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Your Guide to Installing Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks perform a wide variety of functions, from accessing information to printing tickets to paying your electric bill, and pretty much everything in between. They take the place of information booths, clerks, tellers, cashiers, and more.

Customers are accustomed to both seeing and using these machines. Many people prefer the speed and efficiency of having a kiosk available, while also appreciating the personal touch they only get through interacting with live employees.

Technology advances have made kiosks faster and more specialized, as well as helping reduce the cost for purchase and installation.

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The Many Possibilities of a Self-Service Kiosk

Benefits of employing a kiosk are many, and vary widely according to their intended use.

An informational kiosk helps your customers find answers to common questions, freeing your staff to focus on more critical tasks. Numerous professionals use them as interactive, educational aids, from the doctor's office to the classroom to the exhibition floor.

Grocery stores and other retailers offer self-serve kiosks for shoppers looking to make their purchases quickly, and theater owners provide them to movie-goers who prefer to buy tickets online.

Many brands employ kiosks for marketing campaigns, installing them in remote locations to grow brand awareness, launch a new product, or otherwise engage potential customers.

Reduce Costs

How you use the kiosk determines the potential savings in labor. They can replace the salary, benefits, and other overhead costs of a number of employees. You may also use them to make employees more effective and efficient in their duties, instead of employees being pulled away from mission-critical tasks. Organizations utilizing self-service kiosks for tasks such as completing paperwork save money on items like printer ink and paper. In addition, you also lose the common errors employees make creating digitized versions of that paperwork.

Interactive Analysis

Creating an interactive way for your customers to engage with your brand is powerfully effective. As they learn more about your offerings or promotions, they build a relationship with your brand. Also, as you provide helpful information, their trust in your brand grows. Interactive kiosks let you offer cross- and upsell opportunities, and gather deeper information about your customers. Analyzing these data helps you better understand your customers' spending habits and therefore guide future campaigns. Typically, this type of data requires surveys and questionnaires. Instead, you gather it organically through a kiosk.

Average Costs

With so many types of kiosks available, estimating the average cost is nearly impossible.

A tablet-sized, portable kiosk starts at just under $200 and runs up to around $1,500. You find these most often in restaurants and retail establishments.

Table and wall mounted kiosks start at around $2,000, with standalone units coming in at $3,000. From there, prices extend to around $10,000, depending on how many features you want.

For example, upgrades to the touch screen run you between $2,000 and $10,000. Add at least $1,000 for a laser printer. When all is said and done, though, the average standalone unit comes in between $5,000 and $8,000.

Of course, this only covers the hardware. Customized software has even broader variations in cost, with so many options. Expect to pay between $3,000 and $20,000 for the software, plus licensing fees for each unit between $300 and $500.

Finally, purchasing an extended warranty that includes maintenance adds around 20 percent to the purchase price.

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