In the age of modern technology, the speed and convenience offered by large businesses and e-commerce often overshadows small businesses. Many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are struggling to get by and are looking for solutions that can make them more competitive.
As the owner of an SMB, you may be looking for ways to revamp your business to make it more competitive. One way to do that is by innovating your point of sale with a self service option, which can benefit your whole business.
What is self service?
Self service is a relatively new technology that allows customers to interact directly with a business without the assistance of an employee. Customers have more control over the way they engage with the business by performing actions like placing an order, making a purchase, or retrieving information without an employee to intermediate.
What is the purpose of self service?
Self service is more than just a way for your customers to interact with the business. The more advanced technologies, like those developed by Aivah.io, serve multiple purposes that are meant to make running your business more easy and efficient. Most self service technologies are customizable to a degree, allowing you to choose the features and capabilities you need for your business.
Some of the more basic features that would be included on most models are:
- Customer ordering – At quick-service restaurants, customers can place and customize their food orders without the assistance of an employee. At retail stores, customers can review the inventory, or place online orders if necessary.
- Payment acceptance – Customers can pay for their services or items at the point of sale. Most self checkout systems accept payments in the form of cash, check, swiped, chip, or contactless card, or via mobile wallets.
- Guest check in or checkout – At hospitality businesses, guests can check themselves in and out without waiting in line. They quickly fill in all the required information, electronically sign hotel policy forms, and receive or return room keys.
- Information provision – Guests can look up items or services offered and view price, product information, delivery options, scheduling options, or other information pertaining to your business.
The advanced features assist with the administrative and management sides of the business, such as:
- Data analytics and reports – Receive transactional reports on deposits, batches, or monthly statements, and see how your business is performing in regard to cash flow, sales revenue, and customer acquisition and retention.
- Tracking and storing customer data – Learn more about your customers when they use self service. Artificial intelligence-enabled technologies are able to understand your customers by tracking their buying behaviors and learning about their desires, preferences, and frustrations. This is collected along with their contact information as a customer profile, and stored in a database.
- Targeted marketing – You can improve your marketing efforts with the customer data mentioned above. See what items or services are popular among your customers and market those more aggressively. You can also make suggestions based on your customers’ past preferences.
- Manage inventory – Make sure your inventory is always in stock by seeing what items are popular and selling out quickly, and what items are not. You can set reminders for when you need to order more items, or you can place orders directly at the self service kiosk.
- Manage employees – View the number of sales closed by your employees and check on their overall performance. You can also manage their access permissions for the different levels of your business, and create or modify their schedules.
What are some advantages of self service?
With a wide variety of features and functions, self service offers several benefits to your business, including:
- A better customer experience – Use customer profiles to personalize each customer’s experience at your business. Self service offers an alternative to waiting in long lines for assistance from an employee, and provides customers with more control over how they interact with your business.
- Improved operational efficiency – Reduce the amount of time your employees spend on administrative tasks and give them more opportunities to provide excellent customer service. Reporting tools will also provide insight into your business’s past performance and show you how to run your business most effectively.
- Increased revenue – You can reduce your labor costs by diverting your time and money toward long-term goals rather than mundane operations. Self service kiosks also offer more opportunities to up sell add-ons, upgrades, and special offers directly to customers.
Self service solutions
There are two main types of self service options available:
No installation or configuration required; everything is ready to go as soon as you receive it. You have the choice of hardware and will receive all the basic self service features.
Consolidate any basic or advanced self service features you need and download onto the hardware that best suits the needs of your business. We can integrate with any API or software to provide you with the perfect solution.
Self service by industry
Self service works better for certain industries, as it can perform various functions and fill any gaps that are typically addressed by employees. Some of the more popular industries are:
Reduce long lines at your front desk by allowing guests to check in and checkout, sign hotel policy forms, and pay for their rooms.
Increase the speed with which your restaurant operates by allowing customers to order and customize their food, pay, and receive their meals quickly.
Close more sales and run your store more efficiently by allowing customers to check your inventory for items, place orders online if necessary, and checkout by paying at a kiosk instead of waiting in line for the cashier.
There are many reasons to consider getting a self service kiosk for your business. Self service helps you to:
- Be competitive with larger businesses and e-commerce by modernizing your whole business
- Be more sustainable in the long run when it comes to costs and business revenue
- Focus on long-term business goals rather than just day-to-day operations
- Grow your customer base and have a higher chance of success
- Manage multiple aspects of your business in one place, without the paperwork