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Top Automated Self-Service Technologies Today

Automated self-service approaches are a set of techniques that allow people to solve problems on their own without having to ask for help. They're often used in situations where asking for help would be too difficult or embarrassing. It's increasingly hard to find retail shops, restaurants, and public spaces that don't utilize self-service technologies in some form.


Everybody wants things done quickly and without concern for the process. Likewise, to enhance customer service and cut expenses, organizations are increasingly introducing automated self-service technologies (SST). Besides, if you are still not convinced that self-service is the best way to be served, many companies are adopting the combination of human-machine. That way, they satisfy both needs: speed and personalized service.


Let's take a look at how self-service technologies are being employed in different sectors.


1. Travel

SST in the tourism and hospitality industry allows for a better customer experience.


Airports

Self-service airport kiosks powered by artificial intelligence
Common Use Self Service kiosk at an airport in India

The airport can be a hectic and crowded environment, with long queues and waiting periods. SST enables airports to replace flight check-in, baggage check-in, and airport parking with automated machines, thereby improving the overall experience of air travel. From the customer's perspective, SST shortens the time it takes to complete formalities and provides flexibility.


Hotels

Hotel self check-in improves customer experience

At hotels, self-service kiosks give customers a convenient check-in option, especially at late hours. Guests can use contactless technology for various purposes such as checking in and out, updating preferences, room service, and payment.


Tourist Places

Self-service technology helps visitors at tourist places
Floor plan provided by an American museum to guide its visitors

In the age of COVID, it is more important than ever to employ self-service stations in tourist spots as they keep the public safe by limiting the spread of viruses and other germs. SST also assists tourists in ticketing, navigation, and providing information on exhibits.


Parking Kiosks

Automation using technology makes life easier

They are compact devices that help motorists obtain parking tickets for parking their vehicles in a parking lot for a certain period. Sometimes, people don’t park their cars in an organized manner and end up occupying so much space. By enforcing smart parking systems such as CCTVs and parking kiosks, the parking lot can be used to its optimum level. Motorists also have a variety of payment options. With SST, the old parking systems' difficulties are gone for customers.


2. Banking

Traditional banking structure is rigid and not customer-centric. Previously, opening an account took many days and numerous paperwork. People who travel abroad often could not control their finances easily. Even today, banks are accessible only during a certain time. Customers demanded flexibility in banking. The advent of self-service technology thus drastically improved customer experience.

ATM- typical example of self-service technology

Now, customers can manage their finances at all times without having to visit a branch by using self-service channels like ATMs, mobile banking, banking apps, and internet banking. Automated self-service options have made processes- monitoring account balances and statements, transferring funds, paying bills, and making purchases- quicker and hassle-free. People don't have to worry about long waiting periods, thanks to multiple payment methods and 24/7 access to services.


3. Healthcare

Be it at a hospital or a doctor’s office, SST can improve in-person visits. Patients expect their healthcare experience to be fast and flexible, as other industries are already offering this type of service to customers. Digital technology has given birth to all-in-one platforms that automate the complete medical check-in procedure.

No more backlog, thanks to self-service technology

Collecting and integrating patients' data is a huge benefit. This means that patients' data will be available to doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and other medical institutions. In addition to providing a seamless experience for the customer, this process also greatly enhances patient and preventative care.


4. Retail

SST in retail spaces has become a part of our daily lives rather than a new feature.


Supermarkets

Self check-out provides proactive support to shoppers
Self-checkout machine at a supermarket

Shoppers can now scan and check out their purchases without assistance, thanks to self-checkouts. The number one customer pain point, as per Capgemini's Smart Stores report, is having to wait in lengthy lines when it comes to billing. However, through SST, customers enjoy a finer in-store experience and a swift checkout process.


Fast Food Chains

Self-service kiosks enriches customer experience
Customers placing orders on their own at McDonald's

Customers don't like to wait around when they visit fast food restaurants in particular. With the help of SST, customers can place orders and pay their bills in a single transaction. Getting the order correct is a metric for customer satisfaction. Self-ordering increases order accuracy. It directly sends the order to the kitchen, expediting the overall process.


Vending Machines

Vending machines- a typical example of self-service technology

Automated devices known as vending machines distribute goods like refreshments, snacks, lottery tickets, and other items. By doing away with the requirement for a physical checkout, these stores also have the advantage of being open around the clock and giving customers the quick, easy shopping experience they've grown accustomed to.


Self-Service Gas Stations

Self-service gas stations

Where customers serve themselves, paying before they pump gas into their vehicles. Self-service gas stations are usually cheaper than full-service ones, and customers can save time by not having to wait for an attendant. This is however a contentious technology as fear of fires and explosions has led some places to ban self-service gas stations.


5. Government

Government-run institutions are becoming more customer-friendly by employing self-service technologies.


DMV

DMVs are changing the perception of who they are by providing a good customer experience with the use of SST. To reduce the queues and therefore wait times and also to save money, kiosks are set up in DMV offices and off-site locations. These kiosks provide various services including license renewal, duplicate printing, as well as registration renewal and printing for cars, trailers, and boats.

Self-service kiosks are a time-saver

Some DMVs are collaborating with the judicial system so that court-ordered fines can be paid via self-service kiosks too. They not only give customers a better experience by removing the dreaded wait, but they are also providing them with the ability to do things other than those unique to the DMV.


Post Office

A digital kiosk at a post office
A digital kiosk at a post office

Customers want same-day delivery, real-time tracking of their packages, and the ability to redirect deliveries that are already in flight. To keep up with these demands, post offices must adopt digital technology. Self-service enables post offices to be more agile and responsive, while also allowing for the establishment of new services at a cheaper cost. Post offices with greater accessibility have greater revenue potential and can satisfy their customers while focusing their staff on the most valuable or complicated customer transactions.


Customer Automated Self-Service: What Is It & How To Do It Right?

Customer automated self-service is the process in which a business gives its customers the ability to find solutions on their own without having to wait for a support representative or another team member. Resolving common customer issues should be automated. This way, your support agents will have time to tackle complex problems. Build your self-service tools based on your customers' issues to gain maximum benefits.


In the rare scenarios, automated self-service goes wrong, do let customers know that you've made a mistake and apologize for it. This type of communication works because it shows that you care about making things right with the customer. Track the performance of your SST through various metrics such as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), ticket resolution rate, and the number of unresolved tickets. The data will provide insights for further optimization.


Build A Best-In-Class Customer Self-Service Experience

Ascendo helps companies offer proactive support with the power of artificial intelligence. Based on customers' queries, Ascendo's AI bot provides intelligent predictions and guides toward resolution easily. Ascendo is available directly on channels like Slack and WhatsApp to assist support teams in handling customer issues, making the process more interactive, more accessible, and faster. All interactions with customers are recorded and used as a knowledge base to understand the trends of customer concerns over time.


When an agent handoff occurs, the agent is not only aware of the previous solutions the customer has tried, but also has access to more predictions due to extensive data access. Ascendo empowers support agents with AI Search, a feature that consolidates knowledge from multiple data sources to provide solutions in one platform. Customer support teams can easily add this smart search to their work environment and use it to solve issues efficiently.


If you are interested in improving your support operations, contact us.

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