Hospitality at its Finest: How to Make your Customers Really, Really Happy.

How to Make your Customers Really, Really Happy with good ole fashion hospitality!

It’s the end of September and the official end of the summer season. And as we look in our rearview mirror and wave good-bye to our favorite vacation spot , we can’t help but recall what made that visit so special and so memorable. Was it the food? Was it the people? Yes, to both, but we’ll place our collective bets on the destination. Great location, great weather and unbelievably great service. That makes us happy every single time, no matter if we are traveling for business or pleasure. But let’s say it’s 110 degrees in the shade and the mosquitoes are out in spades. Can you still find that happy place? Well, we think great service can trump any travel snafu. But what constitutes great service? Here are a few that top our list.

1. Focused, Friendly, Fast In and Out

Oh, the dreaded check-in. Aside from the doorman, this is probably the first interaction as they walk through that door. Those first few minutes can make or break the customers’ perception of you. We say that the check-in process should be personalized, quick, genuinely friendly and thorough.

2. Everybody Knows My Name

There is a word that can break through the noise and distractions of the world and reach your customer. And that’s their name. Calling a customer by their name builds rapport and shows that you are focusing your attention on their specific needs.

3. Happy Team

It’s about your team having a “hospitality personality,” which goes further than cheerfulness. It’s having a team with humor and kindness and who quietly makes guests feel comfortable and important.

4. Know Your Location

Make it a priority for your team to know the ins and outs of their locale. Your team should be able to tell a guest where everything is situated in the hotel: services, dining and entertainment. And staff should have a very good knowledge of the hotel’s surroundings and how to get around It means being able to recommend restaurants, activities and attractions.

Hospitality should be all about hosting your guest, not bogging them down with admin intensive processes. Acuant has been powering solutions for the hospitality industry for many years. Whether it’s a solution to expedite the check-in process or collecting ID or passport information for regulatory and billing information, all of this can be achieved in no time at all. Services like self-check-in are a reality with Acuant integrated solutions.

Study Shows Consumers Buy from Familiar Sites

Instead of heading out to brick-and-mortar stores, consumers now prefer to look for products to buy online. According to a report released by Amazon.com and Pymnts.com, shoppers are increasingly looking to digital retail marketplace platforms for products before going on a retailer’s website.

Instead of heading out to brick-and-mortar stores, consumers now prefer to look for products to buy online. According to a report released by Amazon.com and Pymnts.com, shoppers are increasingly looking to digital retail marketplace platforms for products before going on a retailer’s website.

The study was conducted last month in July, and the panel of consumers consisted of over 2,000 online and mobile shoppers. The researchers found that today’s highly engaged online and mobile shoppers tend to be affluent, with incomes over $80,000, and well educated with four years of college or more. They also tend to be between the ages of 25 to 34.

The panel of consumers were asked where they first started their shopping journey when they needed to make an online purchase. The majority of surveyed consumers (64%) said they went to an e-commerce marketplace first, like Amazon.com or eBay. Following marketplaces, 48% of consumers chose to visit the websites of their favorite retailers and merchants first. 40% of respondents used search engines to find products, and 29% said that they liked to go straight to social media.

Online Purchase Factors

The study showed that a number of factors come into play when consumers decide to finally make that online purchase. Surprisingly, consumers aren’t concerned about shipping costs, or the price of an item. 23% of surveyed consumers say that they have to trust the website they’re making a purchase on before they give up their financial data. 16% of consumers make a purchase through a particular website because of tailored promotions and rewards. 14% of respondents finalize their purchases on websites that they’ve used before, and had good experiences with. Other important factors for shoppers were preferred methods of payments, and ease of use.

Online shoppers are also comfortable using hypothetical new payment methods from Amazon and Apple. 50% of respondents said that they would use a new method of payment from Amazon for online purchases via desktop, and 44% said they’d use Amazon’s payment method for mobile purchases. The researchers found that customers trust Amazon twice as much as other companies.

