Customer Engagement Strategies  Powered by Connected Experiences 

Connected experiences can drive more and better customer engagement.

What can businesses do to make the most of every customer engagement? A growing number of organizations are taking advantage of 5G’s advanced networking capabilities to deliver digital experiences that are not only faster, more responsive, and highly reliable, but truly enhance the customer experience.

After all, today’s customer wants and even expects to be fully connected—whether at an entertainment venue, retail store, airport, medical facility, or elsewhere.

5G's performance advantages can enable new and improved retail shopping, lightning-fast gaming, immersive sports and entertainment, advanced virtual healthcare, and many other differentiating customer experiences. 

5G also lays the groundwork for business intelligence that can lead to happier, more loyal, and engaged customers. Here are but a few of the many ways businesses are using 5G to improve the user experience and create more value for their customers.

Business intelligence at massive scale.

For years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been providing connectivity to everything from smart meters to sports watches. Now with 5G, IoT gains even more capacity to communicate with virtually as many devices as a business and its customers require. Whatever the industry, this IoT ubiquity brings countless insights for inventory and other business operations. Just as importantly, the power and scope of 5G can also greatly improve the customer experience.

For instance, in an amusement park, the increased capacity enabled by 5G can allow operators to use cameras and sensors to monitor the flow of people. Using data analytics, the park can direct visitors via texts to attractions with shorter wait times. For the park’s patrons, that means more fun and less frustration.

“Using 5G, a retailer can be a lot smarter about how they’re allocating their resources than ever before. In even the vastest big-box store, 5G can deliver both cost savings and a more engaged, happier customer.”

Ryan Taylor, Head of Retail Product Marketing at T-Mobile for Business

“They can help you strategize which rides to do and minimize the amount of time you’ll spend in lines,” says Waqar Shaikh, Vice President of Digital Technology Solutions for T-Mobile for Business. “You can have a much better experience.”

Employing the greater capacity of 5G, amusement park maintenance teams can use augmented reality (AR) to assist them in identifying any equipment problems and make rapid, error-free repairs. That can reduce ride downtimes, improve customer satisfaction, and boost profitability. The more robust network of connected smart devices and sensors can also be used to direct staff to overflowing trash cans or restrooms in need of supplies so facilities can be cleaner and better stocked to meet customer expectations.

Or consider in-person retail settings and the various ways 5G-enabled business intelligence technologies can enhance the consumer experience. The expanded bandwidth and more reliable connectivity can provide real-time visibility into the supply chain and a store’s on-hand stock. Using this data, store personnel equipped with handheld devices can let customers know precisely whether an item is in stock and where they can find it.

What’s more, sensors and cameras support heat-mapping that can help retailers identify high and low traffic areas and reduce wait times—and maximize sales opportunities—by dispatching personnel to wherever they are needed, driving both customer satisfaction and profitability. These same technologies can ensure that shelves are stocked and can alert employees to spills and other places where immediate attention is needed.

“Using 5G, a retailer can be a lot smarter about how they’re allocating their resources than ever before,” says Ryan Taylor, Head of Retail Product Marketing at T-Mobile for Business. In even the vastest big-box store, 5G can deliver both cost savings and a more engaged, happier customer.

Unified commerce solutions.

The business world is already well along on the journey to a retail future that is a seamless, integrated shopping experience—whether in-store, online, or anywhere in between. Sometimes called unified commerce, this modern approach consolidates all of a brand’s channels—brick-and-mortar, website, and mobile app—along with payment and management systems and everything else that goes into the customer relationship.

The more friction-free the shopper experience, the greater likelihood of repeat clientele. “We can fast track our products and provide fast payment services to our customers,” a 5G business user commented in a T-Mobile for Business survey of IT and network decision-makers who have already adopted the technology.

“I don't think anyone's going to try on lipstick anymore. It's going to be augmented reality that lets them see what it looks like on their face.”

