Utilised across various industries, a self-service kiosk typically involves a terminal or a touch screen display. This electronic self-service kiosk is a system that allows a user to serve themselves goods and services or supply themselves with information.
The self-service kiosk we know today has undoubtedly come a long way. First developed in 1977 by a pre-med student Murray Lappe, modern kiosks now bring the classic vending machine together with top of the line technologies and complex mechanical internals and even robotics.
Since its deployment for commercial and retail use that was led by Florsheim Shoe Co. in 1985, interactive self-service kiosks were used for vending, e-ticketing, self-checkout lanes, and way finding. From that point on, self-service kiosks became a huge aspect of the retail landscape.
Self-service kiosks and terminals are historically installed in unattended environments. They can be found in locations such as train stations, restaurants, town centers, shopping malls, airports, cinemas, supermarkets, private enterprises, and even along the streets. For outdoor applications, a self-service kiosk requires a specialized hardware to make sure that inclement weather conditions and harsh usage will not affect its functionality — at least not until after several years.
Interactive self-service kiosks and terminals come in different forms — from wall-mounted touch screens and wall-mounted, all-in-one PCs to free standing kiosk units. Regardless of its form factor, a modern interactive self-service kiosk can be customized for users with special needs. One example is Touch Screen Melbourne’s wheelchair accessible seated kiosk, which can be customized for people with disabilities.
Essentially, a self-service kiosk should be developed with the customer in mind. These units must be customized depending on the industry, the type of consumers a business aim to target, and the needs (or wants) of their prospects.
In the hospitality industry, self-service interactive kiosks reduce queues, offer customer assistance, provide easy check ins and check outs, and serve as booking tables, elevating the customer experience. The kiosk’s interactive display can also be utilized to welcome guests with a list of what the establishment has to offer — packages, discounts, promos, events, and more. From mobile check ins to way finding, self-service kiosks promise to help hotels and other sectors of the hospitality industry improve their customer service and increase their potential cost savings.
In the transportation industry, a self-service kiosk is commonly installed at train terminals, and airports for hassle-free ticket purchases and check ins. Other self-service, touch screen kiosk solutions are also aimed at providing entertainment for passengers, simplifying the methods of airport customs, and reducing the time of customs processing.
In the retail and food service industries, self-service kiosks streamline and speed up the process of ordering and purchasing. Also, a self-service kiosk unit allows entrepreneurs to expand their business by having a stand-alone vending machine that can sell snacks, drinks, or even items like toiletries and shoes. Basically, retail self-service kiosks offer a mini supermarket- or shopping center-type of experience to consumers. Apart from being standalone vending units, self-service kiosks are also offered as checkout counters, practically making them a commercially viable alternative for employee-operated checkout lanes.
With the speed and convenience benefits a self-service kiosk provides, the consumers’ perspective of the trend is escalating. What’s more, the privacy and precision ordering it offers ensure customers that they get exactly what they ordered without the potential dispute or misunderstanding that they may otherwise experience with a staff.
On top of improved customer service and consumer experience, self-service kiosks offer the following organizational benefits:
With more and more industries and business sectors finally starting to embrace kiosks and touch screen technology, there’s no doubt that self-service is here to stay. How does a self-service kiosk benefit your enterprise? What other self-service solutions have helped your business prosper?
If you have particular questions about touch screen kiosks that you wish to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Touch Screen Melbourne caters for any interactive kiosk requirement.