Retailers and quick-service restaurant (QSR) operators often struggle to maintain consistent customer communications and experiences. On top of that, entry-level store associate and order counter jobs are known for high turnover. That can result in a near-constant need for managers to onboard and train new staff so they provide customers with consistent, on-brand messages and services. A typical restaurant, for example, loses 2 out of 3 employees every year. As for retail, the National Retail Federation found that annual staff turnover exceeds 60 percent.

The pandemic exacerbated the problem, with employers struggling to find people willing to work for low pay with high health safety risks. In May 2021, KFC announced the company was looking to hire 20,000 people. The industry-wide staffing shortage has been called a crisis in some circles.

Touchscreen displays like kiosks minimize one-to-one interactions. In retail stores, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and other kinds of businesses that operate on admission ticketing and queue management, these displays convey information that’s routinely sought out by customers. As a result, touchscreen sales have experienced strong, steady growth.

The business case for kiosks

Using digital screens for ordering and transaction processes frees up staff to work on other tasks, and they have many other benefits, including:

Consistency: Self-service kiosks remove the human factor that comes from customer-facing staff with limited training or experience, replacing it with information and messaging that’s always exactly what managers want conveyed. Research continues to confirm that positive customer experiences influence sales and brand loyalty. The quality of customer service has become so important that observers say it’s overtaking price and product as the most influential factor in buying decisions.

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Smarts: Tied into point of sale (POS) and inventory systems, kiosks ensure customers have accurate, real-time information on everything from item pricing to availability. If an item is out of stock, your kiosk can be programmed to remove that item from the lookup screen, add a “Sold Out” text overlay or offer other purchase options like ordering for later in-store pickup. When a special offer ends, for example, the time stamp you have on file ensures the offer disappears from every screen in applicable stores.

Experience: Kiosks enhance the customer journey by letting patrons look up product information, make orders and complete transactions — all on their own time. When customized to fit within a business’ buyer journey, kiosks can move customers toward a purchase, and even accelerate the buying process by letting consumers bypass long lines and perform self check-out.

Security: The information and transaction platform secures your business and customer data from the chip up, using proven technologies like Samsung’s defense-grade Knox security.

Impact: Self-guided, readily available kiosks boost revenue by upselling higher-margin add-ons. Kiosks also speed up the average transaction time — increasing the amount of orders that can be placed in an hour, often resulting in more sales. Tillster, a digital ordering solutions firm, has found that optimized self-service kiosks typically boost orders’ dollar value by 15 to 30 percent.

Accuracy: Connected to your corporate information systems, touch-driven kiosks can provide customers with progressive layers of detail — such as buying options, technical specifications and product availability. The on-screen ordering process boosts order accuracy by confirming transactions on screen prior to payment, which helps prevent errors, speeding up transactions.

Both simple and sophisticated

Samsung has made its first big step into the kiosk and self-service market with Samsung Kiosk, a sleek all-in-one solution aimed at retailers, QSRs and any other business that wants to enable customer self-service or wayfinding. The innovative new solution can be mounted on a counter, stand or wall. It features a highly responsive 24-inch touch display, speaker, terminal and printer in a single plug-and-play unit.

Samsung Kiosk has an attractive portrait-mode design that’s neutral enough for any use case, and it has built-in merchant flexibility. For example, the kiosk works seamlessly with a variety of PIN pads used by financial institutions.

The kiosk is also designed for easy installation and activation, with no custom configuration or assembly necessary.

The back end of the system is tuned to the mission-critical needs of retail and food service — with transactional security, remote access and mobile device management (MDM) tools that allow IT and operations managers to easily monitor a large deployment of dispersed kiosks across a network. With access to remote troubleshooting for any outages or upgrades, you get maximum uptime from your devices.

Self-service bliss

Restaurants, retailers and other businesses that see a lot of daily foot traffic were already adopting self-service technologies before the pandemic. But their technology options were coming mainly from small and unfamiliar companies.

With Samsung’s nearly universal, highly malleable turnkey kiosk option, business operators can speed operations and improve customer experience with innovative technology from a brand they know and trust.

Adding kiosks to your retail or QSR locations may not seem necessary, but the time and cost savings make these screens more than worth the investment. As you implement new screens, you can configure and tailor them with real-time messaging using an integrated CMS using this complete guide. You can also explore Samsung’s other innovative retail solutions, designed to mobilize your operations so you save time and enrich the customer experience.

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Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes is a well-known veteran in the digital signage industry. He consults to some of the world’s largest brands on their digital signage strategy and technical needs, but also spends time mentoring start-ups. A former daily newspaper journalist, Haynes has for the past decade written a highly-respected blog about digital signage, Sixteen:Nine. Follow Dave on twitter @sixteennine

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