The age of self-service is officially upon us as businesses across industries turn to kiosks to facilitate customer order-taking, ticketing, check-ins, check-outs, and an increasing array of other transactions.
Organizations are being drawn to self-service for a few key reasons:
These reasons sound compelling until reality hits and chaos ensues as an influx of customers causes a backup of people waiting for their turn, jockeying for position, and generally trying to figure out where a line should form.
The surprising reality is that self-serve kiosks don’t really remove the waiting line and when the resulting chaos ensues, all the other benefits of the self-service approach are quickly diminished. The point is, installing a bank of self-service kiosks doesn’t eliminate the line; it simply changes where the line forms.
Planning queue management for a line of kiosks or even a single kiosk, is the same as planning queues for a line of cashiers or service agents. Remember that customers still want to feel a sense of order and fairness in the process, they want to know where the line begins and ends, they want a clear path through the queue, and they want to know where the next available kiosk is and whose turn it is to approach the kiosk. These objectives can be met when you apply tried and true queue management strategies to your self-service area.
Consider this simple 2-step approach:
With a solid queue management approach, you can maximize the benefits of a self-service approach and minimize the chaos in front of the kiosks.