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Customer experience: BrightSign CEO on CX investments

Jeff Hastings on the continued strength of CX despite Covid restrictions

A standout feature of the pandemic for me has been the extent to which BrightSign customers in all regions have invested in the customer experience, in some cases despite having to restrict opening hours or close altogether during lockdown. Three stellar projects: a distribution network in the US, a tourist attraction in New Zealand and a retailer in the Netherlands stand out.

Here, in the US, Ferguson, the top-rated wholesale supplier of commercial and residential plumbing supplies with expertise that extends far beyond plumbing, partnered with BrightSign and Four Winds Interactive to update its 1,000-endpoint digital signage network serving 1,400 locations, 10 distribution centres, and 27,000 associates. Realising its legacy digital signage platform had an uptime stagnating at around 75% and the fact that deploying localised content was very difficult, Ferguson sought a true enterprise-grade platform. After switching to BrightSign players, Ferguson saved more than $300,000 and improved uptime by 25%, drastically reducing the number of downed screens while also re-establishing faith in Ferguson’s digital signage platform.

The new All Blacks Experience, arguably the world’s most immersive sporting visitor experience, uses innovation and technology to provide a full sensory, interactive, and immersive experience that cannot fail to inspire whether you’re a follower of the game or not. Conceived by Ngai Tahu Tourism and New Zealand Rugby and overall concept designed by Workshop E, it offers a guided and interactive journey through the New Zealand rugby story, showcasing the All Blacks, the Black Ferns and the Maori All Blacks. Although the concept for the All Blacks Experience in its current form originated around 2018, much of the development work for the project took place during lockdown.

Equally impressive is the interactive perfume display at House of Rituals, the new flagship store for Rituals on Kalverstraat, Amsterdam. To launch the Talisman perfume collection, a new market for House of Rituals, and to mark the brand’s 20th anniversary, Dutch audiovisual company First Impression built an innovative scent display controlled by BrightSign players. Once a perfume is selected based on the customer’s inputs on an iPad, an LED light underneath the bottle is illuminated. If the customer picks up the glass pipette from the perfume bottle, a video plays describing the perfume. A fully custom skin around the BrightSign players allows them to interact smoothly with the iPads, and the application delivers valuable marketing data for Rituals to act upon. Due to the pandemic, the House of Rituals store initially opened by appointment only with strictly limited numbers. However, the technology has been working like clockwork.

We cannot underestimate the challenges businesses faced across the pandemic – challenges that have sadly led otherwise viable businesses to succumb. However, those that have had the courage and resources to continue to invest in the customer experience despite the economic challenges, will lead our global economy out of the economic doldrums as the virus fades.