The Power of a Moment

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By Theodore Kinni | Stanford Business contributor on Inc.

In The Power of Moments, the Heath brothers identify four metatypical defining moments. Elevation moments transcend ordinary experience, like the arrival of an ice-pop on a silver platter. Insight moments rewire our understanding of the world, like George de Mestral pulling burrs from his clothes after a hike and getting the idea for a new kind of fastener that he named Velcro. Moments of pride accompany achievement, which is why employee recognition is such a powerful tool. And moments of connection — like weddings, graduations, and retirements — strengthen relationships.

Transitions, Peaks, and Pits

The problem with defining moments is that leaders and organizations often don’t recognize them and thus miss the opportunities they harbor. To solve that problem, Heath says, companies should start “thinking in moments” by looking for the transitions, peaks, and pits in their customer and employee experiences.

Transitions are the most undervalued and underexplored moments. “Most companies don’t have a great first-day experience planned for their new employees, even though that’s a really key transition,” Heath says. “When a customer calls her insurer because she’s had a kid and bought an SUV, there’s an opportunity to create a moment of connection. And what if a homeowner paid off his mortgage and a bank manager came to his home to present the deed and shake his hand, instead of charging an additional fee for the deed transfer? Nobody’s doing that.”

Peaks are obvious opportunities for creating defining moments, but often companies don’t take full advantage of them. “Retirement dinners are typically about elevation — there’s a special dinner — and connection, by bringing together people that the retiree has worked with over the years,” explains Heath. “But none of the ones I’ve been to include giving retirees a chance to hold the floor and talk about insights they’ve gained over the years. It seems so obvious. Why wouldn’t we add insight to that moment? And why wouldn’t we add pride to that moment by celebrating all the projects that we’ve worked on with this person and the progress that we’ve made?”

Pits — like negative performance reviews and corporate downturns — are less obvious opportunities to create defining moments. But, Heath says, “A moment of pain can be a tremendously important human experience. There are a range of negative emotions in customer experiences and employee experiences that nobody’s really tackling.” Pits also can be invaluable sources of insight. When Sara Blakely was growing up, her father asked the same question of her and her brothers once a week, “What did you guys fail at this week?” It normalized failure for Blakely and taught her not to fear it. That insight paid off in spades when money men who just didn’t get her idea for footless pantyhose rejected it over and over. Twelve years later, Spanx made Blakely the youngest self-made female billionaire in history.

Attention to (One) Detail

One of Heath’s goals in writing The Power of Moments is to expand our understanding of experiences. “The whole literature on customer experience and employee experience is essentially focused around delight,” he says. “There’s a lot of journey mapping of the entire customer experience aimed at identifying low points and trying to buck them up.”

But you don’t need to perfect every moment in the customer’s experience.

“Jan Carlzon [former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines] coined the phrase ‘moments of truth’ and talked about getting right the thousands of touchpoints with customers that happen daily,” continues Heath. “I don’t think you have to fix thousands of touchpoints. Maybe you want to have one defining moment at the gate and one moment at the luggage reclaim area. Maybe you want to invest in an entertaining flight safety video that people actually enjoy watching, like Virgin America.”

Read the full article here.

At Lucova, with FIIT POE and Nōwn POS, we help businesses win the moments that matter – the moments of interaction between customer and representative at the point of sale. Follow us to see how to know your customers and make these moments magical.

Personalization, Not Robots, Will Win in Retail

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On Ad Age by Adrianne Pasquarelli

“We often tend to see AIs as bots to replace people,” says Eric Gervet, partner in the retail and digital transformation practices of A.T. Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm. “It’s also very much about fuelling people with insights so they can do their jobs better.”

AI is one of the top five tech priorities of retailers, according to analysis reported this year by Forrester Research, which found that some 28 percent of global data and analytics decision-makers are interested in or have implemented AI and believe it could increase operational efficiency. Yet brands are grappling with how best to incorporate such initiatives into the store format without alienating consumers with, say, a clunky robot that won’t compute a “no thanks” response

A few years ago, robots were shaking out to be the AI trend overtaking the retail floor. Brands like Lowe’s and Uniqlo rolled out (literally) cute little bots reminiscent of R2-D2. But such innovation has now taken a backseat to the technology implemented by brands such as Rebecca Minkoff that are catering to customers who crave a balance between personalized service and an easy and efficient shopping experience. Rather than replace staffers, this new tech uses AI to help store employees improve their work.

Enjoy the full article here.

Looking into the Future of In-store Payments

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“[Advanced payments] is our biggest pain point… This is not only the biggest pain point of Farfetch, but of retail,” said Sandrine Deveaux, managing director of store of the future at Farfetch.

Nearly 70% of affluent shoppers research products online first and roughly 90% of shopping still happens inside stores. The latter number is expected to drop to 75% by 2025. Additionally, about 80% of the shoppers are willing to share their data with companies that they trust.

