anywhere near the devices when working like this. With all that extra time and fewer headaches, your IT team could focus on things like innovation and that important project the business is working on.

When it’s this easy, a term like ‘Unlimited Scale’ actually sounds exciting, rather than daunting. Do you know an IT team that could use some extra time and resources? We would love to demonstrate something like this, to help boost productivity and solve challenges that they shouldn’t even be concerned about. Everyone from Senior Management to the Accounts Payable department will be glad that life just got easier for the IT team.

If you want to learn more, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

I enjoyed a great Working From Home Lunch meeting yesterday (even though I was actually at the office). My Vietnamese Bánh mì was one of the highlights, yet it was the discussion that really made it great. After all the attendees had introduced themselves and their lunch choice, the conversation quickly shifted from customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) to buyer personas and customer journey mapping.

It was refreshing to talk to an IT leader (not a marketer) who had such a firm grasp on who their customers are, how they transact and a crystal clear understanding of their typical paths to purchase. Even though it was possible to carve their buyer personas into three distinct groups, it was evident that almost every path to purchase is unique.

In 2020, online research and transactions have skyrocketed (for obvious reasons). However, conditions have also shown us just how important the physical presence of brands and organisations is to the way that we purchase. A recent report conducted by payment provider Adyen revealed that although 33% of those surveyed say they will shop online more often now, 72% of respondents still prefer to shop in-store (here in Australia – more than any other country).

So it’s important to understand that the customer journey is more than just online, or in-store.  Shane Lenton, Chief Information & Digital Officer at Cue Clothing Co. explained in a recent article that: “It’s imperative we engage with customers in a holistic sense rather than look at them as online or offline customers – that’s a thing of the past”.

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Along every path to purchase are important opportunities to engage with and help customers. Google calls them Micro-Moments. Some of these moments will happen online, some on mobile devices and others will be in a physical space somewhere. One of the best ways to help your customers is to meet them wherever they may be and become a trusted guide for the rest of their journey.

Mapping your business’ unique customer journey can help focus your strategy, solve business problems, create contextually relevant content and ultimately add value for your customers.

Here are some handy resources to help create your customer journey map(s):

How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

Think Outside the Funnel: How to Create a Custom Customer Journey Map

If digital touchpoints in the physical space are something on your customer journey map that you would like to explore, we are here to help. The events of 2020 have accelerated digital transformation plans that may have been floundering for a while. Now is the time to ensure that organisations establish the right platform to unify business processes, deploy future-proof technology and delight their customers. Thanks for reading and sharing.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn as How to help customers on their journey

Here’s something to contemplate.
80% of the global workforce does not sit behind a desk*.

That’s over two and a half billion workers who aren’t tethered to an office, many of which who now use job-transforming cloud tools do their job. Like a doctor, or the delivery guy who just dropped off your lunch.

They are often the first people your customers connect with, and first impressions last. A worker who knows their job and – most importantly – has information at their fingertips, leaves the best impression of all. It translates to a great customer experience, and that supports your bottom line.

Transforming Your CX?  Don’t forget the EX!

Cloud device technology has revolutionised the delivery of engaging digital experiences into bricks and mortar stores or branches.  But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. A great in-store customer experience nearly always involves a satisfying interaction with a frontline sales associate or product specialist.

When you are upgrading your in-store customer engagement tech, consider how you can better enable your team members at the same time.

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Once you free your staff from legacy limitations, productivity soars. They value the speed, convenience, collaboration, fluidity and security of working in the cloud. The question is, how do you empower your frontline worker with CX-transforming cloud tools?

1. Make your frontline team part of your cloud device conversation 

They’re the backbone of any customer experience, and deserve access to the same cloud-based productivity tools that have already improved the day-to-day for information workers.

2. Remember that frontline workers are customer experience ambassadors

First impressions can become lasting ones, so make sure the impression of your company is a great one. Afterall, customers who have the best experiences spend 140% more.†

3. Many frontline workers are ready and willing to adopt cloud based technologies.

All of us regularly use cloud tools in our personal lives, and most want them at work as well. 53% of frontline workers use unapproved cloud messaging apps for work-related reasons but 68% said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.^ Don’t fight your staff, empower them.

