There's an app for just about everything, but that's not necessarily good news. Think of how many apps for stores and websites sit idly by, cluttering your devices. While the increasing ubiquity of digital technology allows for more detailed, nuanced interactions between an organization and its audience, it often becomes too complicated for its own good.
Thankfully, touch-screen kiosks can provide the best of both worlds. They acclimate visitors to complex physical locations and offer valuable information without confusing the user. And because of their welcoming presence, digital kiosks might be the missing ingredient in practically any organization.
The most straightforward use for kiosks is in retail. They replace the hassle of store apps with in-store machines that offer more innovative benefits. At CVS stores, for instance, customers can scan products and print coupons at kiosks without having to download anything first. And McDonald's restaurants are adding self-service stations so customers can order food on the spot.
But because kiosks can also guide visitors through a new location, they're useful outside of brick-and-mortar retail stores. Government buildings might include kiosks to accommodate wedding guests or tourists at city hall. City employees can update these kiosks with the touch of a few buttons. They provide a detailed layout of any location without the need to reprint new flyers and maps.
Healthcare, in addition, is a field that's starting to jump on the kiosk bandwagon. Self-service stations let patients easily check in and monitor their wait time. They can sign important documents and pay bills more efficiently than ever, and these kiosks, while still rare in the industry, streamline communication between patients and providers. They can offer information in other languages, and stations can be placed at a height that accommodates users in wheelchairs.
So regardless of your organization, incorporating kiosks into your business strategy serves to benefit you in a variety of ways:
1. Facilitate two-way interactions. Customer service isn't the only goal of in-store kiosks. They make things easier for organizations as well. By gathering information about customer preferences, the volume of typical orders, and common search terms, digital kiosks give you valuable insight about your base. So instead of relying on surveys and focus groups to understand your target audience, you can invest in a few kiosks.
2. Overhaul your marketing strategy. Kiosks not only provide you with key marketing information, but they're also a convenient way to put that information to use. As a digital display in your indoor location, kiosks are a perfect platform to promote your products. Consider designing banners and other signage as screen savers that appear when customers aren't using the kiosks. This is a handy secondary use for your kiosks, but it also saves you a fortune in advertising costs. With the ability to alter the display as soon as a sale or important date changes, you won't have to reprint physical marketing resources all the time.
3. Repurpose your “human power.” Of course, the stereotype suggests that automated machines lead to layoffs and downsizing. But because kiosks replace traditional customer service roles, they give employees time for more important tasks. Rather than spend all day answering frequently asked questions, workers can brainstorm new ideas for the store. They can focus solely on the customer service obligations that artificial intelligence can't handle.
Balancing cutting-edge technology with the right brainpower is Yeti's primary objective. Yeti wants to partner with businesses to advance the “human” edge of technology with conversational interfaces. Our prototyping process can create scalable, smart technologies that decrease service costs and increase customer engagement. Will your company be a part of the conversation?
Tony Scherba is a CEO + Founding Partner at Yeti. Tony has been developing software since high school and has worked on digital products for global brands such as Google, MIT, Qualcomm, Hershey’s, Britney Spears and Harmon/Kardon. Tony’s writing about innovation and technology has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and Inc. At Yeti, Tony works on strategy, product design and day to day operations, hopping in and working with the development teams when needed. Follow Tony on Twitter.