Monday, August 29, 2016

The Role of Interactive Kiosks in Not-for-Profit Fundraising Environments

Interactive kiosks are finding homes across a range of applications, from retail and food service to office buildings and high-rise apartments. But not-for-profit organizations -- in particular advocacy groups that have been specifically formed to support a particular cause -- are beginning to utilize touchscreen kiosks successfully as well.

One of the most popular uses for interactive kiosks is fundraising. This is logical, given that these organizations often rely on the proceeds of a series of key events over the course of the year in order to ensure they are able to fund their annual operating budget. Fundraising kiosks assist in several ways. One is by offering an opportunity to potentially raise the average donation amount via fixed donation amounts. Instead of giving patrons the option to fill in the donation amount manually, using radio buttons or checkboxes to limit choices to pre-filled donation amounts based on previously-collected data and donation history can help increase the size of individual donations.

Another way to utilize touchscreen kiosks in non-profit event settings is to use them at the event’s check in. While certain events do not lend themselves to this type of use, there are plenty that do. Take a wine tasting fundraiser to benefit a local food pantry, for example. Depending on the size, there could be hundreds -- if not more -- in attendance. Allowing patrons to scan their tickets automatically at a kiosk is likely to be much more convenient and efficient than manning a line with a volunteer, who is juggling questions and tickets and a hand-held scanner, along with impatient event attendees. At the same time, it’s an excellent way to talk directly to patrons by asking them if they wish to donate an additional amount at the time they enter the event.

Touchscreen kiosks are also extremely helpful during the course of fundraising events. Many benefits include silent auctions or other interactive activities. Instead of requiring potential donors to use paper and pencil to bid, instead, many charities are using intelligently placed tablet kiosks to keep events running smoothly, tablets secure and to cut down on the need for individual volunteer assistance. Interactive tablet kiosks can also help attendees to explore the offerings up for bid, as well as find more information about the charity itself, the venue or the event overall.

The use of touchscreen kiosks in not-for-profit environments is growing rapidly, regardless of how it’s implemented. While certainly an investment, it can result in larger donations that enable organizations to more for their communities. Redyref understands what makes interactive kiosks work and our capabilities include not just creating the physical kiosk, but custom software to suit any need as well. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and we will be there every step of the way to help design, fabricate and install the best possible kiosk solution for your unique needs and goals.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Using Digital Signage to Enhance Patient Experience in Healthcare Environments

Can you think of anything much more frustrating than waiting to be seen at the doctor’s office? Besides having to wait in an emergency room or urgent care center, anyway. Generally speaking, if you’re being made to wait around in any of these situations, you are sick or injured. Possibly even very sick or very injured, which means you’re also stuck with a range of discomfort from moderate to extreme, which could also involve various degrees of pain. In these cases, even trying to focus on content on a tablet or smart phone can be too much work. So much for electronic distraction, right?

Send in the digital signage, because healthcare environments are often where it can really shine, making a measurable impact on patient experience by reducing stress and anxiety. Some of these signs offer information related to the hospital itself, which can include anything from cafeteria menus to doctor profiles or announcements about upcoming health-related workshops. Other hospitals prefer to steer completely away from anything serious in nature, opting instead for pure distraction in the form of popular television show clips, using the digital displays for entertainment over education. Still others decide on a middle ground, featuring clips from shows which focus on wellness, such as healthy cooking, exercise or meditation. A lot of these decisions depends on the audience; certain digital content will play better to those waiting to be seen in one context over another, but with the variety of content options available today, there is something out there that is appropriate for just about any environment. And the good news is, just about anything will distract waiting patients, therefore lowering anxiety and ability to tolerate their current state of discomfort, whatever it may be.

While educational or entertaining content is one way to use digital signage in a hospital environment, engaging and empowering patients is another. Some emergency rooms and urgent care centers are moving toward displaying continually-updating waiting lists, so patients know when they can expect to be seen. This is also helpful to front-desk staff, who can spend more time helping to check in the patient in front of them, instead of answering questions from those already registered about they will be seen. Other hospitals are using touchscreen technology to make the switch an almost completely digital registration system, at least for scheduled, non-emergency visits, which puts patients in charge of checking themselves in for appointments, limiting the need for front desk staff even further.

The use of digital signage in healthcare environments may have started off slowly, but it is now growing at an incredible pace, regardless of how it’s implemented. While certainly an investment, it is a wise one which can result in greater patient trust and loyalty. Redyref understands what makes digital signage work; we invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and we will be there every step of the way to help design, fabricate and install the best possible digital signage solution for your environment’s unique needs and goals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Touch or Non-Touch Directories: Not Always a Simple Choice (Part Four)

Touch or Non-Touch Directories: Which is the best choice for your business? This is the question we’ve been addressing for the last three weeks, and which we’ll conclude today. To briefly recap the previous weeks’ discussions: We define a non-touch digital directory as either a static screen that always displays the same information, such as office numbers and locations, or a screen that rotates through a set series of different informational “slides”. These are also known at times as a form of digital signage. Digital touchscreen directories, on the other hand, offer different levels of interactivity, depending on the complexity of the software, from one- or two-button operation, to full touchscreen capabilities, much like a tablet. Considering the impact of the “three Ss” before making a decision is a big part of ensuring you get the the right fit for your business’ needs. We’ve so far covered Situation and Setting, which means we’ve arrived at the final S: Surroundings.

The term “surroundings” refers to the immediate placement of the directory within its environment. It answers the question, “where does the directory installation make the most sense?” This decision greatly impacts whether or not a touchscreen is necessary. For instance, if the directory is for an office building with 15 tenants, and all can comfortably be displayed on the screen at once, along with their location, a simple, static, non-touch wall mount directory may serve those purposes completely adequately. However, if the facility is larger, or tenants require greater functionality, such as a digital receptionist option, then advanced software will be necessary and a touch screen with high levels of interactivity will now be required, and installation of the directory as a freestanding kiosk is likely the more accessible choice.

Even those property management companies who staff their lobbies with receptionists often find that automating part of the front desk experience with options like visitor check and wayfinding software can be extremely useful, especially during the busiest times of day. A desk-mount interactive directory, located at the reception desk, is often the best choice in this case. Visitors may then get many of their wayfinding needs met digitally, but still have access to a staff member if they require additional assistance.

What about an apartment building? Smaller facilities can easily make do with a simple wall-mount static digital interface, but a high rise in Midtown Manhattan has completely different requirements. With 100 or more tenants, they would at the very least need limited, one- or two-button touch screen capabilities so that visitors are able to scroll through a list of tenants. Digital receptionist software would allow visitors to be granted access to the lobby once “buzzed in.” And because it would need to be touch-accessible to all visitors, installing the directory as a floor-mounted enclosure would likely make more sense than mounting it on the wall.

While the decision to invest in a touch or non-touch digital directory may not be simple, careful planning and a thorough grasp of your own “three Ss” can go a long way toward helping you to make the right choice for your business. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and RedyRef will be there every step of the way in creating the best possible digital directory for your company’s unique needs and goals.