Picture this: you’re heading to a client meeting for work, it’s your first time meeting this client at their office, so you plan to arrive a bit early. However, when you walk into the lobby and find yourself at the end of a long line of other people waiting to check in with the security clerk, you realize you’ll be arriving late to the meeting. While you know your client will be understanding about your tardiness, you can’t help but think to yourself that there must be a better, more efficient way for large companies like this to handle check-ins.
That’s where digital kiosks come in.
Despite of the fact that your client has an established process for checking-in visitors to their headquarters, if their lobby featured an electronic check-in kiosk, in addition to their security clerk, the process would have been much smoother and you might have actually made it to your meeting on time.
Electronic kiosks aren’t just applicable to check-in solutions, though. Flexible in both appearance and functionality, digital kiosks can be designed for a variety of use cases across different industries—from entertainment to food service, government, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, retail, tourism, and everything in between.
Introduced in 1977, the first electronic kiosk was developed by Murray Lappe, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While the first digital kiosk was used for informational purposes, its release caused demand for self-service digital kiosks of all kinds to skyrocket. Now, more than 40 years later, self-service electronic kiosks are continuing to improve, evolve, and find their place in industries of all kinds.
From providing access to maximizing efficiency, reducing wait times, and enhancing the overall customer experience, electronic kiosks can be used by businesses and organizations of all kinds to help them meet their goals.
While, in the example above, a digital kiosk would have provided you access to your customer’s office in a more timely manner, kiosks can be used to provide users access to a variety of things—information, goods, services, restricted areas, and more. A museum, for example, might use a kiosk to provide visitors access to information and videos about certain exhibits, while a retailer, on the other hand might provide their customers access to goods in their store by implementing an electronic self-checkout kiosk.
Designed to streamline processes and maximize efficiency, electronic kiosks can be used by businesses and organizations of all kinds to allow customers and visitors to complete simple tasks on their own. Whether users are checking-in for an appointment, purchasing goods, or locating information, digital kiosks can enable users to carry out the process completely unattended—unless, of course, they request help from an employee. By enabling users to efficiently carry out simple tasks on their own, employees are then able to refocus their time and efforts toward more skilled tasks.
Reduce Wait Times
In addition to maximizing the efficiency of their processes, electronic kiosks can also be used by businesses and organizations to significantly reduce wait times—and sometimes even allow customers and visitors to avoid having to wait in lines altogether. By offering an alternative self-service solution for those who don’t need assistance, kiosks can also indirectly reduce wait times for those who choose to take the more traditional route by minimizing the number of customers or visitors waiting in line.
Enhance User Experience
Regardless of their intended use case, digital kiosks can be used to enhance the overall experience for both the users who choose to interact with them and the businesses and organizations that deploy them. While kiosks certainly cannot replace the value customers and visitors gain from interacting with actual employees in-person—and they aren’t intended to—they give users the freedom and ability to exercise control over their own experiences. As a result, employees who would have previously been responsible for executing administrative level tasks, are able to take on more customer-service oriented roles to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
To learn more about Meridian’s self-service kiosk and interactive digital signage solutions, visit www.meridiankiosks.com or give us a call at 866-454-6757.