Over the last 25 or so years, most organization’s espoused corporate values have, in some form, stated that “customers are our number one concern.” To show they mean what they say, organizations have invested heavily in new technologies to upgrade the way they directly communicate with customers. These investments include enhanced online chat software, using Twitter for customer service and offering auto call-back options. For the most part, like old-time customer service, these options still require a real person to engage the customer.
However, other interactions between customers and organizations use technologies that encourage or, in some situations, require customers to perform services themselves. One example of so-called self-service or “customer involvement” service is the automated help phone line, where the customer must punch buttons to obtain recorded answers to specific issues. Another self-service technology, and one that is possibly the most common, is the electronic or digital kiosk. Companies across many industries, including retailing, banking and travel, have turned to kiosks as a way of shifting customer activities away from company personnel and into the customers’ hands.
If you are not very familiar with how kiosks are now being deployed, check out Kiosk Marketplace, which reports on a wide-range of kiosk implementations. While much of the information here is mostly PR material from companies that are in the business of selling kiosks, the explanations they offer for the variety of ways industries are using kiosks and the capabilities these technologies now possess is quite fascinating.
Image by Poindus Systems Corp