Editor’s Note: This blog post has been recently updated to reflect the most current industry news.
Self-service kiosks continue to rise in popularity as a powerful tool benefitting businesses and their customer experience strategies.
With this rise in interest comes more inquiries about everything from payment options and ADA compliance to software integration. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most common self-service kiosk questions and their answers.
In a word—yes! While self-service kiosks have been highly visible in the QSR industry, countless other verticals are benefitting from this technology, too. From wayfinding and check-in to self-ordering and registration, self-service kiosks offer unlimited opportunities for other industries like automotive, healthcare, grocery, retail, hospitality, cannabis, and more. In fact, having self-service technology can serve as a competitive advantage in a demanding retail landscape where the customer experience is a valued performance indicator. Make sure you’re setting yourselves apart from other businesses in your industry.
Self-service kiosks can offer a variety of functions outside of strictly ordering capabilities. As a kiosk manufacturer, we’ve seen a significant rise in inquiries and kiosk projects for patient check-in, logistics management, vending, ticketing, wayfinding, and more.
Self-service kiosks offer significant advantages to QSRs, retailers, and other industries where customers order food, products, or services. Not only do kiosks shorten wait times at checkout counters, but data show kiosks can increase average QSR ticket orders up to 30 percent due to cross-selling capabilities and the privacy they offer customers during the ordering process. In addition, labor in these markets can be diverted to more customer-focused duties like expediting food, cleaning, or customer service.
There are a variety of payment options available for kiosks, and which ones to utilize depend on a business’ needs. Most restaurant self-service kiosks accept credit cards and offer a “pay at the counter” choice for customers paying with cash. However, as more QSRs and fast casual establishments explore kiosk programs, many are employing cash dispensing hardware to offer the full self-order experience and eliminate the need for patrons to stop at the counter.
For other industries, payment options vary. A wayfinding kiosk can likely skip payment hardware, whereas a patient check-in kiosk might need a card swipe to offer bill payment as well. Regardless of your needs, Frank Mayer offers a variety of options, including a bill payment kiosk that offers cash payment and recycling.
ADA compliance is an important factor to consider when planning a self-service program as it protects your business from expensive lawsuits and, more importantly, guarantees the entire public can independently interact with your kiosks. Wheelchair accessibility is a common discussion when planning kiosks, but did you know there are numerous assistive technology products designed to support people with certain disabilities that make it difficult to see, read, hear, or interact with touch screen displays?
Your kiosk manufacturer will be well-versed regarding ADA features, so make sure to consult with them about what options are available to meet every customer’s needs.
Self-service kiosks are designed differently to withstand the environmental factors that come with being placed outside. In these instances, the structures must be designed and engineered to be weather-resistant, secure, durable and safe for all outdoor conditions.
If you’re looking to utilize outdoor self-service kiosks outside, you’ll need to keep in mind that outdoor kiosks cost more than that of an indoor kiosk. This is because these kiosks must be more durable, watertight, and insulated as well as include hardware components that are rated and ruggedized for the outdoors. Touch screens need to be easily read in direct sunlight, and the exterior must handle exposure to heavy wind, rain, and more. Additionally, mounting will need to be factored in along with climate control inside the kiosk to maintain temperature and humidity.
When considering an outdoor option, make sure you’re aware of all the variables associated with ensuring a successful deployment.
Deciding how a kiosk will be used will help determine what hardware will need to be present on your kiosk. If you plan to allow payment transactions, a printer, payment device, and possible cash recycler will be needed. Businesses that have loyalty programs will also want to make sure a barcode scanner is available to customers.
In addition, kiosk sizes, formats, and screen size will all depend on floor space and intended function. For instance, a wall kiosk or floor standing tablet makes sense for a business with limited real estate, while a counter tablet with a smaller screen lends itself well to check-in capabilities or instances where privacy might be imperative. It’s important to discuss your kiosk program goals, intended uses, and physical location requirements with your self-service kiosk manufacturer when you start your initial planning phase.
Fortunately, many kiosk software providers are fully capable of interfacing with different point-of-sale systems because they contain open APIs that work with the major systems. The only caveat might be if a POS system itself is not open to interfacing with other software programs. This can be the case for older legacy POS systems, or, to a lesser extent, modern POS systems where the vendor has opted to close off third-party software communications. When planning a self-service kiosk program, kiosk-POS integration should be discussed early in the planning stages.
Do you still have a self-service kiosk question that wasn’t answered here? We have kiosk experts who can help guide you through the process and answer any additional questions you might have. Contact them at email@example.com to get started on your interactive kiosk program today!