Self-service kiosks: what’s the problem?
The benefits of self-service kiosks are obvious. They reduce queueing times, improve service availability and cut staffing costs.
However, businesses are often concerned that self-service kiosks will rob them of control over their brand image.
Without a trained member of staff involved in the transaction, businesses are essentially entrusting the representation of their corporate image to a faceless, soulless machine.
Don’t websites suffer from the same issue?
Websites are not entirely free from this problem, although things like live chat support can help to alleviate it.
However, websites are safely hidden away on the Internet, and only people who are already tech-savvy will use them.
Self-service kiosks are often used to support or even replace staff on site, and may be used by people who are unfamiliar with technology.
So what should I do about it?
Badly implemented self-service solutions will result in a negative customer experience. This won’t just make customers less likely to use your kiosks – it will make them lose faith in your brand too.
On the other hand, a positive customer experience will build trust and loyalty and set you apart from your competitors.
Here are three ways to reflect your brand positively through self-service kiosks:
Optimise the digital experience.
Websites have advanced phenomenally in recent years, with the focus being on engagement and accessibility on different platforms and for different people.
These techniques are directly transferrable to self-service. The dawn of touchscreen technology has been particularly beneficial for the industry, both making self-service kiosks easier to use and equipping customers to use them.
Make the most of these technological advances by implementing a well-designed, easy-to-use interface that focuses on clarity and conveys your brand’s message.
Plan the physical experience carefully.
It takes a lot of time, money and effort to design and install self-service solutions, yet too many businesses opt for bland, generic installations.
These insipid offerings suggest the business doesn’t fully believe in self-service and is just testing the waters. If you don’t have faith in the idea, why should your customers?
Your self-service solution should embody your brand. It should be attractive and inviting, with appropriately branded signage and equipment.
Make sure human help is at hand.
In the initial stages of your self-service solution, having a friendly face nearby to answer questions can be a huge help for your customers.
It may seem counter-intuitive to have members of staff as well as self-service kiosks, but no matter how good your hardware and software, there will inevitably be times when things don’t quite go to plan.
Customers may be confused or need guidance on how to operate the kiosk. Being left to flounder will frustrate them, but having somebody on hand to help them out will vastly improve their experience and increase the chances of them using the kiosk again.
Self-service kiosks are a great way to reinforce your brand image.
If implemented wisely they can improve customer loyalty, build trust and increase engagement with your brand.