9 Essential Steps to a Successful Self-Service Rollout

30 June 2020
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By Dave DERBY – Business Development Director – AURES UK

The use of self-service kiosks is undoubtedly growing across the retail, hospitality, travel and leisure sectors, to name just a few. Consumers have really warmed to getting the kind of self-service independence they are used to online when making purchases on premise, too. And for their part, businesses recognise the advantages kiosks offer in terms of providing greater choice and flexibility to customers, reducing wait times at point of sale, freeing up staff to focus on service and overall providing a better experience.

This trend was clearly there to see prior to the global lockdown we are now carefully easing out of. The discussions about the benefits of kiosks has taken on more meaning very recently as many businesses across many sectors strive to ensure the ongoing safety of their customers and colleagues.

So, it is no surprise that more businesses want to explore the option if implementing kiosks into their business. But how do you ensure that rolling out self-service in your business will be the success you want it to be? Here are nine essential steps AURES recommend every business should follow.

Make sure you have a genuine business reason for wanting kiosks

With any kind of new technology, it is easy to get sucked into a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mindset. You’ve heard so many good things about kiosks, your main competitors are using them, surely you need to get on board quickly? It is never a good idea, however, to base investments in new systems on what amounts to a vanity project. You need to be confident of getting a decent ROI – not least to convince the people who control the purse strings. The only way to achieve that is to make sure you are aiming to resolve a genuine business need. As we have seen recently though, ROI may not be the main consideration if the health of your patrons and workforce is paramount.

Look at kiosks if you believe you could increase your throughput and sales volumes by reducing queues, or if you believe you could boost average spend through automated upselling, or for any other valid business case – not just because you’ve seen them elsewhere and like the look of them.

Research the best solution

This one should go without saying, but the key to success with any new technology is getting the right solution – not just the best available on the market, but the best for your needs. As we have discussed in a previous blog, kiosks do not lend themselves to a one-size-fits-all approach, they provide a variety of different functions and configurations which have to be geared to the requirements of the individual business. Having a trusted partner (see below) on board to help you through the implementation process is a major plus in making the right choice from the options available.

Prove the concept

Going back to the first point about using kiosks to address clearly defined business needs, the next step on from this is demonstrating that the solution you are looking at will actually achieve those objectives. Proof of concept (POC) is an important part of the due diligence process which demands diving into the available data and using it to make a robust business case. This is essential both for gaining the financial approval you need to make the investment and, as we shall see, for winning over the other key stakeholders in your organisation.

Develop your business change strategy

Introducing kiosks means introducing some degree of change within your organisation – change to point of sale, yes, but also potentially change to the layout of your premises, change to how people work, change to IT infrastructure and so on. All of that adds up to impacting a lot of people, who all need convincing that these changes are in the best interests of both themselves and the business at large.

You might, for example, come up against sales staff who fear that the introduction of kiosks is a bid to automate them out of a job. In the vast majority of projects this is not the case however, if your people are not on board, the chances of meeting your objectives successfully are greatly reduced. That is why taking a strategic approach to change management is as important as getting your business case right.

Communicate clearly and early

Top of the list in your change management strategy should be communication. If people in your organisation do have doubts about what you are proposing, the best way to begin to address them is to be open and honest about your plans from the start, setting out the why, when, what and how as early as possible. People tend to resist change when they are unclear about its impact and also when they don’t feel they have been involved in the process. Good communication is key to addressing both of these.

Appoint a champion within the organisation

And continuing on the theme of communication, change management best practice strongly recommends appointing a ‘champion’ to take control of it. Their role in the process is twofold – first, to ‘sell’ the concept internally and to make sure that all the benefits outlined in the business case and change strategy are clearly understood by everyone, but also to act as a central point of contact for anyone looking for more information, with questions to ask or concerns to raise.

Set realistic targets for rollout

There is no point in rushing your deployment of kiosks at the expense of getting things right. Especially if you are a large company with a number of different sites, you might want to consider if it makes sense to push for roll out everywhere at once, or whether you would be better served running a pilot in a smaller number of first. This gives you a chance to test out the operational aspects of the rollout ‘in the wild’, identify and iron out any glitches, assess some of the more nuanced considerations such as where to locate your kiosks and, if the pilot goes well this will validate your case to the rest of your stakeholders.

If the rollout isn’t planned correctly the stakes for pushing out a large number of kiosks in one go are very high. Get things wrong, and you could risk delaying the final delivery date and quality of the project, while confidence in the project amongst your people could also be fatally tarnished

Listen to feedback

Another good reason for running a pilot deployment first is to gather feedback from the people who matter most – your customers and your staff on the ground. Listening to and taking on board feedback is vital to the long-term success of utilising self-service kiosks in your business, and is something that should be hardwired into the launch process from the pilot stage onwards. Keep asking what went wrong, what worked and what could be improved, be prepared to act on what you hear, and you increase the chances of success many times over.

Look to a trusted partner

Finally, if all of this sounds daunting, never fear – there is nothing to say you have to go through this alone. Getting set up with self-service kiosks, and more importantly doing so successfully, means embracing new technology as well as new ways of working. It makes sense to look for assistance from people who not only understand the technology inside out, but who can use their expertise to advise you on everything from choosing the right solution for your business to optimising its impact.

AURES can help you through every stage of this process. Not only do we build and sell turnkey kiosk equipment for every sector, we also specialise in installation, customisation and have an extensive partnership network amongst leading kiosk software developers, which allows us to provide a complete end-to-end consultancy service on every aspect of kiosk adoption.

In addition to this AURES also has real expertise within the team from people who know what this process feels like. We have been on the customer-side, we have been in your position. We have senior members of the team who have managed very large-scale kiosk rollout projects within complex organisations and we will leverage those learnings to ensure your project is a success. Get in touch with us to find out more.