How Technology Can Help Businesses Adapt to the New Normal
As a full end-to-end solution provider, AURES has seen first hand how the priorities of businesses has shifted over the past year in the types of enquiries we have been receiving. It is clear that operators have heard the message about making their workplaces safer and more hygienic loud and clear. They want innovative tech-based solutions to help achieve that. We’ve had enquiries about everything from solving new operational challenges to ensuring the right cleaning regimes are in place.
In many customer-facing sectors, self-service kiosks will have an important role to play in establishing a new normal where contact between staff and customers is kept to a minimum. They can help reduce the face-to-face contact at close proximity that is inevitable at checkout, and therefore eliminate one means of the virus spreading.
This is likely to accelerate the upward trend in kiosk adoption that was evident before the pandemic struck, and again retail will be the test bed. One of the lessons from supermarkets, which have of course remained open as a provider of an essential service throughout the pandemic and were also an early adopter of self-service checkouts in retail, is that kiosks do more than just reduce contact between customers and staff. They also play a key role in cutting queues, which will be another important consideration in following physical distancing guidelines.
The value and potential of kiosks has previously been demonstrated in other sectors, too. Self-serve technology has become a feature of large chain QSR operators like McDonalds. But we’re hearing from more and more independents interested in the possibilities of offering customers contact-free ordering once they are able to open again.
Similarly, cinemas have been strong advocates of tech for many years and have used automated self-service ticketing machines to streamline box office operations. This has started to extend into linking kiosks to food ordering and other services. The safety imperative added to the desire to create a more seamless customer experience is likely to accelerate that process.
Finally, hoteliers may consider this to be an opportune moment to really adopt self-service check-in on a mass scale in preparation for reopening, eliminating the need to queue at reception once and for all.
Of course, technologies like self-service kiosks do not on their own offer a magic solution to the critically important safety questions facing businesses post-lockdown. Questions such as how kiosks are cleaned are being addressed with both hi-tech and low-tech solutions so safety can be assured. But as part of a bigger package, kiosks and technology in general can help to ease the burden on businesses and boost confidence amongst consumers and workers alike.
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This post was written by Julian Philips