In-store frictionless payments are going to be vital in the future of retail and an increasing number of companies can be seen investing in retail technologies such as ‘Scan-and-Go’ and ‘Just-Walk-Out’.

Wave 1 – Scan-and-Go

Scan-and-go refers to scanning and paying for products using a mobile device. With regards to this technology, Tom Gehani, director of client strategy and research at L2 said “A lot of conversation has been happening [about how] this will be cost saving because of fewer cashiers. Retailers that will win are going to take labor savings and put that to other store labor, like ensuring security, [that the] shelves are full at all given times and helping customers on the floor.”

However, the scan-and-go model is not one without issues. Concerns like managing security and preventing theft have been detrimental to the implementation of this technology.

Wave 2 – Just-Walk-Out

An alternative to scanning the items and exiting the store is to simply pick up the items and walk out.

In December 2016, Amazon Go decided to test out this technology at its own checkout-free physical store. Even though a tech giant like Amazon is unlikely to scale such a technology in the near future, the world of retail has its eyes on what Amazon will do next.

The ‘Just-Walk-Out’ technology aims to use artificial intelligence, facial recognition and body movements to understand what products are on the shelves and how they move around the store. Given the high cost of implementation, this technology is unlikely to find its way in all stores in the near future.

Wave 3 – Combination of multiple technologies

In the next wave, retailers will use a combination of facial recognition, artificial intelligence and the ability to recommend products.

“As you trust a retailer, imagine walking in and it recognizes [my] face. It knows my loyalty, my offers, my purchase history. I don’t even have my phone on me, it’s in the car. Potentially using voice recognition, an associate could walk up and say Hi Mr. Miller,” said Brandon Miller, a Forrester analyst.

Mobile devices and artificial intelligence are going to become a big part of the checkout process and companies like Walmart, Amazon and Macy’s are working towards integrating these technologies in their businesses. Retailers that think otherwise are failing to understand the changing consumer behaviour and should jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late.

Click here for the original article on Retail Dive.

I love waiting in line… said no one ever

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“The lines between the physical and digital shopping worlds are dissolving… Retailers need to cater to shoppers by offering fast, easy and frictionless ways to pay so there are minimal lines and offer personalized recommendations and in-store deals. In other words, experience is key.” – Roelant Prins, Chief Commercial Officer at Adyen

In March 2018, 451 Research (commissioned by Adyen) conducted a survey covering 1,003 consumers (Aged 18+) and 250 retailers (B2C) in the US. The aim of the survey was to understand the consumers’ current and future shopping experiences, behaviours, preferences, and the impact of digital trends.

Over the past 12 months, 86% of consumers said that they left a store due to long wait times, which resulted in a purchase at a different retailer or no purchase at all. The survey analysis shows that retailers lost $15.8 bn in potential sales to competitors over the preceding 12 month period due to long lines. On the other hand, the retail industry lost $21.9 bn in potential sales during the same time frame as customers abandoned a purchase altogether. In addition, the industry also lost on $1.1 billion in potential sales because retailers did not support the customers’ preferred payment methods.

A key segment mentioned in the study was “Spendsetters”. This group of customers loves to use digital technology and tends to be early adopters of tech. It represents a third of all consumers and 52% of millennials. Spendsetters are poised to drive the future of retail as the key consumer group who will set shopping and spending trends.

Additional interesting findings from the report:

Spendsetter shopping behaviour

  • 45% believe that brand is important and are willing to pay a premium for the experience.
  • 86% have left a store due to long lines.
  • 57% say the ability to check item availability online before going in-store would increase their loyalty to a retailer.

Spendsetter shopping demands

The group has 3 shopping demands:

1. Convenience (fast, easy and frictionless)

  • 75% would shop more in-store with a “just walk out” payment experience.

2. Context (personalized)

  • 53% prefer a store with a mobile loyalty program.
  • 61% want personalized shopping experiences based on past purchases and preferences.

3. Control (interact on their terms)

  • 80% are comfortable using digital wallets.
  • 59% want to use a store-branded app to pay onsite.

Retailer Trends

  • 46% of retail businesses are considering cashless stores.
  • 67% see an increase in customers using mobile phones in-store for payments, coupons and product info.
  • 64% see a need for store employees to use mobile devices to better assist customers.

There is a growing demand for immersive interactions in retail and it is shifting competition from price points to experiences. In today’s environment, retailers must compete by going beyond simply selling a product or service to delivering an experience catered to each customer’s unique needs. With physical and digital retail experiences coming together, users are expecting more intelligent, seamless, and extensive buying experiences – all personalized to their changing demands. The first step to success in this changing landscape is to know who your customers are and what they really want.

For the full report, please click here.

Retail is dead. Long live retail.