Consumers also trust Apple’s online payment method product, but only at 25% for desktop payments, and 22% for mobile. The researchers believe that customers are so comfortable and trusting of Amazon because customers who are 25 to 34 years old grew up with the company.

Brick-and-mortar retailers with an online presence can drive consumers to their sites with discounts specifically for those who sign up for a loyalty rewards card. Loyalty rewards can keep consumers coming back to a site to make purchases. When consumers keep coming back to an online store to make their purchases, they become more familiar with the site, and more comfortable with using it.

To get more consumers to sign up for a loyalty rewards card, retailers should make signing up as easy as swiping an ID. Retailers can keep customers coming back to their websites by making it easy for them to sign up for rewards.

Acuant Survey: Companies Look to the Cloud for Better Information Capture, Verification and Collaboration

acuant-infographic-v1 (2)

55% of respondents now rely on card scanning for information capture vs.19% ‘paper based’ and 17% ‘customer entered’

Identity verification lags even as 84% consider it ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ in the card scanning process

Los Angeles, CA, June 16, 2015 – Acuant, the leading provider of credential management solutions, announced today results of an original survey on the growing use of card scanning for information capture, verification and authentication, based on responses from 115 IT decision makers across industries.

According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents currently rely on card scanning information capture processes compared to only 19 percent which still use ‘paper based’ processes and 17 percent which rely on ‘customer entered’ data. The survey also noted a strong trend toward more sophisticated information verification and authentication functions, which promise to improve the accuracy, security and efficiency with which information is collected and give companies more time to devote to customer relations.

The survey identified the following findings, which illustrate the growing market need for cloud-based information capture.

  • Accuracy: Only 28 percent of respondents were “very confident” in the accuracy of the information collected using current systems, which include basic information capture, paper-based processes, and customer entered data. An alarming 72 percent admit to experiencing errors in the information they collect from customers.
  • Automation, Validation and Authentication: Although a vast majority of respondents (70 percent) said they validate information captured from customers, only 17 percent have a system in place to “fully automate” information validation. Notably, 71 percent of respondents said information validation and authentication is “very” or “moderately” time consuming.
  • Connectivity with External Sources: Thirty nine percent of respondents said connectivity with external data sources would be helpful to their business. However, only 17 percent of respondents said their current information systems had “excellent” connectivity with external sources and 21 percent of respondents said they have no ability to connect with external data sources. Sixty two percent said they currently have “some connectivity” with external sources, noting a trend toward this capability.
  • Security: Although 84 percent of respondents said identity verification is either “critical’ or “very important” and 49 percent consider identity fraud to be “catastrophic” to their business, only 37 percent of companies surveyed have “strong” protection in place. Only 43 percent of respondents said they currently take “some steps” to verify a customer’s identity.

“Companies understand that more sophisticated information capture, verification and authentication significantly improves efficiency and security while making a positive impact on customer satisfaction,” said Yossi Zekri, President and CEO of Acuant. “Businesses across a range of industries are beginning to embrace advanced card scanning solutions for smarter, fully automated information capture, which also helps businesses satisfy demands of today’s consumer to be served quickly and efficiently.”

Methodology:

Conducted between April 16, 2015, and May 29, 2015, the study reflects responses from 115 IT decision makers including CXOs, Vice Presidents of Operations and Directors of IT across industries including healthcare, automotive, financial services, retail, security, gaming and others.

Resources:

Infographic: https://www.acuantcorp.com/how-do-you-collect-customer-information-infographic

About Acuant:

Acuant’s award-winning and patented credential management solutions automate the intake, processing and verification of unstructured data from ID documents. Leveraging virtually any device, our solutions transform this data into useful and insightful information – whether in the cloud or locally – which is used in critical business applications.

PR Contact:

Michael Gallo

Gutenberg Communications for Acuant Corp

212-239-8594

acuant@gutenbergpr.com

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Better Way Of Doing Business

With various industries benefiting from a new world of possibility driven by the implementation of new technology, it is no wonder why many of our partners have purchased and or implemented different solutions we’ve developed to make their workflow more efficient. And yes, although we certainly pride ourselves in the technology we’ve created and how it has helped end users … our crowning accomplishment has always been witnessing the added value this technology creates for the various business segments it operates within.

