Self-service kiosks are having a transformational impact across customer-facing industries. Much of the buzz is focused on retail and the quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector.
But that hardly scratches the surface of where kiosks are being used to reimagine the customer experience. Hotels, airports, cinemas, leisure attractions – you can also add more service-oriented sectors like healthcare.
Anywhere you provide a service of some sort to guests, visitors or customers, kiosks can make a difference.
That’s a testament to the flexibility of the kiosk concept. Over the past few years, we’ve seen use cases for kiosks multiply at breakneck speed, and the form and functionality of kiosks adapt to suit them all.
Again, that’s a real strength of kiosks. But from an end user’s perspective, it does have one downside. There are now so many types of kiosk to choose from, it can all seem a little bewildering. What’s the right one for your business? How do you choose?
Ultimately, self-service is all about providing guests and customers with options that make their experience easier, more convenient, and more pleasurable. The best advice for choosing a kiosk is to forget about the technology. Focus on the experience instead. If you choose the right kiosk vendor (like Acante!), it’s our job to pick the technology to match the experience you want to provide.
Mapping out the self-service experience
Of course, it might not be immediately obvious what kind of ‘self-service experience’ you want to give to your guests. Especially if you are new to self-service technology. So here’s how we advise breaking down what you want from kiosks.
First, be clear about the purpose of introducing self-service kiosks. You can do this by asking a very simple question – what are they for? Be as specific as you can. For example, if you run a hotel, it’s easy to say you want kiosks to offer self-service checkout to guests. But that doesn’t answer the why. Is it to smooth the process so guests can get to their room quicker? Is it so you can offer 24-hour check-in? Is it so you can automate key processes and have less staff on reception?
Bear in mind that you might well have several different objectives a kiosk can fill. That’s fine – it’s another benefit of kiosk flexibility. Going back to the hotel lobby or reception, is check-in the only service you want to provide to guests there? What about booking trips or reserving a table in the restaurant, for example? Or in larger hotel complexes, providing interactive maps to help guests find their way around?
The more services you can collate on the same kiosk, the more convenient things are for your guests. You can also save space and resources. Deploying kiosks for multiple uses does have implications for the type you choose and what functionality they offer. But this is a benefit of taking a modular approach to kiosk manufacturing we take as Acante. Whatever functionality you need, we can include the right components to deliver it.
In summary, then, if you do feel overwhelmed with choice when it comes to choosing the right kiosk, the answer is to turn all of those possibilities to your advantage. Kiosks can do pretty much anything you like. If you focus on the self-service experience you want guests and customers to have, leave it to us to make the right picks to deliver.