Category Archives: General news

Self Service on the Rise: Speed and Convenience

Several recent industry reports and surveys tracking self-service trends have seen a jump in the use of automated self-services.  According to an infographic compiled by 1-to-1 Media, “Self-Service is a growing global trend that’s helping customers to get the optimal experience they’re looking for more quickly.” 

With the advancements made by each technologically savvy generation, there is a growing consumer need to be able to help themselves, manage their purchase, and see more immediate results.  They also have a higher expectation for more self-service offerings whether at retail outlets, banks, supermarkets, post offices, medical facilities, pharmacies, motor vehicle departments, airports, seaports, hotels or train stations – virtually anywhere.   

With this in mind, the time is ripe for each of these vertical industries to examine which of their offerings can in fact benefit from being turned into an automated self-service operation that will successfully and happily get customers what they want in an expedited manner – where they are ensured a quick, fair and successful transaction.

When looking at service offerings that can be automated here are some points to consider:

  • Is the transaction something that is needed 24 hours a day – or could self-service automation enable it to be offered 24 hours a day?
  • How long does the average transaction take when handled by staff?
  • How long would the average transaction take if automated?
  • How long is the waiting period on average to service a customer?
  • How much time would be saved if the service was automated?
  • How complex is the transaction you are looking to automate?
  • Can you realize cost-savings by enabling customers to help themselves?
  • Will your customer experience/customer journey improve as a result of self service automation – will your offer be competitive, attracting customers?
  • Do you have additional upsell opportunities as a result of self service automation?

If you are pondering these questions, you are not alone. Consider talking to a Tensator self-service automation specialist to understand your options. Contact Tensator today.


Sequestration's Effect on Airport Queuing

It’s just been implemented and already the effects of sequestration have hit hard.  Lines at major airports have ballooned to 150-200% their normal size, creating delays and headaches for many travelers. According to the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, there were approximately 56 flights with wait times in excess of 2 hours, and 14 flights over 3 hours. Miami International Airport (MIA) reported 51 flights over 2 hours, and 4 flights approached/exceeded 3 hours – all uncharacteristic wait times and a result of reduced staffing.

The consequences of sequestration are only expected to worsen as federal departments implement furloughs and hiring freezes as we head into the busy summer travel season.

While travelers have been advised to get to their airports earlier, there are some other immediate proactive considerations that can be cost effectively implemented to help reduce or ease wait times:

– Deploy Virtual Assistants to deliver highly visual and attention capturing information to deliver clear, consistent messaging to effectively direct and ensure passengers understand all the information they need to know at either boarding, customs or security to improve efficiency, passenger flow and their overall airport experience.   

– Leverage automated queue management systems to determine the best, most effective queuing configuration based on current airport conditions.

– Implement display and signage, post and rope, Tensabarriers® and Single Line Queuing to ensure maximum airport efficiency in getting passengers to where they need to be, keeping them informed and increasing the speed in how passengers get served.

By putting in place these proven queue management solutions, the effects of sequestration as they pertain to long lines can be significantly minimized.  To request a meeting with a queue management specialist please contact Tensator

Deterring Flash Robs and Retail Theft with Access Control

This year’s NRF event covered a tremendous amount of ground educating retailers on a wide variety of subjects. An article that appeared in the show daily on NRF’s Guidelines on Flash Robs was definitely a worthy read. Flash Robs are an emerging phenomenon in which teens and children, some as young as 11, take part in gathering as an organized mob that has been triggered via social media for the sole purposes of robbing a retailer enmasse.

Retail crime is on the rise from flash robs to straight out shoplifting. According to a recent article in The Guardian, the overall cost of retail crime in the UK has soared by 15.6% in a year to £1.6bn as the sector is targeted by serious, organised criminals. The British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey 2012 found that nearly one in 20 stores was robbed during this past year. The average cost of each incident tripled to £3,005, from £989 the previous year, a result of more organised offending. The survey indicates there are 2m incidents of shoplifting a year in the UK retail sector as a whole, involving about £200m worth of goods. The average value of goods stolen rose by 28%, to £109. Systematic targeting of higher value goods by organised criminals is the primary cause for the increased cost of retail crime. 

In this news interview of flash rob victim Luke Cho, Mildblend Supply Co. store owner, you can tell he senses something is out of place when he sees streams of teenagers flood through his store doors. His gut tells him to lock the store to prevent more members of a flash mob from entering and preventing the ones in the store from leaving with $3000 worth of jeans.  For a while, this idea seems to thwart the offenders until they figure out how to open the door and make their getaway.