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On Adweek, by: Warwick Heathwood

“Physical retail will remain essential to any successful, future-focused strategy because of the uniquely human emotions and actions these experiences inspire.”

The exponential growth of online retail is considered a direct threat to the world of physical retail. Even though there is an undeniable link between the two, the future holds a different story. The widespread belief is that physical retail is dying. However, the fundamental truth remains that people will always leave their houses and shop at physical stores, with over 75% percent of purchases still being made through physical retail channels. For the same reason, modern online commerce giants like Amazon, Google and Alibaba have realized that trend and have been actively investing in physical stores.

The author points out a fundamental limitation in technology and its impact on retail. It is the fact that any technological innovation that can be developed will be eventually be copied and expected as an industry norm, meaning that technology can only exceed expectation the first time it is introduced. On the other hand, physical retail that focuses on human-centred experiences can exceed expectations at every single point of customer service, online or offline. Consumer research shows that shoppers lean towards human experiences. Millennials for instance, are more 48% more likely to buy from a brand if they know the people behind it. Technology alone cannot provide consistently good customer service, but technology-powered human experience is a different story.

Enjoy the full article here

Customer Experience That Lasts A Lifetime

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On Leader’s Beacon, by: Paul Everett

“As regular customers the hostess knew our name. It didn’t matter how crowded the restaurant or how busy the hostess was, she always greeted us with a smile and a “good evening Mr. Everett, good evening Mr. Everett’s son, it’s great to see you again.”

Customer service is often viewed as nothing more than an added expense, with little to no tangible benefits. Since it can be challenging to quantify, many businesses overlook the goldmine that is a positive customer experience. American poet Maya Angelou once said “People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Paul Everett’s story is the perfect example of how a positive customer experience can transcend generations, last decades, and shape how you view a business.

A final statement was truly impactful from the perspective of a business owner: “Create a service experience where someone feels good about themselves and they will not only become a loyal customer, they can’t help but tell others.” No words could better resonate with us at Lucova. This is why we’re doing what we’re doing. All of us are in the position of being a customer multiple times a day, and we want everyone, everywhere to have this special feeling of being truly seen and known when they transact with a business.

Enjoy the full article here:

Customer Service VS Customer Experience

“Customer experience”  has become a prominent topic of discussion in the world of retail, with some saying that it is the “single most important factor for an organization to achieve business success”. At least that’s what the Disney Institute had to say about it in a recently published article. However, good customer service has always been a goal for organizations, so what’s new? Well, experiences are much richer, and at Lucova our core imperative is to provide unprecedented customer experiences – so let’s dig a little deeper.

Companies large and small have taken notice of the importance of providing a customer experience in today’s markets, but few have been able to fully understand the difference between customer experience and customer service.

Well for one, Customer Service is usually thought of as a distinct department within a company that handles customer complaints, questions, and the like. Customer experience on the other hand encompasses any and all interactions between a company and its customers, with these interactions being called customer touch points.

Customer Experience as beautifully put by the Disney Institute is:

“About truly understanding your customer as segments and as individuals, architecting a plan for delivering exceptional experiences, and then empowering employees to deliver it across all touchpoints.”

So what can we take away from this statement:

1) You must understand your customer – beyond product offerings and;

2) Customer experience should be practiced as a core value in any company – to empower all employees to deliver experiences at every interaction.

At Lucova, customer experience is what we live and breathe. Using our beacon technology, companies can streamline customer information to specifically tailor meaningful experiences. Our Point of Sale Experience system instantly recognizes your customer’s name, purchase history, and more. This allows for curated discounts and promotions based on the customer’s profile. With Lucova, you can provide the tools to empower your staff to deliver a truly unique in-store experience.

At Lucova we are already delivering on the aspirations of many, to learn more click here.

Where will the future of dining go?

Dining out and discovering new restaurants has come along way, as technology continues to shape our everyday interactions. In the past, dining out and locating new restaurants was much simpler. Customers would discover a restaurant by walking past a storefront or by word of mouth. They would then come into the restaurant, take a look at the menu, place an order, and wait to enjoy a delicious meal. Fast forward to paying their bill, the customer is most likely not to be heard from until a possible “next time” they visit the same location.

The dining industry is no stranger to market changes and paradigm shifts. Each step described above continues to evolve, continuously setting the bar higher for meeting customer expectations. For instance, the customer will most likely learn about the dining outlet from the internet.

– 83% of adults use smartphones or tablets to look up restaurant locations, directions, and hours.

