How Engineering Businesses Can Significantly Improve The Buyer Experience With Touchscreens
Feeling curious about how you can benefit from using interactive experiences with customers to improve engagement, understanding and bring your products and services to life?
There is a lot of complex information in the world of advanced engineering making it difficult for customers to find what they need or truly understand the value of your business – especially if content is hidden in websites, brochures and technical documents.
But consider this fact, according to DemandGen Report, 91% of B2B buyers now say they prefer to consume interactive and visual content over static content. In fact, providing interactive experiences that are immersive and engaging is fast becoming not only a key strategy but an expectation on the part of buyers.
So interactive content is clearly important to buyers and as such it’s important to consider how you can bring that into your sales materials and customer-facing communications.
So, what do you need to think about?
1. Make it all about your customers
The first thing you need to think about is your customers. After all, they’re the people you’re making the experience for.
These are just some of the questions you need to consider:
- Who are you talking to?
- What are their job roles and level of expertise,
- What industries are they in?
- What content is important for them to know?
- What are the various challenges they face?
- What impression do you want to leave them with?
- What action do you need them to take?
If you want to be memorable and stand out your experience has to be customer-centric. However, with engineering, you may have a multitude of applications and solutions you’re offering, as well as a broad mix of customers with different needs.
Luckily, an interactive touchscreen experience lets you tailor your messaging to address different customers and challenges and lets them interact with content that is relevant to them.
↑ This experience for GEA lets their customers easily access different content based on their needs.
2. Make it intuitive
It’s important to create a great user experience; in other words, one that’s intuitive, user-friendly and easy to navigate, so that no-one gets stuck or confused trying to find what they need.
People tend to be self-conscious, risk-averse, and even a little lazy. No-one wants to waste time on a touchscreen that’s confusing or frustrating to use, so if something isn’t working we’ll just walk away – meaning your investment is lost.
↑ On a touchscreen, things have to be crystal-clear and really easy to understand
Unfortunately, a lot of companies seem to think that just putting your website – or a slightly modified version of your website – onto an interactive touchscreen is all you need. But trust us; it’s not a good idea, and actually, one of the most common mistakes we deal with.
This is because the experience, size and the way people interact with touchscreens is very different from the way they would interact with a website or even a tablet and smartphone. We’ve put together a blog that goes much more in-depth about this topic.
3. Create a compelling story
If you can tell a story that strikes the right chord as part of your experience, you’ll get your audience’s attention – and if you can make it visual, you’re onto a winner. Visual storytelling is a great way to help guide users through your experience, and keep them engaged with added interactivity.
Perhaps, like many engineering firms, you have a complex product and service mix; one that you don’t see naturally fitting into a story – well the opposite is true. A visual story can be created for every business and it will help customers understand how you can support them, how you fit into their world and how you can add value whilst visually bringing your products and services to life. It just requires a little thought.
↑ In this experience for Bosch Packaging, customers can explore a factory floor to understand the different solutions Bosch offers.
Carefully consider the type of story you want to tell, how it will resonate with your customers and how it can be elevated into an interactive experience.
TIP: We’ve given you a much better idea of why visual storytelling can be so effective in our recent blog. The Importance of Authentic Brand Storytelling in B2B“
4. Put your customer at the centre of the story
Is a story already starting to form in your mind? If so, then your next step is to think about how you can give your customers a central role. You want to put them at the centre of the story so they feel a personal connection.
↑ Using a protagonist provides resonance and realism for the audience
The reason we suggest this is because if you can make them front and centre in your story, and give them the ability to make key decisions that’ll affect the outcome, they’ll be more engaged. Giving your customers control over the story puts them at the heart of your experience and builds a stronger connection.
But that’s not all you can do to keep them engaged…
5. Add a bit of gamification
We’re programmed to love a good game or two! So, as you can imagine, bringing games into your experience is yet another great way to keep your customers engaged and help with their understanding. You can even ensure it ties into other aspects of your experience to help deliver a consistent and impactful message – whilst still being fun!
Just remember to make your games intuitive – not too confusing or difficult, but not too easy, either! It’s a thin line, however, it’s definitely worth it as it can be a great way to demonstrate your value proposition and reinforce it into the minds of your customers.
One example we can give you here is the interactive experience we created for our client, Citrix. They needed a touchscreen experience that could be used at global events to help build a sales pipeline around the issue of mobile security. The gamified experience was structured to tie into the mobile security message, and also featured league tables and the chance to win an Airwheel.
Here’s what Mike Oliver, Citrix’s Senior Marketing Manager, had to say about the experience we created:
“You took one idea and shaped it into a multi-touch program – executable in different ways, languages and over an extended time frame. As a direct result, we doubled our lead capture at our booths, delivered stunning content to the business that is valid for at least 6 months, and in the first 7 days of the demand generation phase, this program has delivered over 1,000 leads and strong 6–digit contribution to the sales pipeline.“
TIP: Check out our blog for some more ideas of different ways customers can interact with an interactive touchscreen experience!
6. Whatever you do, inspire action
When designing an interactive touchscreen experience, it’s important to keep in mind your goals, and the actions you want users to take at the end of your experience. For example, perhaps your goal is to increase your number of qualified leads – in which case, the action would be to get people to fill in their details in exchange for something they’ll want.
That last part is also important, because your customers will want to know what’s in it for them – and you have to be offering something good (such as content, a reward or an enjoyable experience) for them to want to fill in their email address.
↑ GSMA in this experience offer their audience to send themselves the latest thought leadership regarding the future of communications
Maybe you’re looking to raise awareness, increase sales or even just collect some valuable data about what your best customers are interested in (this is something you can do by tracking your experience, by the way). These are all great goals, that require you to carefully think about the type of impression you want people to come away with at the end of your experience.
We’d recommend being absolutely clear about the action you need people to take during and after your experience – and how these things can align with their goals. If these two things aren’t completely aligned, you probably won’t achieve the results you’re counting on with your touchscreen experience.
7. Set up an immersive environment
If you think an interactive touchscreen experience could be the way forward and you’re already thinking about your options, then fantastic! But don’t forget about the area surrounding your experience – it’s an important element that goes into creating an immersive environment.
Think about how you want people to feel when they’re in your space – should they feel calm? Safe? Excited? In many cases, it’s probably a good idea to aim for a friendly, welcoming environment that lets people know that they can come and interact with your touchscreen – and even encourages it!
↑ Create an environment which encourages users to come up and play with your touchscreen (Example: Ebbsfleet Garden City)
That’s because unless you make it obvious, your customers might be a bit too cautious to actually walk up and start playing about with the screen. It all stems from us humans being quite risk-averse, and we don’t want to start playing around with things we’re not supposed to.
Advice on your next steps
If you’re considering developing an interactive touchscreen experience – or any interactive experience for that matter – it can suddenly feel a bit daunting when you’re presented with so many options and things to consider. However, on the bright side, you don’t have to go it alone.
Our advice is to find an experienced interactive design agency who will be happy to listen to you and give you some free, impartial advice – along with talking you through your first steps and giving you plenty of inspiration to get you started.
You’ll also find some helpful resources online and this article where to start when developing an interactive touchscreen experience for your business is a really good start.
Or you can download our guide which covers a lot of useful information.
Curious to learn more about what could be possible? If so – or even if you just have a question – feel free to fill out our handy contact form. We’d love to hear from you, and we read and reply to every message we receive.