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Informational Showcase

The age-old take-a-number ticket process at service centers can be painstakingly inefficient and create a poor brand impression. Time Warner has changed that.

Informational Showcase

Sep 9, 2014 9:04 PM

Time Warner Cable transformed a 90in. Sharp PN-R903 display into a high-definition interactive centerpiece for its waiting customers.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently wondered how they could improve the customer experience at its most popular – and crowded – service centers while also driving awareness of new products. The age-old take-a-number ticket process at service centers can be painstakingly inefficient and create a poor brand impression from the moment a customer steps in the store. While it’s inevitable that customers will have to wait to be served, TWC aimed to make the time spent waiting a more memorable and beneficial experience, for both the patron and the service provider.

As the second largest cable company in the U.S., Time Warner faces its share of customer service questions. Its flagship store in New York’s Flatiron District has a constant influx of customers filtering through to pick up equipment, pay their cable bills, or file a complaint. With more than 1 million visitors a month, TWC realized that its take-a-ticket and wait-to-be-seen approach was presenting a negative brand experience for customers. On top of that, with millions of customers coming to the store for various reasons, TWC needed a way to connect with these guests while they waited in the store and highlight the company’s latest innovations and newest features. Specifically, the company needed to emphasize its full range of mobile technology and free-to-download customer apps.

In 2013, TWC partnered with the digital agency Reality Interactive and a retail design group called FAME to create an entirely new retail experience for its end-users. These stores were designed to showcase what you can do with TWC’s products and present a different impression during the customer’s time in the store. TWC focused on improving the wait experience by creating interactive ways to engage with the customers through product demos, digital signage, etc. The partnership was intended to showcase TWC’s customer service approach as well as highlight TWC’s diverse offering of mobile apps in an exciting and innovative display.

The project kicked off with a series of experiential displays at 20 stores throughout the country. TWC noticed a traceable increase in sales at those locations. As a culmination of learning from these stores, the digital agency saved its best and biggest exhibit for the Flatiron flagship center.

For the NYC extension of the project, Reality Interactive transformed the 90in. Sharp PN-R903 digital display into a massive, high-definition smartphone exhibit and interactive centerpiece for the store. Ideally, everyone who entered the store would leave having downloaded the TWC apps. While certainly a lofty goal, Reality Interactive aspired to create awareness for the apps through the user experience and influence customers who may be interested in downloading the content. This 90in. screen was designed to look like a larger-than-life mobile tablet. The tablet is one not only a stunning visual but is also a fully interactive display. With a set of app icons, updated news and weather alerts, and a live, active Twitter feed, the display has all the characteristics of a supersized mobile device.

Creating this oversized mobile station was the natural solution for promoting the apps and creating a wow factor that would strengthen the customer’s in-store experience. Sharp’s high-definition LED display is designed to captivate an audience in any commercial setting or digital signage application. The display’s efficient lighting and vivid brightness was a major factor when designing the showcase, and although its large size was a challenge, the crew overcame any issues by building a customized infrastructure and frame that enclosed the screen and created the appearance of a functioning tablet. Reality Interactive needed a display that could be seen across the store but also had the advanced technology that they could control and “talk to” as part of its interactive design.

Since its installation in February of this year, TWC has been thrilled with the results and attention the showcase has garnered. The size, clarity, and innovative display features blow customers away. It’s a can’t-miss centerpiece attraction of a store that receives an enormous amount of traffic each month. As a result, the cable company has plans to expand the program and install similar, smaller mobile stations in its stores nationwide.

Product at Work:

Sharp PN-903

With the ability to display images in life-size proportion, Sharp PNR903 LED display offers 1920×1080 resolution, 700 cd/m² brightness, and a dual display mode. Its 90in. diagonal screen can be used in landscape or portrait format for venues including shopping malls, museums, transportation hubs, and conference centers. In addition, the PN-R903 provides full-array LED backlighting and Local Dimming Technology that allows specific groups of LEDs to be dimmed for greater control of brightness and darkness in different areas of the screen. It also incorporates Sharp’s UV2A photo-alignment technology that ensures uniform alignment of liquid crystal molecules. Designed for 24/7 operation and backed with a limited three-year warranty, this full-HD display includes HDMI and 15-pin D-sub inputs along with DisplayPort, DVI-I, and RS-232 in/outs. LAN remote is also provided, and the PN-R903 has two audio inputs on 3.5mm stereo jacks.

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