Whilst American and Asian companies are embracing new self-service kiosk technology, their European counterparts appear reluctant to get on board according to KioskCom Europe executives.
In the US, the market for kiosk technology is set to grow 39% in 2006 - compared to only 15% in Europe. In the UK, kiosks are starting to make an appearance; cinemas, for example, increasingly offer self-service ticket systems for those who have already paid online or via the telephone, using the machine to validate identity. Yet, many European businesses are still failing to adopt the self-service technologies, such as self-service food ordering devices, that are increasingly standard across the US and Asia Pacific.
This year’s launch event for the UK and Europe, KioskCom Europe 2006 is designed to demonstrate the value of point-of-service, point-of-information and point-of-sale self-service solutions. A combined Expo, strategic conference and kiosk ‘test drive’ area, will provide education on how to deploy, manage and maintain these new, fast growing channels and services.
Phil Hunter, Managing Director of KioskCom Europe 2006, explains, “The UK may be a nation of queuers; but in an increasingly demanding consumer society, perhaps no longer a nation of happy queuers. It is hard to measure the cost of lost sales and disgruntled customers who fail to return but every consumer-based organisation recognises the problem associated with poor customer throughput. Furthermore, given the switch to Chip & PIN technology, the sales assistant’s role has, in many cases, been reduced to little more than supervising the consumer transaction.”
“The reasons for self-service technology adoption are evident: self-service technology saves money, reduces costs and improves customer service,” he adds. “The adoption may well be slow but, if tackled appropriately, will be sure. And, once in place, self-service offers organisations extraordinary opportunities to transform the process of direct consumer interaction.”
Kioskcom Europe draws upon a 10 year history of successful events in the USA. The two-day event, 8-9 November at London’s Olympia, will bring together industry professionals to discuss how European companies can take advantage of self-service kiosk technology to increase profitability, create long-term revenue generating opportunities, and increase customer loyalty.
Hunter concludes, “If the consumer - especially the queue loving British consumer - is to be encouraged to self-serve, organisations need to take a long term training stance towards encouraging adoption. It may go against the national grain but self-service is a global trend; failing to follow suit will fundamentally constrain competitive position.”