5.03.2005

 

The rise of Kiosks

Service gets lost in self-serve world

From the article:This is straight out of Robotic Nation.

Comments:
"People want this..."

I don't necassarily agree with this statement. I overhear so many people, while I am standing in line, complaining about have to use the kiosks to check in for their flight.

I think it is more that the company is saving money as they only need one person to manage 4 kiosks, instead of 4 people to manage 4 check-in counters.
But as you have stated, if one company does it the rest have because the 1st company can drop their prices.


-MR
 
Interestingly, I find myself more resistant to some forms of self-service than others. For example, I don't like the fact that at the grocery store kiosks, if you mis-scan your groceries or have some other (all too common) problem, you'll have a line of impatient customers behind you breathing down your back. Conversely, I hate getting in line to find some little old lady doddling with the scanner, hearing the automated voice of "please rescan your item and try again..." (The fact that customers are so generally slow and bad at using these machines must mean that their savings can't actually be 4 to 1. 2 to 1, mabye.)

And, worst, I hate the fact that when you have an alcoholic beverage, you're automatically blocked by the software from continuing. You have to get out your wallet and walk over to the attendant, and show him your ID. At the age of 40, that's quite annoying.

So at the grocery store, I go for a live human being when the lines aren't prohibitive.

On the other hand, I prefer the automated airline ticket kiosks. Somehow they give you a sense of control or something, and they're quite fast.
 
Excellent link and article Marshall. However I found the premise of the article to be totally flawed - that self-serve options are generating a "backlash", or that somehow consumers yearn for the "good old days" of humans providing service.

Rather I find it is a generational issue...when I am in at the grocery store, every person under the age of 30 waits in line at the self-checkout line (usually chatting on their cellphones while they wait). Even many oldsters like myself (36) do the same, because we realize that checking ourselves out is nearly always faster. We are at the grocery store to acquire products and leave, not chit-chat with uninspired minimum-wage slaves so as to feel more "connected to society" (or whatever benefit the author of that piece imagines is derived from having a human run our products past an automated scanner).

The "backlash" against self-service is the same as the backlash against automated phone systems 15 or 20 years ago, and will without a doubt suffer the same end (i.e., those complaining about it will grow old and die, while younger people will grow up with it as the norm).

Humans are bad at providing efficient service, and consumers have noticed and are voting with their dollars. Things should accelerate rapidly now.
 
My quotes were taken from a very long phone interview, and in "sound bite" format, it isn't quite what I hoped.

The context of my statements was the growth of "self service" technology, where on a 24x7 basis, you can check your bank balance, pay bills, and order products. This is what people want. I wasn't referring to reduction in personnel such as tellers, airline check-in staff, and grocery clerks.

The thrust of what I was trying to get across was the following: When a firm does not offer the ability for customers to be able to do the things I outlined above, many are surprised and disappointed. There is quite a bit of demand for some of this.

Therefore, the comment meant that people demand 24x7x365 service, and are indignant without it.

Dennis Galletta
 
Hey I was just blog surfing amd I found your blog! Looks Great!

I also have a denver international airport
It deals mostly with denver international airport plus other stuff,
You can save up to 50% your next flight!

You should check it out if you get a chance!!
 
Ich war Aussehen für Dies. Metalldetektoren

Aber ich stimme überein, dass Sie sehr gutes Bloggen Talent haben
 
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