Successful ticketing kiosk projects and inspirational examples of self service solutions.
A US-based dental practice software manufacturer released a self-check-in kiosk application to free dentists' offices from papers and redundant, error-prone, manual labor.
The application, which is also tightly integrated with the main dental practice management software running in the back office, eliminates the need for office staff to manually enter the data patients provide in paper forms.
A paper-based, conventional method of recording patient information includes having them fill out several forms and then using office staff and resources to export them onto the computer database. This process is obviously a source of frustration and irritation most of the time because of the time and effort spent by patients and office staff, clerical or hand writing errors, and redundancy among others.
Using a self-service unattended kiosk, on the other hand, greatly improves and accelerates the process for everyone involved. The kiosk is located in the lobby of the dentist’s office and the software it runs is directly connected to the main dental management software. A patient, using the self-service check-in kiosk, completes his or her patient intake, insurance, medical history and release forms electronically and simply hits the submit button. Then the office manager reviews the submitted forms and transfers them over to be placed on the patient’s computerized record.
Reduced redundancy and improved accuracy made possible by self-check-in kiosks invoke an environmentally conscious workplace as well since the paper consumption rates drop substantially. And a greener office is perfectly in line with what is expected from a health minded business environment.
Although hospitality industry has been slower to adopt self-service paradigms compared to other sectors of travel, hotels are finally starting to see the potential cost savings and improvements in customer relationships that self-service kiosks can provide.
In fact, unattended check-in kiosks are now one of the hottest trends in the industry, according to Condé Nast. The self-service kiosks showed up as No.9 on the website’s 2012 Hot List, which rated the Top 10 hotel innovations over the last 16 years.
A recent survey conducted in US indicates that guiding, route-showing, and informational self-service kiosks, as well as integrated mobile check-in procedures are growing in popularity in the hospitality industry. According to survey results nine out of 10 decision makers in the hospitality industry believe mobile and wireless technologies are increasing in importance, and 56 percent of hospitality companies are planning to spend more on mobile technologies and their integration with self-service kiosk solutions to enhance the customer experience.
Similarly, Hospitality Technology’s 2011 industry survey found that 75 percent of hoteliers think check-in capability via a system including mobile phones and unattended kiosks is useful, with hotel managers across the spectrum of star levels starting to offer self-service kiosks as an amenity in its own right.
Groupon kiosks deployed throughout the streets of Chicago and self-service check-in kiosks in many of the hotels in the city including Hyatt locations are among the latest examples which feature unattended kiosks with route planning or showing apps, check-in, scheduling, administering loyalty programs and other guest features. The kiosks offer a revenue share from advertising dollars generated on the hotel’s screens and help guests interact with the environment around them, whether that means finding a deal for a nearby restaurant or looking up entertainment options for a night out.
Focusing on catering to the consumer is among the top priorities in the hospitality industry and the ability to offer interactive digital technology at the consumer level is a huge value add. It’s all about enhancing the individual experience, and self-service kiosk technology has great potential to play a big role. Plus, this technology can be considered a great way to deliver advertising messages in an unobtrusive, opt-in manner while generating revenue.
The unattended kiosks also allow users to share content directly to their mobile devices, whether it’s photos, directions to a venue or a coupon for a restaurant special. Plus, the advertiser or hotel retains the customers’ email and mobile number for future communication when the customer opts in.
There have also been several new researches showing that guest are ready for self-service kiosks and associated mobile or web technologies when it comes to advanced check-in features. A study this year conducted by Opinion Research found that 76 percent of the more than 1,000 guests polled think being able to check in before arriving would alleviate frustration, and 41 percent of guests said they would be more likely to select a hotel that offers advanced check-in via web or mobile device. Survey results also found that while 65 percent of respondents have booked a hotel room either online or via mobile device, only 20 percent have actually checked in using either of those methods. If it were available, however, 57 percent of those surveyed indicated they’d choose that method.
New solutions allow guests who have checked in online or via mobile channels to bypass the front desk and obtain room keys by scanning printed or mobile-delivered confirmation barcodes, NFC-enabled mobile devices or mobile acoustic keys via self-service check-in kiosks. The low-profile unattended kiosk can be placed on counters or table tops throughout a hotel, giving more options to guests who have lost their keys, left keys in their rooms or arrive at their rooms to find that keys will not work. Currently in pilot with a leading hotel chain, the solution is now available in North America and will be launched in Europe soon.
One reason hoteliers are embracing self-service kiosks along with supporting technologies is because they have to. Guests are experiencing and expecting it more and more in their everyday lives, and hotels need to adapt. Self-service kiosks, if designed correctly, allow hotels to operate much more efficiently while at the same time providing guests with an experience that they are comfortable with. Chances are the chains that establish themselves as early adopters will become the industry’s leaders.
E-payment kiosks deployed in the City of Huntington Park facility in California offer residents an easy and instant way to pay their municipal taxes or expenses, traffic tickets and similar regulatory fees, and utilities bills.
