A self-serving kiosk is a terminal that can show information or interact with people. Due to this self-serving kiosk, customers are given control of getting their needs fulfilled, leading to reduced waiting time and streamlining the process. These kiosks are present almost everywhere with unrestricted, public access like movie halls, quick-pay restaurants, and other commercial establishments to reduce lines and faster service completion.
Such automated kiosk machines are also helpful in checking in and out of hotels, offices, which allows vendors and airports services to direct their employees in other related tasks, which saves time for the business and the customer. Hence, the increase in self-service kiosks is the leading cause of the rise in the production of kiosk paper rolls. The various ways and methods of using self-service kiosks with the help of automation are explored and understood here.
Meaning of automation for kiosk manufacturers
The idea that customers can help themselves is already a reality in the field of customer service. However, at the very beginning, people preferred human help instead of getting help from the self-service kiosks since it was thought to be helpful only for the business and not for the customers.
Such a thought process can also be attributed to the fact that such self-service systems were complicated and hard to understand. However, with the coming together of innovations based on technology and high-tech communication, the self-ordering kiosk technology gained favor and got the ability to help people due to the easy-to-use interaction and improved understandability by machines. The following are the types of self-service kiosks:
- Information Kiosk – These provide information about a place or exhibit and may or may not be interactive.
- Bill Payment Kiosk – These help customers pay bills for the services they are using.
- Video Teller Kiosk – Integrates video conferencing and allows people to make quick video calls with operators.
- Visitor Management Kiosk – These kiosks provide an end-to-end solution for visitor management in every way possible.
Automated Kiosk Used By
From that time onwards, self-service kiosks are being viewed as an option that saves time and cost at the same time. Moreover, with minimal interaction between human staff, the outcome does not happen unless the machines fail and need human intervention. The following are some of the mentionable use cases for self-service kiosks:
A prominent example of governments using self-service kiosks is the check-in and check-out systems and visitor management kiosks placed at various sectors. Besides creating smart cities and government kiosks, self-service kiosks are also valuable for providing services like directions to a specific location, general alerts for people, help in searching for necessary information, or VoIP calls.
Various sectors like airlines, Hospitality, or retail use kiosks modified to adjust as per their verticals. These kiosks are helpful in transactions or providing specific services for customers like menus for restaurants, inventory availability for stores, travel plans for travel agencies and the customers, and many more.
In this field, self-service kiosks are the go-to solutions for check-in and payment at areas like leisure and amusement parks or fitness centers. Additionally, these areas have ticketing kiosks that help in quick access to all these services. Due to the presence of self-service terminals, the need for attendants becomes obsolete.
Self-servicing kiosks in retail are increasing in numbers due to a variety of reasons. However, some of the main reasons that can be attributed to the increase are as follows:
1) Higher profits
2) Better customer experience, and
3) Improved efficiency among staff
Health care with self-service kiosks
Automated kiosk use in hospitals helps patients or their families with the following:
- check-in for scheduled appointments in less than a few minutes. With the help of a customer self-service kiosk, payments can be made quickly.
- Automated kiosk machines can directly inform the patient about their health conditions to improve their health.
- Additionally, these kiosks help patients remember to purchase medicines for themselves or place orders for their refills and provide self-care diagnostic and dispensing kits for simple medical issues and tests.
Travel and Hospitality with self-ordering kiosk technology
- In current times, almost all forms of transport rely on self-service kiosks, which allow passengers to check-in by themselves.
- Self-service kiosk technology is used to book a reservation at dining establishments or spas, to search for local attractions to entertain themselves.
- Having language options in the automated kiosk machines allows people with different languages to follow instructions better.
Restaurants and customer self service kiosk
- Quick-service restaurants can help customers place their orders at the earliest without the need for human intervention.
- Due to an automated service kiosk, the staff can pay more attention to other customer service areas and provide better service.
- Suppose, for any reason, the payment counters are closed. In that case, the customer can complete their payment at the aforementioned self-serve kiosk, which is extremely easy to customize and can help disabled people.
Automated Kiosks at Financial institutions
- When it comes to financial institutions like banks, self-service kiosks are the best solution to reduce waiting times.
- Self-service kiosks act in more than one way to provide financial solutions to their customers during and out of working hours.
- Some other applications of self-service kiosks or automated kiosks are retail industry, offices and are a great way to access services during the pandemic.
Automation is leading to increases in usage of self-serve kiosk
Current uses of the self-service kiosk are as follows:
1) Amazon Locker – With the help of Amazon locker, customers can choose to get their packages delivered to a locker at any participating store. Then as per their convenience, the packages get picked up after cross-verification.
2) Staples Omnichannel Kiosks – Staples provides access to customers looking for specific products and purchasing them with their credit or debit cards to eliminate unnecessary waiting times.
3) Starbucks Self-Serve Kiosks – Through the “bean-to-cup technology” in a touchscreen kiosk, Starbucks provides freshly brewed coffee that can be paid for by a debit or credit card.
Future of self-service kiosks
Self-service kiosks in the future will assimilate the best in responsive technology like sensors and accelerators that will update information in real-time. At the same time, also understand contextual information to ensure that the information provided is modifiable, connected to the current needs, and up to date. As a result, these kiosks will reduce human effort, become more suitable for environmental changes, and provide more investment returns.