What Kiosk Manufacturers Want You to Know About Self-Service Technology
The Opportunities for Your Business are Endless
I know a lot about kiosk manufacturers, seeing as how I work for one, and I’m also a “techie”. You naturally would think that I embrace all things technology. Truth is, I come from an older generation. I am from before cell phones, and even personal computers. Though I have seen a lot of new technologies launch over the years, I have always been slow to adopt them. This made for an interesting topic to write about.
As I think about technology, specifically “Self-Service Technologies”, there are few that stand out as having a real impact in my life; the ATM would be one that I am sure we are all familiar with. Prior to the ATM we all had very limited, immediate access to our own money. If you did not cash your check or withdraw your funds during the standard banking hours, you could very well find yourself cash-less for the weekend. If there was a holiday on Monday things got even more challenging! Even during normal banking hours there was the hassle of standing in long lines and waiting your turn for the teller. All of this just to have access to your own money and/or account information.
So with the introduction of the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) the banking industry saw a huge change in its ability to serve customers more efficiently. We now have 24 hours access to our money, as well as access to our account information including account balances, all without having to wait in a long line or worry about banking hours.
This same principle, and use of technology, can be applied to many other industries. This is what kiosk manufacturers want you to know. In the kiosk industry we have seen several examples. Busy college campuses use self-service kiosks as print stations for students, allowing them 24 hour access to resources without have to wait in line or worry about office hours. Hospitals are using kiosks for patient check in and access to their patient portals. Patient check in speeds the process of accessing healthcare services and the patient portal allows the patient to have direct access to their own medical records. In the past direct access was not easily available.
Local Utilities (Gas, Electric and Cable companies) are embracing the new “Self Service Technology” by placing kiosks in convenient locations around town so customers don’t have to travel to their office and wait in line to pay a bill. Government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services provide kiosks to speed the enrollment process and the Department of Motor Vehicles are using kiosks to provide access to important documentation and the processing of low level services.
Sometimes in the case of a busy court room, or a college admin office during class registration day, long lines cannot be avoided. Even here there is an opportunity for technology to improve the process by having visitors check in to a kiosk with a queuing system and keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly.
So in conclusion, I would encourage you be open minded to some of the newer technologies available from kiosk manufacturers. Look for ways that “self-service technology” might improve the quality of service as well as reduce wait times for you customers.