Self-service kiosks have been around since the 1980s and have evolved to provide consumers with an experience like no other. Recently they have started to gain momentum, growing at a steady 10% rate in North America according to IHL Group. This growth can be attributed to the resolution of various problems in day to day business activities and the enhancement of the customer’s experience.
They are faster and less error-prone. They enable connection and a truly omnichannel experience. They allow customers to get the information on their terms, a trend more customers are growing to expect.
There have been many successful deployments in self-service kiosks in various sectors. A successful kiosk deployment replaces a current service that is currently being carried out manually or meets the demand for a service that is not currently available.
What is a Self-Service Kiosk?
A self-service kiosk is a freestanding structure that holds a computer terminal featuring specialized hardware and software that provides access to information and applications for communication, commerce, entertainment, or education. With a kiosk, businesses can deploy next-generation interactive HD displays with relevant, engaging content. Consumers are provided with unique education with stunning visual imagery on products, promotions, and custom items. Self-service kiosks have helped improve efficiency and profitability for businesses across all industries including airports, fast food restaurants, healthcare, banks, retail and hospitality.
How Does a Self-Service Kiosk Work?
A successful self-service kiosk implementation incorporates traditional interaction with customers as well as the digital interaction provided by the kiosk. Additionally, self-service kiosks can be tailored to many forms, including standing kiosks and ruggedized tablets in bolted bases at your tables. The way they are implemented depends on the unique needs of a business.
THE PARTS OF A KIOSK INCLUDE:
- Computer or Central Processing Unit (CPU) – The machine that allows software applications to work.
- Components – This allows the kiosk to be customized. They assist with the functionality of the kiosk. They include card readers, barcode scanners, receivers, etc.
- User interface (UI) – The UI allows the user and software to connect. It can be a touch screen or keyboard or any other device that enables the user to interact with the machine.
- Enclosure – This is the outer shell of the kiosk that holds the computer, components, display and all other internal elements of the kiosk.
All elements are important to ensure a functional and effective end product. The kiosk’s software is also important and can be a standard solution or customized depending on the business’s needs. It creates the interactive element, enabling the kiosk to perform various functions in a user-friendly format. The software can also provide a customized user interface, remote management functions, and security.
Security in kiosks is a major concern for businesses, the right software can eliminate any risks. Businesses can design their kiosk software to shut down all but the necessary actions and limit security permissions for speciﬁc users. Kiosk software even has the ability to wipe certain sensitive data after sessions or at the end of the day to prevent theft.
Different types of Self-Serve Kiosks
Retail: Consumers can be served at a faster rate by fewer people when self-checkout systems are implemented, resulting in long-term cost savings. Self-checkout technology has increased margins for retailers. Retailers can also use kiosks for store operations that increase employee efficiency.
Government: Local, state and federal government agencies use kiosks for an array of solutions such as license renewal, bill payment, security check-in, passport screening, and more.
Fast-Food: A kiosk in a fast-food restaurant can upsell on every screen and every transaction. This can encourage diners to add items they may not have otherwise ordered. Fast food giant McDonald’s reported that its average check size went up 30% after implementing self- checkouts.
Banking: Financial kiosks give banking customers the ability to carry out transactions at a more convenient channel. They allow customers to complete 90% of the transactions traditionally handled by a teller, without assistance.
Healthcare: Kiosks in hospitals and doctors offices allow patients to check-in for appointments and help streamline administrative tasks like hospital registration and payment.
Airline: Airports utilize kiosks to decrease wait times by 39% for U.S. citizens and 18% for foreign passport holders.
What are the Benefits of a Self-Serve Kiosk?
Self-service kiosk’s allow companies to reach out to more customers while increasing revenue and sales opportunities. The implementation of a self-service kiosk has many benefits for a business that include:
Improved customer experience: Product information like pricing, availability, and features are easily accessible to consumers. The convenience of a kiosk provides customers with an enhanced buying experience that will increase consumer loyalty. More importantly, it improves the turnaround time on transactions.
Increased Advertising: They are generally located in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. Placing kiosks in strategic places with catchy messages and offers can attract more customers and build a greater brand identity. Overall, they can help strengthen brand awareness and reach, stimulate interest, and ultimately increase sales.
Reduced costs: Although greater initial start-up costs are necessary to purchase and set up a kiosk, the monthly expenses to maintain a kiosk tend to be much lower. They reduce the number of employees, thus reducing labor costs. However, companies that have implemented self-service kiosks suggest that the kiosks should be viewed less as labor reduction. Instead, kiosks serve more as a tool for employees to support more challenging job functions. This additional work contributes to a business’s overall profitability and revenue. Empowering customers with self-service options permits a business to deliver a higher level of service. Since the kiosks can be programmed to cater to specific needs, it allows a workforce to take care of things that add more value to the business.
How can OCR Canada help you implement a Self-Serve Kiosk?
OCR Canada has been a global leader in providing kiosk, barcode, mobile computing, point of sale, and RFID solutions. OCR specialize in fully automated solutions in the manufacturing, warehouse & distribution, transportation & logistics, and retail environments. As a self-service expert, OCR can help formalize a strategy to implement self-service kiosks to enhance operational efficiencies for your business and boost the customer’s experience.