When an organization invests in new technology, they want to see an immediate and measurable ROI. However, this model of assessing success does not always work across the board.
Take courtrooms for example. They are not so much interested in making profits as they are in reducing costs, streamlining processes, and creating a more pleasant visitor experience.
So while the same tools and technologies that businesses are using to increase profits do provide value to courts, that value has to be measured through a more qualitative approach.
How to Determine Qualitative ROI
Just like for-profit businesses, courtrooms are responsible for justifying the cost of implementing new technologies.
The problem is, numbers only don’t always tell the whole story or even the most important part of the story.
So how do you determine the qualitative benefits? Ask the following questions:
- Will digital signage help in the running of the court? If so, how?
- Will the technology boost staff morale?
- Will the technology make courtroom operations more effective?
- Will it enhance the visitor experience?
- Will it save staff hours?
The Real ROI
The qualitative ROI (the real ROI) of courtroom digital signage is the benefits that, while tough to quantify, have a strong impact on the organization.
Improved Efficiency and Throughput
Courtroom signage reduces the consumption of paper — both a qualitative and quantitative benefit.
It also increases the efficiency of court clerks. Digital signage offers centralized control so content can be disseminated across multiple displays simultaneously. This decreases the time and improves the speed with which clerks circulate information.
It also increases the accuracy of the information displayed. Changes can be made instantaneously to provide the most up-to-date information. These updates can be made remotely which creates an opportunity for real-time interaction and makes it easy for court clerks to react dynamically. Such direct control of communication has a significant impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of courts.
For courthouse staff, courtroom signage can be a “virtual assistant.” The technology reduces their workload, avoids unnecessary interruptions, and streamlines complicated processes which improves their morale and productivity. This shift in attitude inevitably trickles down to visitors and allows them to enjoy service.
Improved Visitor Experience
Courtroom signage has the potential to significantly improve the visitor experience.
One way it improves the experience is by displaying dockets on a digital docket display, allowing visitors to quickly find their case information. The displays tell visitors exactly where they need to be and when, which reduces anxiety and agitation. And if they’ve lost their paperwork or simply want to double-check their info, all they have to do is quickly glance at the displays.
The digital real estate in courtroom signage means clerks can add extra resources on the docket display. For instance, clerks can also display court announcements to help visitors prepare for their hearing or show weather and traffic to help them plan for their drive.
Clerks can also use signage to create a calm environment. Going to court can be a stressful affair and testy visitors make the process even more difficult than it needs to be. Court clerks can display motivational quotes or relaxing imagery to ease tension and anxiety and create a calm environment.
Easy Courtroom Navigation
Court clerks are increasingly using courtroom digital signage to improve navigation starting the moment a visitor enters the courthouse.
Digital signage at courtroom entrances improves the security screening process by clearly communicating the rules. The digital signs display exactly what items are not allowed in the courthouse, what needs to be emptied from pockets and purses, which items need to run through x-ray, etc. Not only does this prevent confusion and delays, it allows guards to stay more alert and aware of their surroundings, which ultimately increases courthouse safety.
Courtroom signage is also great for wayfinding. Courthouses can be cavernous buildings with multiple floors and dozens of courtrooms. By posting clear directions on digital signage screens, court clerks are able to control traffic and reduce congestion. Visitors are able to easily navigate to their destination without minimal staff input.
Digital signs are specially designed to not only catch the eye, but to simplify information, making even complicated directions easy to understand. Visitors and staff alike stand to benefit from the wayfinding prowess of digital signage.
Better Emergency Preparedness & Communication
Digital signage has become an invaluable tool that allows security personnel to instantly communicate any emergency information.
In the event of an emergency, courtroom signage can be used as emergency messaging solutions. Emergency alert templates can be prepared in advance and stored in the system. During an emergency, these alerts, including CAP alerts from local and national sources, can take over the displays and override current content to provide information about the emergency and instructions on what to do.
Communication is at the heart of efficient courtrooms and courthouse signage provides a great vehicle for communicating with staff and visitors.
The qualitative results of improved convenience, productivity and courtroom experiences result in a cost/benefit balance that makes the technology well worth the investment.
While the ROI of courtroom signage may not be visible on a spreadsheet, the effects can be observed on a daily basis.