It’s time to ho-ho-hone your customer experience for the holidays

Posted 11/01/2019 by Wendy Thacker


Although the holiday season often is called the “most wonderful time of the year,” the truth is it can bring stress along with the fruitcake and festivities. From delayed flights and lost baggage, to the mad dash of people swarming the stores, to the unexpected kitchen injuries that can occur when there actually are too many cooks in the kitchen—the tension can mount. As you begin preparing your holiday to-do list, find out how the travel, retail, and healthcare industries are incorporating the latest technologies to provide you with a better customer experience (CX) during this holiday season, and beyond.

During the 2018 holiday season, 112.5-million Americans*—which is one-third of all Americans— traveled over the river and through the woods. Of those people, 6.7-million* traveled by air, and those numbers are assumed to rise in 2019. With incredible numbers like those, airlines understand delivering the best-possible CX can be a big key to their profitability. A series of bad experiences can have a negative effect on their bottom line which, in turn, can drive customers to a competitor. In recent years, check-in has become pivotal, and kiosk printers have become the ideal solution to minimize the time and effort passengers expend. They allow passengers to complete the identification process and show their printed confirmation to airline employees in a fast-track lane. They also provide greater security and passport control, too, so travelers spend less time worrying.

Speaking of worrying, are you concerned about your baggage? With the latest scanning and printing technologies, you don’t have to. Bag-drop check-in allows passengers who’ve checked in online to tag and send items directly to the handling system by themselves, or with help from an agent. Passengers can confirm their identity, print a bag tag, and apply it on the spot. RFID tags and trackers direct baggage to the correct aircraft—thereby reducing the number of lost bags. They also give real-time visibility to baggage, so it can be monitored by airlines, travel agents, and even passengers.

For the retail market—especially on days like Black Friday, which is the busiest shopping day each year—in-store experience, digital experience, and inventory management are vital to consider when trying to deliver a heightened CX. Self-service options provide access to in-store product locations, along with price checking, gift registries, and self-checkout kiosks. New solutions offer personalized, hassle-free shopping, easy-to-use coupons, and assistance when needed. Customers are free to scan their own items while shopping—meaning it’s easier to get in and out of the store faster. And that means fewer abandoned baskets and lost sales.

Through inventory management, self-service solutions allow retailers to track how customers spend their money. Tracking reports show which products sell out the quickest, so more-accurate purchase orders are placed—especially for days like Black Friday, which can seem like one big shopping free-for-all! And, self-service solutions allow in-store customers to receive the most-up-to-date information—like whether items not currently available in-store can be ordered before leaving.

In the healthcare industry, hospitals and other medical providers are increasing their security measures through more advanced technology. During the holidays, the number of accidents actually spikes, increasing the number of visits to hospitals and urgent cares. From stove-top burns to knife accidents to food-borne illnesses, healthcare providers utilize technology to ensure you’re receiving the best patient care this time of year. Many also are improving their inventory management, and the overall patient experience, by using the latest and greatest in barcode scanning, patient tracking, and universal software systems.

Barcodes are invaluable in healthcare. They help better protect vulnerable patients who need a little extra care, including infants, geriatric patients, and those with disabilities. And, because they leave a digital trail, barcodes ensure the privacy of patient records—especially if there’s a data breach or unlawful sharing of patient information. They provide constant access to the medications and equipment available to patients, and can monitor and/or track lab equipment and specimens for medical staff. Healthcare workers can scan the wristband barcodes of patients to ensure they’re getting the right treatment when needed, as well as making sure medications are dispensed correctly. The latest software programs help monitor patients more accurately and efficiently—providing health records by clicking only one button, and providing updated stats 24/7.

Whether your customers need a new printing solution or their scanners are beginning to wear and tear, make sure their holiday season is covered by utilizing Zebra Technologies. Each industry mentioned above has an associated Zebra product or solution that fits seamlessly and provides your customers with the latest in technology and connectivity.

By reaching out to your ScanSource Zebra rep today, your customers can take advantage of multiple Zebra programs and promotions including the GO Zebra Trade-In Program and exclusive printing promotions, to save big this holiday season.

With help from ScanSource and Zebra, you’ll soon be on the way to greater customer satisfaction through improved customer experiences—no matter your business, and no matter the time of year.