4. datmedia supports your frontline workforce with Chrome Enterprise  

Chrome Enterprise was made for a cloud-first workforce. With benefits like fast deployment, company agility, built-in security, ease of use, and a strong multi-user experience, Chrome Enterprise ensures that IT and frontline workers alike can work better in the cloud.

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If you’d like to learn more about empowering your frontline workforce, download this whitepaper prepared by Chrome Enterprise. It has a wealth of information, ideas and inspiration as you continue your journey into the cloud.

Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you find the right cloud based technologies to empower your frontline workers, and transform your business.

 

* Emergence, “The Rise of the Deskless Workforce,” 2018.
† HBR, “The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified,” 2014.
^ Cision PR Newswire, “Frontline Workers Frequently Turn to Unapproved Messaging Apps for Work-Related Communications,

Many of us are now juggling Working From Home (WFH) with distractions – from homeschooling to working around the tradie who suddenly arrived to do that thing you didn’t plan being around for. Here are a couple of tips to help make the ‘new normal’ seem, well, a little more normal.

 

1. Create A Space

First of all, it’s important to create a space that is about work, one that tells your brain ‘this is where I work productively’. That’s not the couch in front of the television. This place needs to trigger the idea of daily routine – somewhere you go to at the start of the working day, and somewhere you leave at the end of that day.

TIP: Avoid Distractions It might be productive to do the laundry while your PC boots up, but it becomes a distraction. Try to keep your brain at work by keeping your activity about work. Schedule non-work tasks for a different part of the day.

 

2. Create A Schedule

Just like working in the office, WFH requires a schedule. It helps you shape your day and your week, and gives structure to the work you’re doing. Not that a schedule should be just about work. Build in breaks for lunch and other activities. If you need to make time for a child or someone else in your household, build that into the schedule. That way, when you’re at work, you’ll be focussed on work.

TIP: Make A List Lists are great, and one of the best ways to stay motivated is by ticking another item off a list. It can be thought of as a reward for successfully completing a task and coming to the end of a time block. It also helps you structure your day more productively.

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3. Collaborate

Find a way to see your colleagues. Zoom has become a byword for video conferencing these days because it has now gone mainstream. And that’s because talking face to face, as you would in the office, is the best way to collaborate. Communication is as much a visual exchange as it is audible. Phones are OK but you understand more when you see the response. Google Meet is a big player in the VC space and offers chat facilities which is great for a quick confirmation or request.

TIP: Make a Group Most VC platforms allow you to create a group of colleagues quickly and easily. It’s a simple way to check in with all your team at once, to collaborate and stay abreast of what everyone is doing and how they’re feeling.

There’s a lot of focus on customer experience (CX) in 2020. We know this due to the successful CX event that we co-hosted at Google in Melbourne earlier this year.

Although there is no doubt that customer experience is important, consistently good customer experience doesn’t just happen. It’s your team that makes it happen, which is why employee experience needs to be a top priority when planning and setting budgets in 2020 and beyond.

Research shows that happy, engaged employees = happy, returning customers and brand advocates. Data doesn’t lie. There is a direct correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). So how can you improve EX to help develop a connected, collaborative, enthusiastic and committed workforce? Cloud devices can help. When employees are empowered with the right tools and resources it’s the perfect foundation for providing a differentiating customer experience.

Here are three such tools and resources

Everything your team needs is in the cloud. Why not enable them with cloud-native devices that will boost productivity, enhance collaboration and provide your cloud-workers with the resources that they need when they need them? Chromebooks are designed to be a simple, secure, and speedy way to work from anywhere, anytime. From the shop floor to the back office, these reliable devices are an affordable way to improve the employee experience, quickly.

Frontline workers are the backbone of your business. The Chrometab is a versatile, portable, touchscreen solution that empowers your employees to facilitate a world-class customer experience. With a ruggedised, secure, high-performance design, the Chrometab’s 10-hour battery life will keep employees and customers engaged and connected.