Self-service, stand-alone, fancy and colorful e-payment kiosks are no longer prevalent only in banking and transportation industries. Be it government, public, or private, big or small, every type of businesses and industries revel in the opportunities and benefits uncovered by the presence of sophisticated and flexible payment and collection kiosks.
City of Huntington Park has been another participant joining in ever increasing bandwagon of unattended payment terminals for collecting tax, fees, and bills. Indoor and outdoor payment kiosks located throughout the park enable townies to comfortably make payments for their various types of fees or debts.
City officials state that the capabilities of the devices [to accept credit cards, debit cards, and cash] and their combined ease of use have made them an instant hit with the residents. Townies are also reported to express their gratitude for a satisfactory, time effective, and cozy interface and experience with the municipal and governmental services.
The total amount spent by skiers and outdoor adventurers through Livewire’s far reaching network of electronic ticketing kiosks has surpassed $100M.
The self-service ticket kiosks are powered by Livewire’s kiosk management software and allow customers to search and purchase tickets for ski and some other types of outdoor events held at the most popular destinations and ski resorts in the USA.
The ticket kiosks, which are available in ski, outdoor and several other retail or boutique stores all around the country, save the businesses from a great deal of overhead and time losses while driving revenues up above $100M and reducing various operational expenses and the need for continuous availability of sales and support personnel.
Customers are also delightful with their fully valid, ready-to-use tickets dispensed from the self-service, easy-to-use ticket kiosks for they provide them with the opportunity to avoid long ticket lines at resort gates.
Livewire’s ticketing kiosk network is just another example of a current trend in which self-service electronic kiosks assume a key role to help tourism venues and businesses with ticket sales. Sales process is greatly enhanced and boosted thanks to the automated operations and flexible payment options provided by ticketing kiosks which let customers pick either cash or credit cards to make purchases.
Barnsley Hospital in England seems to have found a quicker and more efficient way to handle conventionally cumbersome check-in and registration procedures for both first-time and revisiting patients.
The system, which rolls out multiple self-service electronic registration, check-in and ticketing kiosks around the hospital, speeds up check-in procedures, lessens uncertainty and length of stay for patients, and effectively reduces patient discomfort and tension.
The patients still have the option to apply using the reception desk but since the introduction of self-service check-in kiosks the reception desk no longer seems jammed, a decent drop in the amount of paperwork is observed, and staff productivity is seemingly elevated to let them make time for and focus on additional services to patients.
Self-service check-in kiosks of new automated check-in and registration process allow patients to book in for their outpatient appointments, same-day surgeries, pre-admission testing or similar clinical procedures without having to wait in a queue in uncertainty and then patiently wait to be called by staff to complete some paperwork. Patients, instead, can now quickly confirm relevant details regarding their condition, gender, date of birth, insurance, etc. using self-service electronic check-in kiosks and get registered easily. The kiosks are also equipped with built-in printers, which will print off a ticket containing several particulars and instructions like patient’s call number, appointment time and location, directions to relevant areas, etc.
The self-service check-in and ticketing kiosks are currently in use in various clinics including medical outpatients, surgical outpatients, rheumatology, respiratory and ear, nose and throat (ENT) and several other departments of the medical center are eager to move their paper based procedures onto them, hospital officials say.
Poland's Mazovia Railway System, which covers approximately 100,000 square kilometers in Poland, expands the capabilities of its payment and ticketing kiosks so that they can now be used to reload mobile prepaid cards issued by Poland’s virtually all mobile network operators.
Electronic payment kiosks in Poland have recently seen a great increase in customer demand and it takes no effort to understand why after seeing how they make life easier for busy commuters and travelers. The kiosks installed in highly trafficked railway stations or stops and other convenient, central locations can be used 24/7 and they have been a tremendous relief for the railway system which managed more than 60 million trips in 2013.
Mazovia now gives back to customers by installing NFC (Near Field Communication) contactless card readers on its unattended electronic ticketing kiosks which will allow customers to use contactless payment features in their debit / credit cards or NFC-capable mobile phones.
What’s more is a new top-up functionality which lets mobile prepaid subscribers instantly add minutes to their mobile accounts. Contactless payment support enables the ticketing kiosks to complete customer transactions much quicker while mobile prepaid card refill features forge top-up kiosks into existence and surely have potential to present new opportunities for a whole new revenue stream.
The project is considered an exemplary one by many experts in the field since it gracefully incorporates seemingly two different types of customer needs onto one single entity and thus clearly refines overall customer experience. “Need to have your ticket printed? Your transportation card reloaded? Your mobile account and prepaid card topped-up? And you need them all in a quick, secure, and easy manner? You can have it all in seconds; all you need to do is just to find an electronic top-up payment kiosk,” says a senior Mazovia executive responsible from the project.
Self-service ticketing and payment kiosk install base of Cincinnati's number 1 transportation bus service Metro expands with a large number of new devices and locations. In 2011, Metro introduced a new and reengineered, electronic fare and ticketing system in its entire bus fleet and the new program had proved so popular that the company needed and pleased to enrich its offerings continuously.
