Surveillance in your business may sometimes be a necessity. Dangers to your business and your employees range from the financial to the physical. Time has shown that cameras cut down on theft and, more importantly, act as an effective deterrent by making sure you aren’t targeted in the first place. Today’s surveillance systems are significantly more advanced than they were just a couple of years ago.
They can be used to:
When Washington University’s Lamar Pierce did a study that looked at the impact of video monitoring on employee behavior at almost 400 restaurants, the results were a little surprising. Employee theft predictably went down. (This is a big deal for that industry because profit margins are so thin, and traditions like giving out a free round to get a big tip are standard practice for a lot of servers.) The unexpected thing, however, was that productivity and sales actually went up even more than theft went down.
Liability can affect a small business in any number of ways. A customer can have an accident on your property and sue you for damages. Employees can file a harassment, discrimination, or other suits against you. Depending on what industry you’re in, you might also need to have records handy for compliance issues. The key is to make it clear to employees that the video cameras are there for their protection and that, no matter what happens, the recording will have their back if a situation gets out of hand.
The key when it comes to looking at customer behavior is to figure out an organized way to turn your video into data. You need to find a way to take what you’re looking at and turn it into numbers that you can slice into different perspectives. For every customer journey, you want to know where they were and when, so that you can look at both what sections of your business are popular, and also if that varies by time of day or day of week. These insights might make you rethink your ground plan, spacing out the most popular sections of the store so you can drive traffic to less popular sections that might benefit from more attention.