Self Service checkouts are an added accessory in supermarkets these days. In technological terms they are one range of kiosks you can interact with. Many are unsure as to whether these self-service devices are a good or bad thing. It took a while for customers to accept them and even now they are still getting used to them. They do contain a number of benefits but also have a number of issues and drawbacks.
A key benefit of these self-service kiosks is that they are good for your money. They limit the number of staff needed. Usually one member of staff can help manage four self-service machines, much more efficient that serving one customer at a time on a single till.
They don’t take up much space; a typical cashier station is equivalent to five self-service kiosks. Meaning a larger number of customers can be served in a shorter amount of time and is without mention a more efficient use of space.
It’s not only beneficial to supermarkets but also customers, in particular customers who have only a few items; they can process their purchases a lot quicker and don’t have to face the annoyance of waiting in a long queue.
Majority of customers, often prefer to process their shopping themselves, especially if it’s personal products. Having control over paying for their shopping can help make the process appear to be a lot quicker.
Customers sometimes just enjoy the actual experience of scanning their own shopping and like to give it a go. Some see it as a personal challenge, to try to do it as quickly as possible without any errors or help from a member of staff.
For some people, customer service and the human touch is important. They prefer to go to a cashier rather than an impersonal machine. Whereas others are fearful of technology, and are often worried about using it as they are unfamiliar with it, so tend to stay away from them.
Any regular user of self-service machines will be familiar with the common phrase ‘Unexpected item in the bagging area’ just the mention of this to a frequent user could cause irritation. When a problem such as this occurs whilst using the machine, you are then left with the challenge of trying to obtain the attention of a member of staff. Most staff working on the self-service machines often have their hands full, sorting out errors and authorising the sales of goods such as alcohol.
The conveniences of self-service kiosks for many people do outweigh their disadvantages. With an increase in customer usage and continued development of these self-service kiosks, it is more than likely that the customer experience will improve. Those who are still uncertain about these kiosks needn’t worry, as none of the top supermarkets have released any plans to get rid of staff tills completely. Overall it comes down to personal preference.