With consumers having more choice than ever before, outstanding customer experience is no longer a nicety – it’s a necessity. Using QR codes can help you create a seamless, engaging, and exciting experience for customers that sees them returning to your brand time and time again.

What are QR codes?

A QR code (quick response code) is a 2D barcode readable by a smartphone camera – you’ll recognize them as those black and white squares that look similar to a UPC barcode.

QR codes contain pieces of information such as text, URLs, phone numbers, or other information that tells a smartphone to perform an action. For example, a QR code can open a website, go to a specific landing page, play a video, create a contact, or open an email message.

Since QR codes are 2D, you can display them on any visual content such as print advertising, packaging, websites, and, of course, digital signage.

What are the benefits of QR codes?

From a small and seemingly unimpressive image, QR codes deliver significant benefits for businesses wanting to enhance their customer experience.

Ease of use

First, QR codes are easy for both customers and businesses to use. To generate a QR code, head to a free QR code generator and input the relevant information. You can add the code to any digital signage content or other visual media, as you would a regular image.

To use a QR code, a customer holds up their smartphone to capture the code via their camera or QR reader.

Digital signage tracking

QR codes overcome the challenge of measuring the ROI from digital signage. By including a QR code on your digital screen content, you can track and analyze how many customers scanned the QR code and performed relevant actions, such as purchasing.

Capturing attention

Customers recognize QR codes as interactive content, and this can draw customers towards digital signage that they would have otherwise walked past. There’s also a little mystery behind a QR code, with many customers intrigued to find out what it generates.

Retaining attention

Scanning a QR code is much easier than typing out a URL, entering a contact number, or finding someone to ask for more details. The frictionless process of seeing something of interest, scanning the code, and being taken to relevant information is more likely to retain customer attention for longer.

Influencing action

QR codes also guide customers to the next step you want them to take. Rather than telling customers what to do and hoping they follow your instructions, a QR code completes the steps for them, directing them to their next action. This could be making a purchase, spending more time in-store, signing up for your newsletter, or creating a tweet about your brand.

And, above all, they’re popular. An estimated 11 million households will scan a QR code this year. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out.

How to use QR codes to enhance customer experience

There are many ways to implement QR codes into your digital signage and other advertising to enhance the customer experience and benefit your brand. Here are some of our favorite:

Providing additional information

Digital screens are a powerful tool for capturing attention with short, sharp messaging. A QR code enables you to retain this attention by providing your audience with additional, relevant information that will prompt purchasing decisions.

For example, a digital screen promoting this season’s clothing trends can use a QR code to give customers more information on product sizes, colors, and pricing. A digital menu screen in a cafe can use a QR code to provide nutritional information for different menu items. Or an advertisement about your store can include a QR code then opens up Google Maps with directions on how to find you.

Generating coupons

Customers love value, and you’ll know from experience that the promise of a deal or discount will encourage specific customer behavior. A QR code can generate a discount coupon or deal relevant to the digital screen it’s displayed on.

For example, digital advertising about your upcoming sale can use a QR code to invite customers to an exclusive pre-sale event or provide an additional discount code.

Injecting fun into shopping

The more fun and interactive you make your customer experience, the more favorably customers will think of your brand, and the more likely they are to return. You can use QR codes for fun and interactive purposes to achieve this.

For example, you can use a QR code to run a poll on your customers’ favorite seasonal coffee and display the live results on your digital screen. You can encourage customers to follow your brand on social media by taking them directly to your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page. Or you can run a competition to win a new product, that customers can enter via the QR code.

Offering loyalty points

Eighty-seven percent of customers want their favorite brands to run a loyalty program. However, we all know the difficulties of getting customers to actually sign up for a loyalty program. QR codes can be used to make it easy for customers to participate in your rewards scheme and start collecting points straight away.

A loyalty QR code can take customers straight to the sign-up URL, where many smartphones will automatically populate the customer’s details. If you have a loyalty app, you can even use QR codes to open the app at the checkout, making the checkout process even easier for customers.

Providing help

While digital signage and QR codes can provide customers with relevant information that reduces their need for help, sometimes customers want to speak to someone about their query or experience.

QR codes can direct customers to the relevant help by connecting them with a live agent, opening up a contact form, or directing them to a feedback form.

Final things to consider when using QR codes

The success of implementing QR codes into your digital signage and traditional signage depends on other crucial factors. These include:

  • Offering customers something of value – whether that’s information, coupons, help, or communication.
  • Strategic placement in a customer-facing environment, where people have easy access to their smartphone.
  • Inclusion in engaging content that attracts customer attention and makes them want to scan the QR code.

There is a world of opportunity when you use QR codes in your digital signage – improving the customer experience is only the start.