With various industries benefiting from a new world of possibility driven by the implementation of new technology, it is no wonder why many of our partners have purchased and or implemented different solutions we’ve developed to make their workflow more efficient. Yes, although we certainly pride ourselves in the technology we’ve created and how it has helped end users … our crowning accomplishment has always been witnessing the added value this technology creates for the various business segments it operates within. Value that consists of a better work flow, stronger security, and a more robust way of capturing information through card reading and id scanning. These business segments range the full gamut of those looking to authenticate and capture data from security, finance, government, but especially… healthcare.

But, why the healthcare industry? Healthcare has been marked by bad press and at times thought be to be inefficient, there are also a plethora of other reasons why things need to be done accurately. For instance, did you know that professionals have the ability to reduce claim rejection letters that may result when information is missing from it being entered by hand. However, when using a proven system built to accurately auto-populate this information such as Medicscan, this worry can be reduced as the information is transferred over safely and quickly albeit reducing the problems that may arise from human error. The way this process works is pretty cool. Images, not just words, can be read from a data source and then transferred into a patient’s data record! Imagine how this can increase the efficiency of a busy hospital office, not only is it saving time it is helping make the process more accurate.

There are various partners we’ve connected with who have helped to bring these solutions and technologies to their respective markets, you can actually take a look by scrolling to the bottom of this page to view the Acuant partners. These professionals are ones we pride ourselves in working with especially when they share the success and happiness of the clients who have implemented our solutions into their workflow. Even more exciting is how the latter individuals can choose the right solution for them, from simple hardware, to integrations that work with existing systems, there are various choices when it comes to efficiency and card reading technology

However, it does not stop there, we also seek to create peace of mind in the form of helpful manuals, easy to use software and a customer support team that can be reached by phone or email to help make the process more understandable. But, who exactly are the groups benefiting from these solutions? To be quite frank, a lot of different businesses, from dealerships, to clubs, to healthcare professionals… for years our technology have been a strong part of the business process for different companies. We are proud to stand by our partners, their clients, as well as various customers looking to make the world better by taking the next step in implementing a better way of doing business.

Credit Card Fraud Continues to Intensify

There were several high profile cases of identity theft just last month. In the beginning of April, federal agents busted a ring of 42 identity thieves in Miami. The thieves had collected $3.2 million in tax refunds and $656,000 in state unemployment benefits.

There were several high profile cases of identity theft just last month. In the beginning of April, federal agents busted a ring of 42 identity thieves in Miami. The thieves had collected $3.2 million in tax refunds and $656,000 in state unemployment benefits. Even federal agents aren’t safe from identity theft. An FBI employee in Virginia was informed by his bank that his identity was stolen by someone in London, who was buying train tickets in his name. Other times, federal employees play a part in identity theft. Earlier in April, a former DEA manager was convicted of wire fraud. The DEA manager submitted 32 fake credit card applications using her colleagues’ identities, and used the payment cards to withdraw $114,000 from ATMs in the DC area.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that an average of 9 million Americans have their identities stolen annually. One quarter of identity fraud cases are due to credit card fraud, and typically these criminals use stolen identities to make purchases.

According to the 2015 Identity Fraud study by Javelin Strategy & Research, $16 billion was stolen by identity thieves from 12.7 million American consumers last year. The most targeted demographic for identity theft through credit card fraud is students. Students are more likely to perceive significant effects of fraud, like being denied credit, and 15% said they felt severe impacts of identity theft. In addition, the report found that identity thieves would open up new credit cards in their victims’ names, and the victims wouldn’t notice. Victims of new account fraud are three times more likely to take over a year to find that their identities were misused.