A recent Harvard Business Review report found that organisations that prioritise employee experience technology are well-positioned to work remotely with efficiency and that agility can prove to be a competitive advantage. Neverware is an easy way to transform your old laptops or aging Macbooks into high-performing Chrome devices. During a time of unparalleled supply chain constraints, Neverware is an ideal solution to make use of what you already have to improve the employee experience.

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Conclusion

We believe that people are the key to technology.

The right cloud devices can make a measurable impact on your employee experience and drive successful outcomes for all involved. Investing in your people is one of the best things that you can do right now.

Please get in contact if improving employee experience is important to your organisation in 2020. We are here to help and can give you a virtual demonstration of these and other cloud-ready solutions.

Back in 2005, I bought my first flatscreen TV. It was a 32″ Samsung which I am pleased to report is still in operation today. It seemed quite cutting edge at the time because it had an HDMI port. To be honest, I didn’t even know what HDMI was, I just knew that it was better than RCA.

Fifteen years later and that screen is now in my bedroom. Over those years, my media consumption habits have certainly changed: back in 2005 there was no Netflix, Facebook or even iPhones. And if you asked me today, I would tell you that I don’t really watch TV. My kids don’t, they don’t even care about which device they consume media on. They just call it screen time.

The old Samsung didn’t get a lot of action, until just recently. As part of the NBN package that I signed up for, I received a smart-TV box with all the apps that are built in to new TVs. Now, thanks to this media box, my antiquated 32″ Samsung screen has got a new lease of life, and even makes cool sounds when I press the remote.

One of my customers once told his internal communications team that “there is no such thing as dumb screens, there are only dumb people”. Through that future-proofing HDMI port, my once dumb screen has become smart.

Now it’s your turn.

Does your organisation have screens that don’t do much? You know the ones; they get plenty of attention on Melbourne Cup Day and might show news and weather from time to time but are usually turned off. Screens that, like my 32″ Samsung screen (until recently), don’t add any value.

Thanks to that future-proofing HDMI port on the back of the screens they can be revived into 21st-century digital signage screens. You can display anything from important corporate communications messages to mind-blowing real-time marketing media.

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It’s easy.

Connect a Chromebox media player to your screen and using a cloud-based content management system like Laqorr, you can turn your old screen into part of a digital signage network managed from a laptop or mobile device.

Using your iPhone, you could update a lunchroom screen in real-time from Bondi Beach and let the team know that the staff BBQ is being served down at the beach.

One of our customers does a similar thing on rainy days. They have a store outside a railway station and whenever it rains, they push a “$5 Umbrellas!” slide onto their screen and alert commuters. That HDMI port is now helping to boost sales.

Thanks to the smarts of a Chromebox and a simple, yet sophisticated CMS like Laqorr, there is no limit to the ways that an existing ‘dumb’ screen could add value:

  • for your staff
  • for your customers
  • to your bottom line
  • and to the environment

It’s not expensive and it’s not difficult to create a digital signage network using screens that are just taking up space. Now is the time to knock some dust off those legacy screens from an unsuccessful attempt at DIY signage.

Let’s talk about how easy (and how rewarding) it is to rehabilitate screens and put them back to work. Just like I did my old 32″ Samsung flatscreen.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, shown us which things are essential and which things are not so necessary. For example, my children’s parent-teacher interviews look like they will be conducted in a virtual space from now on. 

Turns out the mutually favourable circumstances are highly productive for everyone involved. Until COVID-19, I had never thought of these meetings as a customer experience. However, now it is clear that for all organisations, innovation is necessary and that these disruptions are a catalyst for change towards a better future.

Businesses are experiencing a time when customer loyalty and trust are being put to the test. Simultaneously, consumers are adopting new behaviours and developing new habits. The changes in the economic landscape aren’t just affecting businesses; they are evolving consumers and the way we make purchase decisions and transactions. These changes represent a significant opportunity for brands. By putting your customers’ interests first, this can be a time for brands to lead and thrive into the future.

