Self service and customer behavior

Written by

Kat Elliott

The world of business is constantly changing, and due to new technological developments, consumer behaviors are changing with it. Customers’ expectations for businesses aren’t the same as they used to be ten years ago, and the way they interact with businesses has evolved. 

One of the new technologies responsible for all these changes is self service, which has seen a surge in popularity over the last decade. More and more businesses are adopting some form of self service, and more and more customers are choosing to use it. The presence of self service can even be a deciding factor on whether a customer chooses one business or another. Analyzing why self service is so important to customers will provide a deeper insight into how businesses can attain success by looking at their customers’ behaviors.

Changing customer behaviors

Self service influences customer behaviors by addressing various expectations or needs. This results in higher customer satisfaction and a better experience, contributing to your business’s overall success.

See some of the ways in which self service technology is changing customer behaviors:


Customers expect more efficiency on the part of the business and less effort on their own part. When a business takes into consideration the convenience of the customer, it is more likely to retain that customer.

Self service offers convenience to customers because it allows them to easily retrieve information, complete a transaction, or place an order without the assistance of an employee. The key is the ease with which the customer is able to perform these actions, as most self service kiosks are user friendly and not overly complicated.


Having their time valued by a business is one of the most important parts of the customer experience, according to 66% of shoppers. Having to go to a business and wait in line can decrease a customer’s satisfaction level.

Self service is a direct solution to the problem of not being fast enough for customers. It offers an alternative to waiting in line for assistance from an employee, and is typically always available for a customer to use at their own convenience. A simplified process means faster transactions, allowing for more traffic to pass through in a shorter amount of time.


Personalizing the customer experience is a more recent trend that has had significantly positive results. Most customers no longer want anonymity when they are shopping, not when they could have personalized suggestions and experiences based on their preferences, desires, and even their frustrations.

Most self service solutions are artificial intelligence-enabled, meaning that, whenever a customer uses a self service kiosk, their information is stored in a database to personalize any future experiences. Customers can also personalize their experience manually through the kiosk, whether they are customizing a food order, adding a service to their hotel stay, or choosing an item to order from a store.

Reduced risk of human error

Human errors are pretty much inevitable when it comes to interacting with a business. Payments can be mishandled, orders can be misunderstood, and schedules can be confused. This usually occurs at the expense of the customer, who experiences frustration and consequently has a negative experience with the business.

Self service reduces the risk of human error because customers are able to do everything themselves, and the technology does the rest. Customers can use the kiosk on their own terms to specify their own orders, retrieve information, and get exact change when they pay with cash, so they get exactly what they want with little chance of error.

Increased control

Giving customers more options to choose from when interacting with the business allows them to have more control over their experience with the business. It allows them to choose what works best for them, much like the concept of personalization.

Self service offers customers control in two ways: one, they are able to choose between using the kiosk or getting assistance from an employee, and two, customers can control their interactions with the kiosk, whereas interacting with an employee is more unpredictable. Customers can choose how and when they use the kiosk, and everything occurs on their own terms.

Customer using self service kiosk

Customer behaviors and satisfaction

The rise in popularity and the resulting prominence of self service technology has significantly changed customer behaviors. Customers now expect more convenience, speed, personalization, and control, and less human errors when they interact with a business. Failing to meet their expectations can result in an unsatisfactory and negative experience.

But if a business is able to accommodate those customer behaviors, it can result in higher satisfaction, and encourage them to keep coming back to the business as repeat customers. This is good for the business because it not only gives them a reliable customer base and brings in more revenue, but it also factors into the business’s customer acquisition rate. Repeat customers can help bring in new customers by recommending the business through online reviews or word-of-mouth.

Businesses increase their chances of success by understanding customer behaviors and using technology to help address them.

    Key takeaways

    New technological developments in the business world have resulted in significant changes in customer behavior. Customers expect more from the business they are patroning, and failing to meet their expectations can be detrimental to the success of the business. Yet, meeting or exceeding their expectations has immense benefits, creating repeat customers, attracting new customers, and increasing the business’s chances of success.

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