Issues to Consider Before Deploying Kiosks as Consumer Touchpoints

Building brand awareness, engaging prospective customers and adding easily accessible consumer touchpoints are three reasons many enterprises are adding video kiosks to their communication channels.

A recent Frost & Sullivan study on digital transformation found that kiosks are a hot topic for business leaders looking at customer engagement strategies. “Video kiosks stood out in our research when survey respondents were asked about supporting interaction channels,” said Alpa Shah, digital transformation global vice president, Frost & Sullivan. “They have also come up in many conversations as an option in specific industries where video adds value to the customer’s experience.”

While kiosks may not be as exciting a technology as artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual voice assistants, they clearly have the potential to deliver positive returns on IT investments.

In retail centers, kiosks can serve multiple purposes including store directories, way-finding guides and virtual shopping options.  For instance, a fashion customer could use a kiosk to chat with a contact center agent who can answer questions or even place an online order.

Banks are adopting video kiosks to handle routine transactions in their branches, reducing their staffing and training costs, while making it easier to deliver a consistent customer experience. Many restaurants are taking a similar approach, as patrons can place their orders or pay their bills through a tabletop kiosk. For health care facilities, kiosks provide a convenient approach for patient check-ins.

Globally, the interactive kiosk market is expected to reach US $41.88 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Grand View Research, Inc.  Increased deployment of interactive kiosks in the retail and banking sectors in developing regions are expected to drive market growth over the next five years. “A majority of emerging countries in these regions have low penetration of digital banking infrastructure and organized retailing,” said the report. “These systems offer an ideal solution for serving consumers in such regions.

However, the threat of cyber attacks and high costs of installation, maintenance, and support associated with advanced solutions may hinder the market growth to a certain degree.

However, the threat of cyber attacks and high costs of installation, maintenance, and support associated with advanced solutions may hinder the market growth to a certain degree.

For IAUG members and other IT professionals, a video kiosk deployment needs to be carefully analyzed before committing to a full-scale rollout. Here are some issues to consider:

  • What are the reasons consumers would use these self-service devices?
  • Are there clear, easily conveyed benefits to a customer or prospect, such as convenience or saving time?
  • What are the risks of deploying kiosks, such as losing a personal relationship that customers value?
  • Is there a clear use case for the organization’s business units? Can you project a positive ROI?
  • What are the costs of a deployment, including renting space for the devices?
  • Can appropriate security tools be embedded in the system? For instance, a healthcare facility or bank might use biometric device for some types of transactions.
  • What will be the impact of a new kiosk communications channel on the organization’s workforce?  Will employees be able to spend their time on more challenging or productive tasks?
  • What about changes to the contact center?  What investments in people and technology will be needed to support a new communications channel?

Be sure to talk with your development team – internal or external – about two other key issues. Make sure your application is designed to maximize consumer engagement, including easy-to-understand instructions and multiple language capabilities.  

You should also look at the kiosk as a new channel for capturing customer data for future use. That might involve providing an opt-in capability for social media or marketing emails, or offering consumers a brief survey after they have completed a transaction. 

Like other communication channels, video kiosks continue to evolve rapidly, helping enterprises deliver an engaging customer experience.  It’s a field that deserves your attention – even if it’s not as cool as a supercomputer or a walking, talking, life-size robot!

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