Australian’s shopping, banking and recreational activities are rapidly evolving, and that means brands have to be in the right place at the right time with helpful and engaging experiences when it matters most. By using vital behavioural principles, marketers can develop compelling experiences to captivate and help consumers travelling from awareness to purchase.

recent report by Retail Touchpoints reveals that 68% of retailers have gained new online customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 46% of those reporting that their e-Commerce customers have been making more frequent and larger purchases. The report also suggests that the retailers’ task going forward will be to retain as many of these new shoppers as possible. Strategically minded omnichannel retailers will be seeking ways to encourage online shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores as well, as studies have shown that multi-channel customers represent a higher Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Deloitte’s insightful white paper highlights that companies want to continue to provide excellent value to their customers, and they want to return to growth as soon as they can after the crisis lifts. It has never been more critical for companies to look ahead. They need to consider improved and innovative solutions now that will serve customer needs today as well as provide momentum into the future.

Some examples of technology to help innovate now and for the future include:

These innovative solutions are ready right now to help build trust and loyalty, boost sales and basket sizes, and future-proof physical environments for successful outcomes in the new normal.

Digital transformation isn’t a one-off project. It’s an evolving journey that requires the right partners. Let’s talk about how we can help your organisation innovate and use these disruptions as a catalyst for change towards a better future.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn

The Australian banking sector is at the forefront of digital transformation. As customer visits dwindle – online banking has seen a dramatic reduction in the numbers of people who visit branches – banks have been forced to rethink what they do with their bricks-and-mortar premises. 

Bendigo Bank has always been known for having a physical presence within their local community. They recognised that the current model of branch design was not sustainable and in 2018 began a transformation of their premises, starting with Norwood in South Australia.

They partnered with datmedia and Public Design Group to help fold their ‘social approach’ toward banking into store design and create an entirely redesigned space where in-branch experiences would engage the local community. datmedia’s cloud-based technology is at the heart of the transformation.

That new way of thinking was recognised internationally when Public Design Group recently won top prize in the Permanent Service Retail category at the Shop! Global Awards.

Honestly, all credit to Bendigo Bank in achieving global recognition at the Shop! awards for how they are changing retail banking here in Australia. This is a social initiative more than a design project. It’s about building sustainability into the community in ways that tangibly and positively affect peoples’ lives.

-Jason Pollard, Founder, Public Design Group

Results from Norwood exceeded expectations, and Leichhardt and Carlton have since joined the initiative. Over half of their 500+ branch network has been ear-marked to receive the ‘community treatment’.

datmedia will be supporting them every step of the way.

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In partnership with Google and People Equity, datmedia recently hosted the CX done Better, Smarter, Faster summit in Melbourne.

It was an opportunity for heads of marketing, digital, IT or indeed anyone who wanted to share in the latest thinking around improving customer experience (CX).

“82% of Australian shoppers conducted online research prior to purchasing products” *

David Eglin (Chrome Lead Google Australia New Zealand) broke open the crystal ball to look at the future of the shopper journey, and how for some of the most successful retailers, that future has already arrived.

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Understanding the importance of integrating the physical and digital with tools like Google Lens, and how to remove the barrier between online and offline shopping, is the path forward, he said.

datmedia’s General Manager Sam Dalzell expanded on this theme with his take on how cloud technology is the cornerstone of digital transformation and how that affects CX today and into the future.

They were then joined by Hayden McDonnell (Bendigo and Adelaide Bank), Brent Della Valle (Plus X) and Jason Pollard (Public Design Group) who shared their experiences in a lively panel discussion about the challenges and exciting opportunities presented by transforming CX in companies large and small across Australia.

It was clear that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the integration of digital when improving CX, but it was clear that this is something we can all do better, smarter and faster. The journey starts with strong foundational data and understanding what experiences your customer wants.

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Completing the loop between online and offline engagement, and not being afraid of where that can take your business, is paramount. Finally no one gets it right first time. It’s vital to experiment and find out what works best for you and your customer.

If you’re at the start of such a journey, or interested to learn how datmedia can help improve CX for your company, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

*Source: KANTAR/Google Future Consumer, 2019