It’s fascinating to see how people lived two hundred years ago.
The McLellan House in Portland, Maine was originally built by a shipping magnate in 1801. Through the efforts of the Portland Museum or Art, the McLellan House has been preserved as a wonderful place to learn about 19th century architecture and design. It's also a great place to learn how QR codes can deliver a better customer experience.
This past Friday night, my wife and I joined some friends in touring the house, and this was far more than a walk through. While there were no tour guides within the house, we came away from the tour having enjoyed a complete room-by-room learning experience.
What made the experience so fulfilling was the way that QR codes were placed surreptiously throughout the building; in many rooms and hallways, and on artifacts inside this stately mansion. The QR codes are used in an innovative way to enrich each patron’s experience, by delivering short contextual videos throughout the tour. Among them are a video of a master woodworker restoring the flying staircase (shown at left), and the creation of a painted floor cloth.
Like most consumers, I’ve become accustomed to seeing QR codes printed in magazine advertisements, as a direct link to a webpage, and as a way to draw the reader farther into lead qualification, or a sales process.
The Portland Museum of Art uses QR codes in an entirely different way; not to sell, but to serve; to serve their patrons with a richer, higher quality experience while touring an exhibit. This is in fact something that any business can do; using QR codes to deepen customer touch-points in a way to enrich the customers’ experience, and ultimately build customer loyalty.
So, how can you put QR codes to work in your business, in ways that will delight your customers, so that they tell more people about you? Think of the various high-traffic touch-points between your company and your customers, and then think about how live videos might enhance that touch-point.
For example, if you sell products that require assembly, consider printing a QR code on the front page of the assembly instructions. Your customer can take a picture of the code with his smart phone, and be brought directly to an on-line video that shows the customer how to assemble the product. That would be a lot easier for the customer to follow, than small-font text, wouldn’t it?
Check out this list to learn about some of the cool ways that others have used QR codes. Then think how you can do something similar for your customers.
If QR codes can tell the story of a 200-year old building, just think how they can create a rich history for your business.