Roopi Crowley, Managing Director, Strategic Accounts - Retail

Unified commerce creates new sales opportunities. To cite but one example among many: A retailer may be able to see that a customer has left a forgotten item in an online shopping cart. Because the company knows that the customer was initially interested in buying the product, the question becomes: How can the retailer make that connection in real time? And how do they encourage the customer to follow through on the purchase? Equipped with real-time data intelligence, the retailer might offer an instant discount on the item to close the sale.

“Retailers are spending a lot of time talking about that item I leave in my market basket,” says Roopi Crowley, Managing Director, Strategic Accounts - Retail.

These are hyper-competitive times for big-box stores and other retailers that still maintain a physical presence. The Covid pandemic accelerated the growth of ecommerce, applying even greater pressure to an already stressed sector. In 2020 alone, digital retail spending in the U.S. jumped by 43 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These days, if customers are going to physically visit a store, they need a top-notch shopping experience that is worth their time.

5G enables tech advances—including AR, RFID, and heat-mapping—that help merchants enhance a customer’s visit and can drive sales. Adding private 5G, base stations, and other 5G infrastructure, a store can even introduce “magic mirrors” that allow a customer to virtually try on a garment or experiment with different cosmetics.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to try on lipstick anymore. It’s going to be augmented reality that lets them see what it looks like on their face,” Crowley says. 5G’s connectivity and capacity can also allow for holographic technology that can showcase items that might not be in stock at that store.

Deloitte experts suggest retailers consider the future possibilities for customer experience and store operations using 5G, edge computing, and other next-generation infrastructure. “Begin with proofs of concept to test impact, cost, and technology readiness,” says Deloitte, “and use the data gathered to build the business case for transformation at scale.”

Immersive entertainment through mixed reality.

Imagine an amusement park where customers wear virtual reality (VR) glasses while on a fast-moving ride. On a log flume ride, for instance, it can appear as if they’re going over a towering waterfall, adding to its thrill. The reliability, speed, and low latency of 5G makes that virtual enhancement possible.

5G allows technology like VR and AR glasses to be nearly as thin as a normal pair of sunglasses—making for lower hardware costs, more fashionable design, and a superior experience.

Or maybe they’re at a professional baseball game and AR glasses grant them access to enhanced stats and a trove of video, including instant replay and multiple viewing angles—no matter where the spectator is in a stadium. That’s among the innovations we at T-Mobile have demonstrated at T-Mobile Park, where Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners play. While attending games, fans have used these smart glasses to get an enhanced, immersive digital experience. Thanks to 5G, fans can remain connected even when venturing away from their seats.

The virtues of 5G paired with VR, AR, and other extended reality (XR) experiences aren’t limited to cumbersome, boxy headsets. While streaming over a 4G network can involve a noticeable time lag for these kinds of experiences, 5G allows technology like VR and AR glasses to be nearly as thin as a normal pair of sunglasses. This can mean lower hardware costs, more fashionable design, and a superior experience.

The bottom line: Theme parks and stadiums need to innovate. Stadium operators need to keep fans engaged during downtime in play and provide an enhanced experience. Business leaders who run amusement parks need to amp up the spectacle. In these and many other contexts, XR and 5G are enabling innovations that can keep customers coming back.

A return on investment: happier customers.

Our recent T-Mobile for Business survey, which polled IT and network decision-makers already working with 5G, found that 39 percent of respondents from companies with 1,000 employees or more have begun using 5G to improve customer experiences. Many of those respondents cite customer service improvements, with nearly one quarter (23 percent) saying that adopting 5G has already helped their organization engage customers. Line of business leaders can assume their most aggressive competitors are already making the switch.

Sure, 5G offers cost-savings and other benefits to the bottom line. But forward-thinking organizations are demonstrating that it can deliver the ultimate return on investment: happier, more loyal customers.

2022 5G Innovation Study: Understanding adoption & opportunities.

Read the latest data on how business leaders are leveraging 5G to optimize their business operations. The insights in this report will open opportunities to make your customers and employees happier and help you innovate new products.

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