As credit card fraud becomes more prevalent, credit card companies, retailers, and financial institutions need to make sure that there are measures in place to protect customer identities. Acuant’s credential management solutions are designed to reduce fraud by capturing accurate consumer identity information. Businesses can opt to verify that captured information, thus prevent criminals from fraudulently signing up for a credit card in another person’s name. In this age of prevalent identity fraud,these tools enable businesses to help minimize the risk of identity fraud for their consumers.

Smarter Information Capture Can Simplify Retail Rewards Programs

Complex retail loyalty programs deserve a sturdy system to handle all the information.

According to a study conducted by Colloquy, American consumers hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs. Retailers have noticed that customers like loyalty programs, and they’ve joined together to offer rewards. AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, and Hulu have formed a coalition rewards program that is designed to give consumers flexibility in spending points. This rewards program, called Plenti, lets consumers use one card to redeem points at multiple participants. Plenti’s participants hope that the new rewards program will let consumers spend all of their earned points, instead of letting them go to waste. Retailers like Rite Aid hope that this rewards program will win over business from customers who shop at rival drugstores like Duane Reade or CVS.

Coalition loyalty programs are new to the American retail space, but they are common in other countries. In Canada, the LoyaltyOne Air Miles program has more than 100 partners, and is used by 75% of households, according to Fortune. In the UK, loyalty rewards program Nectar includes Apple, Ford, and Vodafone. 70% of households in the UK use this rewards program. Fly Buys, the largest loyalty program in New Zealand, has over a million household members.

As American consumer loyalty rewards programs become more complex, retailers need sophisticated technology to handle all of the data they’re gathering. Retailers want to process customer information as efficiently as possible. Customers want the savings of loyalty rewards programs, but they don’t want to spend time filling out forms to get it. Acuant’s technology makes signing up for retail rewards programs simple by allowing cashiers to simply scan ID cards and driver’s licenses. Acuant’s idScan® software can be set up to immediately auto populate data from an ID into an integrated solution. This ensures that customer information is accurate, and allows retail employees to provide better customer service. With Acuant’s efficient ways to sign up for rewards programs, retailers can increase customer loyalty.

The value of credential capturing to start your business process.

Almost all business processes start with the need for customer information and identity verification.

Almost all business processes start with the need for customer information and identity verification. Think about the last time you submitted an insurance claim, applied for a credit card, signed up for a retail loyalty program, or even rented a car. Chances are that you didn’t just provide a wink and a smile on your way out the door, but you handed over some sort of identification….and waited. Yes, waited. Why for example, is picking up a rental car so painful? Why does it seem that everything must be laboriously written at the desk?

Wouldn’t it be more efficient if it went something like this….

  1. Insert credit card into machine – name, payment details, identification & license details, chosen insurance/upgrade options are all retrieved from system, with the car key dispensed along with a contract copy that includes location of car and a diagram listing all previously noted scratches/dents.
  1. Go to car. Inspect for any discrepancies between printed picture and reality, alerting nearby staff member if anything seen.
  1. Drive off.

That’s it. 5-10 minutes from arriving at the rental point and you’re out of the airport and on your way to wherever you need to go.

Is that an oversimplification? We don’t think so. We think that at the beginning of each business process is the ideal moment for great customer satisfaction and service. And automating the initial intake is the first step.

By automating information intake, you’ll increase accuracy, minimize customer waiting and irritation, and allow more time for customer interaction and connection. That automated process has to be easy for your team to use, too, so that they’ll have fewer keystrokes and forms. The result is that you’ll capture more and better information, and deliver real time insights directly to your team.

Automating information intake and identity verification also means that you’re able to identify a customer quickly and to process documentation effectively. Information from that captured ID can then be automatically populated into internal and external systems for verification, cross-referencing, and customer management to help you provide superior transactional services.

is where Acuant’s award-winning and patented credential management solutions come in.

What else can you expect with our solutions?

Speed. With Acuant, information intake can be completed in mere seconds, which adds up to substantial resource savings.

Accuracy. Whether you use our hardware or your own devices, our software delivers industry-leading accuracy.

Reliability. Acuant always stays a step ahead of the ever changing technological landscape, ensuring you with the most advance identity solution available.