Leveraging this same concept, Tensator access gates provide an excellent way to help prevent and deter flash robs by making it easy to enter a store but difficult to leave with an unpurchased item.  The automatic gates clearly indicate where the store entry is – and there is only one way to enter the store; customers cannot exit back through the entrance gates as an alarm is triggered notifying sales/security staff.  Instead, customers have to follow the flow around the store to the exit which is after the checkout/point of purchase area. Tensator offers different models and customized styles of access gates to meet your store look and feel.  Access gates are an affordable investment that by their presence alone make criminals think twice about an easy getaway – and more importantly help ensure the safety of your employees, customers and merchandise.

 To learn more, visit access gates.



Tensator Expands Retail Offerings, Launches Integrated Virtual Assistant Call Forward System and New Self Service Solution at NRF 2013; Interactive In-Store Technologies Improve the Customer Experience

Press Release

NRF 102nd Annual Convention & Expo – NEW YORK, NY – January 7, 2013 – Tensator, (Booth #632) the world leader in queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced it is launching several new retail solutions at NRF 2013 ‘Retail’s BIG Show’ being held January 13-16 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. 

The leading next generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant is now fully integrated with Tensator’s eQ™ SLQ 3000 (single line queuing) call forward system.  Combining best of breed technologies, Tensator offers retailers a powerful solution to guide, inform and enrich the customer journey by engaging with and informing the customer as they are called forward to checkout. Also being showcased for the first time is a new slim line casing for the Tensator Virtual Assistant that allows for a smaller overall footprint and is now offered as a standard option, giving more flexibility to retailers. 

The company is unveiling its newest product portfolio addition, Multi-Service Machines (MSM), a range of self-service machines, which empowers customers to independently, efficiently and securely perform retail services themselves, such as the sale and dispensing of gift cards, payment of services and invoices, and mobile phone account refill. MSMs are ideal for the retail environment as they provide swift and efficient self-service options to customers, improving the overall customer experience and delivering resource efficiencies to the retailer.

Also present at the booth will be Tensator’s virtual queuing solution, a ticket-based queue management solution that allows the customer to use a touchscreen interface to select and enter into a virtual queue for a particular product or service. This solutions makes customers feel that they are being served as soon as they enter the retail environment, with a positive experience of ‘first come first served’ and also brings the added benefit to the customer of being able to relax, browse or shop while they wait. When combined with Tensator’s Corporate TV solution, retailers are presented with an effective tool for increasing revenue and better serving customers. With Corporate TV, retailers can promote products, services and special offers to their customers and generate or increase impulse purchases resulting in higher revenues.  It can also provide entertainment to customers waiting in any line throughout the store to help generate interest or excitement and the feeling of speedier service time.

According to NRF’s STORES editor Susan Reda, retailers that leverage in-store technologies focused on improving the in-store customer experience will breathe new life into traditional stores. “In an effort to be more in sync with today’s shopper, technology is being woven into the store environment wherever it makes sense. Getting shoppers to interact with in-store technology translates into more time spent on the selling floor and more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. Time-starved consumers covet speed and convenience. Big boxes need to reconfigure real estate to aid shoppers who want to get in and out quickly or risk losing them.”

For the third year running, Tensator is a bronze sponsor of NRF and is providing its eQ™ SLQ3000 call forward system and Tensabarrier® crowd control stanchions with post top signage to help quickly and efficiently guide attendees through registration while providing up-to-date show information. 

“We are committed to helping retailers—both smaller footprints and big boxes improve their in-store customer experience through innovative, affordable and time saving solutions,” said Bill Vetter, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Tensator USA. “Mobile consumers have become accustomed to helping themselves, getting fast responses and having instant access to data.  2013 is all about retailers delivering a progressive, engaging experience – one that values the customer time, enables customer empowerment and one that captivates the customer from the moment they enter the store to the time they leave.” 


Come Meet Tensator at NRF 2013 for BIG Retail Solutions that MOVE Customers

We’re excited to kick off 2013 as we gear up for NRF’s Annual Convention & EXPO,  “Retail’s BIG Show”  being held January 13-15 in NYC.  Tensator has a whole host of new, interactive retail tech solutions we’ll be showcasing at this major, global event – specifically designed to help you extract the maximum value of every inch of square footage while providing your customers with an exciting customer experience.  

Tensator is all about guiding the customer journey and helping you create the kind of retail environment that helps ensure repeat business.  Tensator’s newest solutions being launched at NRF have the ability to really MOVE your customers…emotionally and physically….with exciting branding and promotional digital signage, next-gen queue management, self-service and personalized service offerings that empower your customers to get the products and services they want more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

If you plan to be at NRF, we invite you to schedule a one-on-one meeting with us to see firsthand how our solutions can help you boost sales and profitability while ensuring your customers have the kind of in-store experience that garners rave reviews.  Check out Tensator’s Booth #632 at NRF and come see how we can MOVE you!