Self-service kiosks automate certain simple services for consumers, allowing them to enjoy efficient service at lower long-term costs to companies. Automated services include retail check-out, restaurant ordering systems, airline ticketing, and automated teller machines. Self-service kiosks come in many forms, including free-standing, wall-mounted, or desktop models.
Consumers benefit greatly when accurate, reliable self-service kiosks are employed, according to Euro Kiosks, an industry resource center. Privacy is one of the most obvious benefits: Such kiosks remove the potential embarrassment or concern of having others privy to private information or order details. Georgia-based South University's South Source magazine claims that companies say the machines offer convenience and give customers a chance to eliminate miscommunication in the transaction process. Using self-service kiosks, customers can quickly order exactly what they want, without the potential of a clerk confusing or forgetting information.
Self-service kiosks can increase a store or company's productivity by decreasing order inaccuracy, up-selling products and offers to consumers more frequently and reliably than employees, and limiting time spent between data entry-- saving time. Such kiosks can also increase productivity by consolidating several tasks that would otherwise be left to employees, such as inventory record keeping.
Self-service kiosks, unlike employees, do not need to be paid a salary or a wage, do not require health benefits, can work around the clock, and can process far more information at once than a human. Over time, the cost savings of having self-service kiosks rather than paying an employee can be quite considerable, even to smaller businesses and organizations.
A kiosk's ability to successfully record inventory over time is an asset to businesses. With the inventory records kiosks can provide, buyer habits can be neatly recorded and tracked, and inventory management can be streamlined and automated. This added efficiency can represent a savings in inventory handling and ordering.