Customer service can be a tricky business. In almost any industry, if you operate out of a brick-and-mortar establishment, your clientele on the premises will often outnumber your employees on hand. This imbalance can result in customer frustration if they must wait in long lines, hunt for an associate to ask a question, or leave the store because they can’t find what they’re looking for with no one to direct them to it.
One solution that many companies are turning to in this digital age is the interactive kiosk, which can alleviate problems while providing numerous benefits to business owners. In fact, these interactive touch screen kiosks enjoyed their third straight year of double-digit growth in 2019.
If you're just starting to learn about interactive kiosks for your own business, we've put together some of the basics here. There's lots to learn, and so many possibilities for this technology to improve overall customer experience, this will get you off on the right foot.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM INTERACTIVE KIOSKS?
One might as well ask who can’t benefit from installing an interactive kiosk, rather than asking who can.
With so many businesses now operating online, today’s consumers are comfortable using technology in their day-to-day transactions. By providing your customers with the option to use an interactive touch screen in your establishment, you’re marrying the best of convenience and personal interaction while bringing your business up to date with the most current practices.
It’s easy to recognize that interactive kiosks are almost everywhere these days. Airports use them to check in passengers and print boarding passes. Libraries use them to enable patrons to check out their own materials. Restaurants use them so customers can place orders and pay bills. Retail stores use them for digital wayfinding and simple transactions. Banks, hotels, shopping malls, and doctors’ offices also use these kiosks, and the trend is poised to continue.
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EXAMPLES OF INTERACTIVE KIOSKS
There are countless uses for kiosks due to their striking and engaging appearance. A few popular examples include:
- When you enter a lobby, you may see a directory with welcome messages, current news, building information, and maps.
- Innovative hotel kiosks can welcome guests, display local area maps and amenities, and list local events.
- A museum kiosk might have exhibit information, maps, videos, and membership sales.
- Airports use interactive kiosks to list arrival and departure times, frequently asked questions, maps, and self-service check-in.
- Retail kiosks range from displaying ads and sales to functioning as self-service kiosks.
- Hospitals and doctor’s offices may have patient kiosks for appointment booking, check-in, printing documents, and general health information.
- When visiting your favorite landmark or tourist spot, you may see an information kiosk that maps out the location and services.
- In a corporate setting, staff can use these screens to book rooms, set up and run conference calls, or provide self log in for corporate visitors.
- K-12 schools can use interactive kiosks to print school reports and important documents or display new information and school awards.
- University directories are lifesavers for new students searching for their classes, figuring out where they are on campus, and how to locate student dorms and apartments.
- Event coordinators may find interactive touch screens to be incredibly useful in displaying services and products, checking off their list of attendees, capturing attendee details, and mapping out the exhibitor list.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF INTERACTIVE KIOSKS
PTG can help ensure that the design and implementation of the hardware and software that runs your interactive kiosk is modern, capable, seamless and connected. We make sure that the installation of your interactive touch screen is professional and secure - to keep your solution running and delivering benefit.
Alleviate Customer Frustration
A well designed, professional interactive kiosk can eliminate lines, answer questions, and help clients find their way around. It can provide answers to FAQs, list available products and services, as well as offer pricing and ordering capabilities.
Interactive kiosks can serve as both a catalog and a concierge, and can offer digital wayfinding, which McCann Systems describes as, “visual maps and traffic management systems presented in attractive, interactive, and customizable digital formats. They direct hospital patients, hotel guests, business partners, airline passengers, and retail customers to the places they need to go.”
Create Unparalleled Branding
A state-of-the-art interactive touch screen creates a terrific brand projection point. An attractive, user-friendly system that helps answer the needs that are most pressing will leave consumers feeling supported. Making tasks easy and frictionless is a sure way to create affinity and loyalty. These projection points give you opportunity to display your brand personality, point of view, logo, advertise your services, and push promotion - while providing key services.
Free Up Employees
Your staff should always be there to help, and they need to be trained to give superior customer service. With an interactive kiosk in place to answer basic questions and perform the simplest tasks, your employees will be freed up to take care of the business that requires human hands and judgement. They’ll be grateful to attend to larger, more complex tasks, and your customers will be glad they don’t have to hunt for somebody to help them.
Provide Next-Level Customer Service
From knowing exactly where to find an obscure product, to accessing loyalty accounts and rewards to directing someone to the nearest 5-star restaurant, to doing price comparisons and providing digital wayfinding in a busy city or transportation hub, interactive touch screens can impart more data and details in a self-serve way.
Your employees might not be able to provide the same information unless they consult a computer themselves. Touch screens provide next-level customer service by cutting out the middleman and communicating information instantly.
Reduce Business Costs and Improve Efficiency
Sales is all about conversion. To get high conversion numbers, each shopper needs to have an interaction with a representative of the brand. Staffing daily for occasional high traffic peaks can be expensive, though, and can eat away at business performance. A self-service kiosk can fill the gaps left in those peak times by providing an opportunity for each shopper to get assistance when they need it, without overspending on labor.
Enabling guests and customers to perform their own routine tasks is faster for them, and allows your team to focus on high touch transactions and needs.
One of the major benefits of having a well-designed, professionally installed interactive kiosk is the boost to your sales and your bottom line. You can use your kiosk not just as a catalog, but as an interactive advertising tool to highlight products and promotions and to influence buying behavior. An attractive, user-friendly interface, coupled with the ease and convenience of the buying experience, promotes more spending.
These tools can prevent sales loss to competitors when stock levels are depleted. The ability of a kiosk to take the user online for purchases can keep those dollars in the company, shifted to the online channel.
An interactive touch screen also collects important market data as consumers navigate and make their choices. This data helps you develop a marketing strategy by giving you real insight into buyer needs, preferences, and behavior. Having a firm grasp on that information allows you to improve your products and services in ways that drives sales.
Assure Privacy and Security
Not everyone is comfortable handing their credit or debit card over to a waitress or cashier to process a payment. In a day where identity theft and credit card fraud are so prevalent, some consumers may see self-serve kiosks, such as those found in many restaurants and grocery stores, as another way to safeguard against identity vulnerability.
What’s more, some shoppers may not want to interact with your staff. They may prefer to do their own research, make their own decisions, or find what they’re looking for without asking for help via digital wayfinding or extended aisle. Self-service interactive touch screens are a perfect solution for those customers.
IMPROVE BUSINESS AND ENGAGEMENTS TODAY
Delight your customers and deliver an engaging experience like no other with digital kiosks from PTG. Interactives are fun, informative, a great sales tool, and are reliable and easy to use when professionally developed and installed based on forward thinking technology roadmaps.
Our team creates, installs, and services digital experiences that build customer engagement for your space.