Self-service technology has enormously simplified many aspects of our lives and has made everyday transactions smoother and faster. While this type of technology is not new, it has become increasingly popular in recent years, and according to some studies, the global self-service tech market is expected to grow by almost $5bn by 2022.
In particular, the popularity and importance of self-service kiosks show no signs of stopping, and in fact 2018 has been described as a banner year for self-service kiosks. This is partly due to the latest technological advances, to a better understanding and first-hand experience of the inherent benefits of this technology, as well as to other parallel developments, such as the growth of omni-channel and mobile retail / customer service options.
The importance of self-service kiosks is also evident in how quickly they have been adopted by a wide variety of industry sectors. Some of the most common uses of self-service kiosks are:
- In the transportation sector (e.g. airports, train and coach stations, airport parking facilities)
- Retail (e.g. supermarkets, shopping centres, clothing and electronics stores)
- Tourism (e.g. tourist information centres, hotels)
- Food and beverage, a rather recent development that has seen some fast-food chains set up self-order kiosks
If you think about the sectors and scenarios described above, you will realise they have one thing in common, and that is these are places where large volumes of transactions take place, and they need to be carried out quickly and efficiently. There's another factor contributing to the growing importance of self-service kiosks: the fact that they are highly versatile and can handle a variety of tasks such as placing orders, paying for products, scanning product prices, issuing / printing travel tickets and boarding passes, issuing receipts, checking in passengers and scanning their travel documents, printing baggage tags, etc.
Having said that, one of the key reasons behind the growing importance of self-service kiosks in the global business scene involves the multiple benefits this technology entails.
Four Key Benefits Of Self-Service Kiosks
- Ease of use – This is a key factor when it comes to creating solid customer engagement, especially when self-service kiosks are combined with other convenient technologies, like cashless payments. As an example, Tossed restaurants in London have successfully implemented cashless kiosks that allow customers to browse the menu, get more information about each dish, self-order, and pay using a contactless card.
- Expanded customer choice – Allowing self-service technology users to take on a more active role has been a crucial factor in the rising importance of self-service kiosks. This type of kiosks give users more control and add an element of co-creation to the customer experience, as proven by a study carried out by the Dublin Institute of Technology, which interviewedusers of self-check-in kiosks at an airport and showed that the co-creation of value was an important factor in driving customers to this type of technology.
- Improved customer retention and customer acquisition -
Self-service kiosks eliminate the need for long queues and long waits, and instead offer an interactive solution that helps customers get things done when they want and how they want. This type of fluid experience can help retain and attract customers, especially those who are comfortable with technology and those who expect to find self-service options as a norm, as is the case of the Millennial generation, which places high value in personalization and interactive micro-experiences. Self-service technology also takes into account the preferences of more autonomous customers who prefer to get things done or to find answers by themselves, and of those who enjoy trying new ways of doing things. As long as the interface is well designed and intuitive, self-service kiosks can help attract customers of all ages and walks of life.
- Improved brand perception – Investing in modern self-service tech solutions can help position your brand as an innovative and forward-looking business that goes the extra mile to provide a great customer experience. In turn, this can lead to higher customer loyalty levels if self-service options are paired with rewards programmes or loyalty card kiosks, which have already contributed to turning customers into brand advocates in the case of some restaurants and airlines. Also, don't forget that self-service kiosks can be used for advertising purposes, bringing in revenue both from direct and indirect sources.
As you can see, there are many reasons behind the growing importance of self-service kiosks. They have the potential to help create stronger customer relationships and also to boost your bottom line, bringing in higher revenues.
If you are looking for a reliable partner who can help you design and deliver a user experience that makes a positive impression and helps attract loyal customers, get in touch with L-Display. We are experienced suppliers of self-service kiosk technology and know how to make it work for your industry sector.