It’s easy to see why retailers are turning to more and more self-service kiosks. They put the customer in control, they can reduce operational costs and they save on staff costs. When they are designed well they can improve customer experience because customers grab their goods and leave the store with minimal fuss. When they are designed poorly, they can be time consuming and frustrating having a negative impact on customer experience.
What we’ve noticed in our research is that many of the problems are due to designers and engineers not paying enough attention to customer needs. What the kiosk developers appear to do is take the service tills used by trained retail staff and then redesign the interface for customer use. Trained staff use equipment hundreds of times a day and learn ‘work arounds’ to their frustrations. Customers on the other hand use the equipment infrequently and have much less tolerance for frustration.
To help you make sure your kiosk provides a smooth customer experience rather than a frustrating one, we’ve put together a list of the most common frustrations customers experience when using self-service kiosks/checkouts:
Whilst self-service kiosks become more popular, we feel it is important that they don’t fall into the trap that many websites did in the early days of web development: to assume that customers will adapt to the technology, rather than adapting the technology to the customers. In order for retailers to gain the benefits from self-service, they must ensure that the technology provides a smooth customer experience by focusing upon usability and customer needs very early in the product development lifecycle.
Does your self-service kiosk frustrate your customers?
Damian is our Founder & Director who has 16 years experience in UX working for companies like the BBC and National Air Traffic Services researching & designing websites, apps, voice recognition, and air traffic control interfaces. With two kids under two he spends his rare free time catching up on lost sleep or immersed in his xbox.