Originally published on LinkedIn by Craig A. Keefner
A self-service kiosk isn’t a “set it and forget it” proposition. Getting customers to use that kiosk takes a bit of effort.
When a company incorporates a self-service kiosk into its operations, one of the key challenges it faces is how to encourage people to use that kiosk.
In a restaurant, the more people use a self-order kiosk, the more time staff will have to deliver personalized service. In a retail operation, merchandise orders placed via an in-store kiosk add to the bottom line without the costs associated with keeping that merchandise in stock.
For bill pay kiosks and similar devices located in grocery stores or other third-party locations, attracting users to conduct their transactions at the kiosk versus the customer service counter leads to higher revenue for the kiosk deployer. In each of these cases, more people using the kiosk means a quicker return on investment, higher transaction averages and ultimately, more satisfied customers.
But self-service success isn’t as simple as setting up a kiosk and waiting for the money to roll in. Here are a few things deployers can do to make customers comfortable with their kiosk project:
Deploy multiple kiosks – One of the best drivers of kiosk usage is placing two units instead of one. Psychologically, it either gives users permission to use the devices or it puts them in an “if they can, I can” position.
Place signage nearby – Even a simple sign by the door saying “try our new self-order kiosks” can help drive traffic. Additional signage near the kiosk with a phrase along the line of “Just touch the screen to begin” will prompt some customers to take the plunge.
Employ a kiosk “concierge” – This can be particularly helpful with a new kiosk deployment. Having an employee near the kiosk ready to walk customers through the transaction process can help them overcome any trepidation they may have. In addition, seeing people make use of the kiosk can lead others to want to get in on the action.
Light it up – A string of LED lights or a digital display mounted above the kiosk can grab attention. Even something as simple as a wall-mounted LCD display will help boost traffic. That can be particularly important in a situation where the kiosk is in a third-party location such as a convenience or grocery store and is in competition with other transaction channels.
Make use of color – Some customers may be apprehensive about using your kiosk. Including instructions on the kiosk enclosure and/or having the touchscreen revert to a screensaver that says something along the lines of “Touch here to begin” when not in use may encourage users to take that first step.
Create an accompanying loyalty program – A loyalty program for kiosk users or kiosk-only promos can reward customers for using the device. A Kiosk Combo in a restaurant or a kiosk-only coupon in a retail store can be a great incentive, helping to increase usage.
Place it front and center – It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. If you want to achieve all the benefits a self-service kiosk has to offer, make it the centerpiece of your operation. Don’t put it in the corner; place it in such a way that customers can’t help but see it as they walk through the door.
Talk it up – Whether you are using your kiosk for self-ordering in a restaurant, as an endless aisle device or for self-checkout applications, make it a part of your marketing efforts. Mention it on social media and spotlight it in advertising circulars. Getting customers interested in the device will lead them to use it.
As a parting thought, one of the best ways to ensure customers make use of your self-service kiosk is by educating employees about the benefits it will offer and how it will make their jobs easier. Employee-buy-in will go a long way towards making the project a success.
At the end of the day, the best way to ensure the kiosk you choose provides maximum benefits is to work with an experienced kiosk vendor who can recommend the best options. Olea Kiosks stands ready to help.
Call 800.927.8063 for more information.