Providing a quality service and building a rapport with customers is at forefront of most businesses, despite the recession. There is focus on empowering employees and technology is changing the way they engage with customers.
Kiosk technology is freeing staff from the shop counter and allowing them to cater to the individual customer’s needs. As a result, is the counter becoming obsolete? Automated reception kiosks, for instance, provide hotels with self-service points for visitors to register their arrival. This minimises the need for a manned reception and reduces staff costs.
- ‘Customer facing technology’ such as self service kiosks and digital signage, are used to display immediate information meaning that there is less need for customers to interact fact to face with staff.
- ‘Employee facing technology’ refers to when the technology allows a salesperson to focus more on delivery of customer service. For example, with a digital kiosk deployed in store, an employee can be more available to help with specific queries and concentrate on the individual. The employee is able to flourish in productivity in sales and customer service.
Before now, a salesperson would have to trawl through catalogues to look up products and check availability of stock. Now, with digital screens in retail environments, the customer has more control. Self-service kiosks allow consumers to browse through an entire product range without assistance. This means product lists information can be instantly updated in real time. Furthermore, with efficient access to a product range, there is less necessity to stock all products in store, saving space.
Implementing touch screens at the point of payment improves overall efficiency and speed of services, as the task of processing payment is made easier for staff. Hand held touch screen devices are also being used on the shop floor to process sales away from the counter. Reducing queuing times and accelerating process within busy, demanding environements is the key to a happy shopper.
The UK Employer Skills Survey (2011) has estimated that, on average, training a single new employee can cost £3275 and take up to 9 days. Training staff to navigate a self-service kiosk is estimated to take 15 minutes. Establishing kiosks is highly advantageous for businesses as it minimises training costs. Employees would require basic training to become familiar with the touch screen technology, to know how to navigate the system.
Kiosks can be utilised to provide HR functions for employees, for example they assist with clocking in and out of work, managing a team of employees and general administrative tasks. Implementing a kiosk in a business place can add value to aspects such as employee relations and financial management. The benefits lead to reducing costs and improving overall communication strategies.
In all, touchscreen technology empowers employees in providing the opportunity to maximise the quality of customer service, gain customer satisfaction and boost sales.