– 75% look up menus, 55% read reviews

– 51% order takeout or delivery directly from the restaurant’s website

– and 50% use rewards or special deals.(Source)

Additionally, if these customers do decide to try the restaurant there is a good likelihood that they may want it delivered to their home or ready for pick up, through UberEats or other mobile ordering platforms. When they do choose to physically come into the store, that’s when your technology shines. This is important because 79% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves their experience.(Source)

In-store technology can vary from customer recognition upon store entry through BLE Beacons, hand held Point of Sale systems, digital loyalty programs, or even just mobile payment capabilities (i.e Apple Pay etc). Restaurants can also use incentive Apps and services that help collect customer information, to be used in loyalty programs and promotional materials for devoted customers.Technology still has a role in the customer experience, after the meal has been finished and the customers have left the restaurant. Customers can now write a review and share it with their friends and network using social media. These days, it is as much about the food as it is about being in the right digital places at the right time.

How can dining outlets adapt to these digital changes? Here are 4 simple ways for any restaurant to keep up with ongoing changes:

  1. Upgrade your POS to handle online orders
  2. Get a loyalty program for your restaurant
  3. Maintain a positive online and social media presence
  4. Go mobile and get an app for your restaurant

Lucova was built mobile – first for the future, interested to learn how you can become equipped for the future, Click Here.

Why I decided to start my next startup: lessons from my father

Amit Jhas, CEO Lucova Inc.

My father moved to Canada with a few hundred dollars in his pocket, a wife, and a newborn child. With few resources available to him, he was able to own and operate an auto shop – that he has successfully maintained for the past 30 years.

As a child, I spent many evenings after school at my father’s automotive shop. My younger brother and I were too young to help out with mechanic duties, but old enough to notice the attention he paid to his customers. His secret to long lasting success: when you put your customers first, they will always come back.

 

It wasn’t that my father could make a used and abused Mazda RX7 look like it had just left the lot – but because he formed deep relationships with each and every person that entered his shop. He knew every person by name, the age of their kids, and their preferences of service. He made a menial task, like getting an oil change – personal. Thirty years later, many of the customers that walked through his door on the first day are still customers today and lifelong friends.

I have come to expect the same level of personalized service that my father provided to his customers. When I moved to Toronto, I was surprised to learn that I was not alone in my hunt to find vendors that provided a personal touch. Not just from my mechanic or car rental company (where I am their loyal member), but from every outlet that engages its customers in a face to face interaction. This desire has now grown into an expectation that I find each Millennial now demands. What sets brands apart is not simply a high-quality product or superior service, but a personalized in-store experience.

Imagine this – you’re standing in line to get your morning cup of coffee, it’s early, you are tired, you were up late binge watching Netflix; you just want need coffee. You get to the front to pay and your barista greets you by name and confirms your usual order; pretty great start to the morning! But wait, now your barista informs you that a brand promotion has offered to pay for your order. Who doesn’t like free coffee?

Our point of sale experience system allows for brands and businesses to make the most out of those face-to-face moments. And we believe this system creates a platform for businesses to humanize the relationship they are curating with their customers in a scalable way – or what we like to call brand moments. A way for brands to forge deeper long lasting relationships through personalized interactions with their customers.

Lucova was built around what my father offered to his customers – a personal experience. We believe in making commerce personal – a way of getting to know your customers – and through tailored services and curated brand moments: giving them what they want, when they least expect it.

5 Apps Every Student Should Have

 

 

1. Evernote

Taking notes gets that much easier when your notebook is an application that can be accessed from your phone, tablet, and computer. Evernote also lets you efficiently organize your notes, bookmark key words, and even share notebooks with friends. This is a must have app if you want to stay organized and get more done!

 

2. Camscanner

Have you ever hand-wrote an assignment only to realize later that it had to be typed and submitted online? This app provides a solution. Camscanner allows you to take pictures of assignments (or any documents), arrange the order of the pages and compile them all into one PDF document. You’ll never stay up typing up an assignment last minute.

 

3. Slack

We’ve all worked in groups and struggled communicating with all our team members effectively. Slack solves this – it is one of the best platforms for team collaborations. You can set up individual channels for discussion (e.g. “ Media” Channel just for sharing project pictures and more) and directly tag team members (e.g “@Martin can you work on the last slide”) to avoid the diffusion of responsibility. If you are ever working on a group project, remember Slack is the way to go.

 

4.Brainscape

Flash cards will always be around but a trip to the dollar store to buy postcard sized paper and markers will be a thing of the past. The Brainscape app lets you create flash cards right on your phone. Save time and money and get studying for that exam right away by using Brainscape – Smart Flashcards.

 

5. Your University App

The best app to have is the app provided by your college or university. These apps usually carry vital information such as important dates, campus maps, dining hall hours of operations, and a staff directory. More advanced campus apps provide some more functionality such as allowing you to carry a digital student ID, pay for items or courses through the app, chat with campus representatives and colleagues or even order food straight from your phone. You should download your campus app and see what you can use it for, it’s a great way to get more involved with your school and to be in the loop.

 

At Lucova, our FIIT POE platform comes with campus apps that are unprecedented to say the least. We are changing the way students engage with their schools, one smile at a time. Click here to Learn More