AV & Engagement

I just purchased the new iPhone XS Max. I’m in physical pain thinking about the cost of this new technology, but also oh-so excited about the upgraded camera for #AVSelfies.

However, upgrading my phone to the latest and greatest was not the all-positive experience it should have been. Long story short, my SIM card didn’t work in the new phone and I had to wait an entire day before I headed out to my carrier’s retail store. The store was empty—a large box with phones on the side of the walls and a few apathetic employees staring me down. I quickly explained my needs and the employee told me they did not have the SIM card I needed in stock. She told me it was very likely that none of the other local stores had them either. I would have to call customer service and have the SIM card overnighted to my house, and, furthermore, she could not call for me and order one. What. A. Pain.

So, I left that store dejected but determined. I got in my car and headed directly to their competitor’s store down the street. I walked in, and the difference was visible. Not in just appearance—this store had digital signage galore and a comfortable waiting area—but also in the vibe it projected. The employees were smiling, engaged, and seemed truly proud of what they were doing. This store had an electric energy.

Even though there was a short wait, and it took a bit of time to get me switched to their service, I wasn’t frustrated as I had been earlier in the day. Why? The experience of it all. It was clear that the look and feel of the store—a bright, energetic vibe—contributed to how both the employees and customers felt. Bored? Watch some TV in their waiting area and see how their TV products work. Waiting? It won’t seem like you are because the store has digital signage to engage you and reduce your perceived wait time.

I had two retails experiences this day — one was awful and the other was delightful. I firmly believe my positive feelings about the second store were due in large part to its use of the latest audiovisual solutions. They set the tone for both customers and employees. So the next time you’re designing a new AV experience, remember this story and how AV can influence both customer and employee behavior and mood.

And keep an eye out for some killer XS Max #AVSelfies from me soon!

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.