Implementing a self-service solution can streamline your business operations and reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction and return visits.
This guide will go over the basics of self-service kiosks, help you decide whether your business or organization would be a good fit for a new kiosk project, and get you started on the right foot.
What is a self-service kiosk?
A self-service kiosk is an interactive tablet or touchscreen computer that allows a customer to access information or services without directly interacting with a person.
Implementing self-service kiosks can allow a business to scale operations more quickly and efficiently while at the same time reducing costs.
Visitors can perform self-service activities independently without waiting for employee assistance while employees can focus on other tasks that provide more value to customers or benefit from face-to-face interaction.
How are self-service kiosks used?
There are hundreds of potential use cases for self-service solutions - some of the most common include:
Ordering & self-checkout
Allow customers to place and pay for an order at a kiosk station. Present consistent cross-sell and up-sell promotions, track and manage sales, and shorten lines.
Visitor check-in & queue management
Check-in kiosks can screen visitors, track who should be seen next, notify relevant staff members automatically, and help manage wait times.
Product info & endless aisle
Let customers browse and purchase items that may not currently be in stock due to space or inventory constraints. Scan physical items to return a quick price check.
Customer registration & loyalty
Collect customer information to build a mailing list or marketing campaign. Track repeat visits using a kiosk, allowing you to easily reward and incentivize your best customers.
Wayfinding & directories
Large buildings and corporate campuses can be often difficult for visitors to navigate. Tablet kiosks can be used as interactive directories, allowing visitors to look up the location of specific offices or access maps and directions.
What are the benefits of self-service kiosks?
Shorter wait times
Self-service systems put visitors in control of the process. Once installed, self-service kiosks are an ‘always on’ resource that don’t require scheduling or predetermined shift lengths, adding extra capacity at peak times and during unexpected rushes. Decreased wait times can also result in faster customer turnover.
For ordering and point-of-sale use cases, self-service kiosks have been shown to increase average order size by 15-30%. Kiosks allow for easy customization and upsell opportunities with options that can be clearly laid out and presented consistently every time during the ordering process.
While self-service kiosks do not replace employees, they can make operations more efficient and reduce costs by streamlining frequent, repeated interactions with customers.
Greater privacy & data security
Self-service through a kiosk gives customers a sense of anonymity and the ability to increase their order or make special requests without feeling judged.
For situations where private or otherwise personal information is being shared, entering information directly into a kiosk reduces the number of employees touching that data, making it more secure.
Improved accuracy and fewer errors
Kiosks can provide clear and consistent messaging that helps the visitor understand their options step-by-step as needed.
As the customer is entering their order or data directly into the system, there is less chance for miscommunication. Since data is directly entered into the system, there are also fewer chances of illegible handwriting or mislaid paper forms or tickets.
Enhanced customer insight
Analytics embedded into your kiosk system can provide a wealth of information about your customers and how they see your business and products.
Decreased points of contact
Self-service kiosks allow visitors to complete transactions without direct contact with staff members and support social distancing.
Increased customer satisfaction
While self-service is not a new concept, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed how customers interacted with businesses, quickly accelerating the uptake of new technologies and methods of communication. Self-service kiosks extend this type of interaction to your physical locations, allowing visitors to choose how and when they interact directly with staff.
Do kiosks replace workers?
Let’s start with the misconception that when kiosks are implemented, workers should expect to lose their jobs. While self-service kiosks frequently make a business more efficient, they are not a direct replacement for employees.
Now think about the types of tasks people are best at - understanding and responding to questions, connecting with others, troubleshooting. In environments where self-service solutions are implemented, employees are still needed to:
Think about the types of tasks that computers are best at - in most cases, they are repeatable workflows that work with specific pieces of data.
answer questions and offer opinions or solutions
help customers with using the kiosk - even as people become increasingly familiar with these types of interfaces and they become easier to use, visitors will inevitably need help
troubleshoot technical issues
assist with complex tasks that are outside the scope of a kiosk
A number of fast-casual restaurants that have implemented self-service kiosks at tables use them to augment the customer experience, rather than replacing the traditional restaurant experience altogether.
Wait staff continue to greet customers, answer questions, and take the main order while the kiosk is available for time-sensitive tasks, like ordering appetizers or drinks, flagging staff members that the table needs them, or requesting and paying the check at the end of the meal.
The best self-service solutions are designed to complement your customers’ interactions with staff, not to replace them.
Post time: May-19-2022