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Using Biometrics to Improve Customer Experience (CX)

Posted April 28th, 2023 in Articles

Panera Bread recently made national headlines when it rolled out palm-scanning technology to allow customers to earn loyalty points and pay for their meals. But, while it is certainly noteworthy that a major retail chain like Panera Bread is implementing this type of biometric technology in its cafés, the technology itself isn’t exactly new. In fact, Panera Bread is using technology developed by Amazon—which Amazon has already used in its retail stores—and many other companies have already adopted palm scanning, face scanning, finger scanning and other biometric methods of identification.

Even so, with biometric customer scanning in the headlines, we expect that more companies will seek to utilize this technology. If you are interested in exploring how your company can use biometric technology—whether with customers, employees or independent contractors—what do you need to know?

Key Considerations for Companies Seeking to Adopt Biometric Technologies

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) provides a nice overview of some of the key business considerations involved with using biometrics. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Trust Still Matters

Although most U.S. consumers are gradually becoming accustomed to companies collecting their data and using it for business purposes, trust still matters. While consumers may be more willing to trust that a major corporation like Amazon or Panera Bread will protect their data (though both companies have certainly faced resistance from some customers), they may be less willing to put a similar amount of trust into smaller and less well-known companies.

With this in mind, when deploying biometric technologies, companies need to prioritize trust. If customers know how their data will be used and who (or what other companies) will have access, this can go a long way toward increasing the rate of adoption.

2. Speed Isn’t Everything

As the authors of the HBR article note, “speed isn’t everything . . . a smooth customer experience doesn’t just mean how quickly customers can achieve what they want . . . it’s also about privacy and trust.” This is especially true when it comes to new technologies like biometric scanning. If customers simply arrive at a scanning kiosk without any information about how their biometric data will be used, their interaction with the kiosk will be quick—but it also might not happen. On the other hand, if the user interface walks customers through what they want to know (whether they consciously realize that they want to know it or not), the interaction might take slightly longer, but the interaction rate could also be significantly higher.

3. Not Everyone Will Be on Board (At Least Not Right Away)

Even if the majority of your company’s customers are comfortable with biometric scanning, there will be some customers who aren’t. With this in mind, biometric scanning should not be customers’ only option—at least not right away. Over time, as resistant customers get used to seeing their peers use scanners, they might come on board. But, until then, it will be important for companies to acknowledge that some people just aren’t ready to have their palm or face scanned every time they walk through a door.

Questions? Schedule a Consultation at Mithras Investments

Do you have questions about how your company can use biometric scanning? If so, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule an appointment with a business consultant at Mithras Investments, please call 305-517-7911 or contact us online today.

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