In many ways, the touch screen kiosk is the ultimate manifestation of digital signage technology. It uses advanced digital hardware features and sophisticated software applications to deliver a two-way flow of information between a business and its customers, or an organization and its clients. It’s not surprising, then, that a touch screen kiosk system often requires a substantial business investment. But whereas standard digital signs are a more expensive replacement for conventional paper signage, the touch screen kiosk is more often a substitute for staff-delivered customer service.
Touchscreen Kiosk Capabilities and Applications
Touch screen kiosks have a wide range of capabilities and applications. They can be used as self-checkout lines and payment transactions. They can be used for any number of wayfinding applications, including hospitality services, retail stores and shopping malls, sprawling campuses, and others. They can work as employee management and training tools with user responses guarantee active participation. They’re wonderful educational tools, especially in museums and other public venues. They can include a number of hardware accessories such as change dispensers and printers that further expand their applications. Business travelers can print out their boarding pass at their hotel. Movie theaters and mass transit systems frequently use them for ticketing services. Meanwhile, the original, wide-scale application for touch screen kiosks, the automated teller machine, is still going strong.
The Bottom Line
No matter what the specific application, the larger goal is often better operational efficiency. Again, these systems are most often a substitute for labor costs associated with customer and guest services. These kiosks have previously been deployed as a selling point for businesses that cater to tech-savvy customers. More and more, however, the general public has become familiar with and accepting of this new technology. Now, many businesses are finding they must implement these systems, and quickly, or risk losing their customers to companies with this cost-cutting infrastructure and its competitive edge.
A Touch Screen Kiosk and Long-Term Branding
You may be thinking that, sure, everybody is looking for ways to cut operating expenses, but your business has always been known for customer service with a personal touch. The two need not be mutually exclusive, however. In recent surveys, many customers are saying they actually prefer self-service kiosks to staff-delivered customer service. A touch screen kiosk has a virtually limitless database of customer information. Self-checkout lines are leading to speedier transactions. And, for many businesses, there’s no reason not to give customers the choice between these touch screen kiosks and more traditional service. The sociable customer can chat up a sales associate, while the more timid customer can avoid the anxiety of these social interactions. Personalized customer service doesn’t always have to be personal.
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