The latest enhancements brought to the region of Cincinnati include 24/7 operational ticketing and payment kiosks deployed around many new stations and central locations. Using self-service kiosks, which accept both cash and credit cards, passengers may have the opportunity to have their stored-value cards loaded or buy new ones for a selected number of passes or dollar amounts. The company is also planning to fancy up its already rich line of kiosks with additional ones which accept coins and give back change.
What’s also worth to mention is the capabilities of the ticketing kiosks adapted especially to serve the elderly and the handicapped as well as non-native speakers: the devices are fitted with all the necessary hardware and software to offer Spanish-language aids, and Braille and audio-translations for vision- and hearing-impaired customers.
Metro is famous for its successful history of providing self-service ticketing kiosks of various types for more than two decades and the company officials cite that their current line of offerings in bus and rail transportation industry are considered one of the primary revenue drivers for Metro’s business and they expect to install more of them in near future to cover new areas and locations.
As a new, imaginative way to keep their customers delighted and help grow revenues, Redbox and other DVD rental kiosk companies embed complementary ticketing modules onto their traditional renting kiosks.
Self-service Redbox rental kiosks, ubiquitous beings used by entertainment lovers normally to rent DVD movies and video games starting at one dollar per day, now additionally include a ticket sales functionality which customers can use to buy seats to live events such as concerts, football and athletic games, theaters, Nascar races, etc.
Redbox, aiming to make its mark also in the electronic ticketing kiosks business, reportedly plans to sell the tickets at their standard prices plus one dollar tacked on as a service fee.
The initiative represents a clever and ingenious way of expanding a line of business by taking advantage of Redbox’s successful brand image and prevalently available network of DVD rental kiosks. Transforming kiosks from a single-duty entity into a more versatile electronic servant naturally strengthens and enriches existing operations while requiring a minimum amount of investment and this could easily be considered enough to justify the endeavor, especially when the customer satisfaction is the goal and the customer interest in ticketing kiosks is weighed in.
Understanding of human psychology helps kiosk manufacturers and organizations make better use of kiosk investments
Effective and compelling kiosk placement, whether they are sophisticated banking kiosks or simpler top-up or ticketing kiosks, helps companies increase revenues and improve customer satisfaction levels while reducing operating expenses. Careful deliberation of the human needs and an understanding of human psychology provide them with better decision making frameworks for kiosk placement and greatly enhance the chances that people or customers will be inclined to use the kiosks more often. Below are a glimpse of various considerations to assist with kiosk deployment decisions.
As a general rule of thumb, a placement near entrances is usually considered a better choice compared to an arrangement near exits. When entering into a facility, area or exhibition center people, customers or shoppers are more energetic and their interest level is higher. And this relatively more excited state increases the odds they will be tempted to move towards the self-service electronic kiosks. Entrance minded placements are especially important if the kiosks include guiding instructions and / or customer-intake functions.
When deploying unattended kiosks in larger and potentially crowded areas several additional ruminations might come into play. The units should be placed so that they will not cause a traffic jam. But popular pathways should all be covered as well if the likelihood that customers and passersby catch and harness the kiosks. Thus a fine balance between a requirement to prevent congestion and this likelihood needs to be developed and sustained. Placing service oriented or self-service purchasing kiosks in locations staffed by live personnel could also be considered another option to further reduce potential waiting times.
The number of the self-service unattended kiosks needed for an ideal customer experience should also be thoroughly calculated. Even if well placed, if there are too few units to serve, problems such as long wait lines, reduced sales, and dissatisfied users will inevitably be encountered. So it is best to plan for a deployment which provides a sufficient number of kiosks to ensure good coverage even when one or more units are down for maintenance.
Design and availability of the current infrastructure may be another limiting, enforcing, or deciding factor for self-service kiosk placement but a careful planning should be performed here too. It may be tempting to put a payment or ticketing kiosk next to a readily available electrical outlet but long term scenarios should be checked: it could be more cost-effective and more profitable to place a kiosk in its optimal location and install new electrical wiring than to put the kiosk in an out-of-the-way location with less potential just to avoid some initial and relatively smaller costs.
Convenience for support and maintenance staff is just as important as the comfort of customers, but you better not sacrifice location for convenience. Just place the kiosks in ways that allow easy access to the footprint space, particularly in the back end of the unit, where supplies are loaded or switched and maintenance is performed.
Unattended kiosk placement decisions should also involve the fact that people are most attracted to kiosks when they see a simple, clear, and consistent advertising or guiding message or instructions being displayed on the kiosks and in the environment kiosks reside in. Thus it is important to produce a harmony and alignment between the kiosk itself and the surrounding elements available. When users are fully guided and informed about what type of tasks they can accomplish using the kiosks, the chances that they will be urged to use the equipment and that a more satisfactory customer experience will take place are greatly boosted.
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