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Interactive kiosks improve customer experience

Interactive Kiosk

Kiosks have been around for a very long time.  Most customers are familiar with kiosk technology from ATMs to gas station pumps.  Internet kiosks such as those found in libraries or some large retail stores are successful with many users who may not have access to Internet capabilities at home, but understand the technology from school or work.  With the advent and popularization of the smart phone, people are becoming more and more comfortable with touch screens as well.  All of this makes the use of kiosks a very promising proposition for businesses and government facilities seeking to improve their customer service record.

Many retail stores such as some of the large book stores have offered access to their website via store kiosks for several years now.  The reason for this is that many times the local store is not able to stock all of the inventory that may be available in its warehouse.  It makes sense that some of the larger book stores started offering these kinds of kiosks early on.  With the popularity of the online book seller Amazon, local book stores have struggled to find their niche in the competitive book retail market.  In this environment, the physical limitations of the local book store actually work against it as users who have difficulty finding the product they came in looking for leave and just go to the Amazon site to order the product.  If the local store is able to provide a means for the customer to order the item right there before they leave the store, however, they can mitigate some of these losses to Amazon.  And this does not just apply to book sales, but other consumer products as well.  General merchandise discount stores and large toy stores have also begun providing kiosks that allow access to online resources to order their products.

Inventory issues often do not go beyond the stores own ability to stock product from their storage area onto the main floor of the store.  Many times a customer will ask an employee if a certain product is in stock in the back of the store.  Often times, the employee does not know where to find this item n the stock room, or the item is placed on an end cap somewhere for the purpose of a promotional sale.  Kiosks that allow product inventory lookups can increase the level of customer service that the employees themselves can offer the customers by providing the employees with the ability to look up the item right there with the customer on the show room floor.

Government facilities can also benefit from increased customer service through the use of kiosks.  Kiosks in community centers and libraries can provide internet access to all members of the community and thus decrease the so called digital divide between citizens who may not have the means to access the internet through a computer at home.  These community centers can offer needed access to tax information, voter information or even library catalogues.

Another great use for kiosks in the government space that can increase customer service is by providing access to forms and applications.  Many department of motor vehicles facilities offer the ability to fill out form information for car registration, license plate renewals and driver license renewals.  This service allows the customers to avoid the notoriously long waits and provide quick and easy service.  Local city government buildings can also provide central kiosks that provide local government and community programs and services, such as those traditionally found on a community bulletin board.  With tightening government budgets, the utilization of kiosk devices can also significantly reduce the cost associated with the hiring of more government workers.

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Written by Jason Phillips

The article is written by Jason Phillips; he is the best-known face in the business community. He supplies retail kiosks to wholesalers and to retailers.

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