I used to do a presentation entitled "Ways to Fail Miserably, Quickly and Expensively with Kiosks." One of the quickest paths to failure was to not have the right people involved at the beginning of the project. For a project to be successful, you need to have the following viewpoints represented:
Line of business
A self-service strategy or kiosk project must have a clearly articulated value proposition to the customer and to the business. I wrote about this in an earlier blog. If you don't state these explicitly, then you diminish your chances for success.
If you want to lower administrative costs by creating a kiosk that allows people to apply for jobs or check employee benefits, then human resources should drive the requirements. If you want to increase sales of plants by allowing customers to design their own gardens, then whoever owns the profit and loss of that department should spearhead the effort.
Once you've determined the strategic objectives, success metrics need to be established. These may be about return on investment (ROI), total cost of ownership (TCO) or engagement. It doesn't matter which metric you choose. The point is to pick something that reflects how you are tracking toward your strategic objective.
Another critical failure point is when there is no executive support. By having clear objectives with metrics, you can ensure that upper management understands the business results they can expect from the deployment. This will help them rally behind the project.
Modern self-service solutions or kiosks provide excellent vehicles for content, messaging as well as provide valuable analytics for customer insight.
A successful kiosk project can help increase 'wallet share' through up-selling, cross-selling or loyalty rewards. Marketing can help with strategies to ensure that these objectives are met. Moreover, they can integrate the kiosk with other campaigns to greater increase the chances of success.
In addition, marketing has great content that can be used on the kiosk to make it more engaging. You will want to work with them to create a system to keep content updated and relevant.
For example, the Intel AIM suite uses facial recognition to help with predictive selling, collecting demographic information or measuring engagement. This type of data can help you microsegment, so your messages are more impactful.
A former CMO of Coca-Cola once said that he wanted customers to be able to identify a Coke bottle even if it were smashed into pieces. Since then, it has spawned the idea of 'smashable' brands. That means that if you break apart any piece, it is easily identified as part of the brand.
The brand department can help ensure that the kiosk deployment is part of a 'smashable' brand experience by considering:
Do the color, texture and form reflect your brand elements and style guide?
Are you speaking to the customer in a consistent voice?
Are the feedback sounds consistent with your brand?
Does the solution add to your brand story?
If your kiosk deployment doesn't look or sound like your brand then it can fail in two ways. One is that you miss an opportunity to make a positive brand impression. The other is that a poor experience will erode any affinity or goodwill that the user felt for your brand previously.
IT and operations
For self-service solutions to provide a positive brand and customer experience, IT and operations are critical. Slow load times can kill the customer experience. Do you want 'slow' to be one of the words customers associate with your brand? A "down" kiosk says something about your quality. A dirty kiosk says something about how much you care for your customer's well being.
So that you don't send the wrong messages, you will need a solution that is integrated, supported and maintained. IT will need to ensure that it talks to back-end systems so that there is real time data. They will also need to network, manage and secure the devices.
Operations will need to integrate it into current processes and procedures. If the value promise of the kiosk is that items ordered will be shipped in 24 hours, then Operations needs to ensure that the systems are in place to deliver on that promise.
Legal and compliance
Finally, there are terms of service or other legal documents that many need to be delivered at the time of sale. You need to ensure that you vet the kiosk activities with the legal department.
If you are taking payment or asking personal questions for human resources applications, you will need to engage your compliance team. There are also standards that may need to be met for your own liability such as UL or ADA certification. It is best to find out all of these at the beginning and vet your ideas with the teams charged to protect the company.
Self-service deployments and kiosk implementations tend to span across multiple departments. Engage with them early so that you fully understand the requirements. Plus, projects are made better by collaboration across these functions. The key is to ensure that you have:
A map of the current customer or user journey.
Clear objectives for what you are trying to accomplish.
Well defined metrics for success.
A collaborative group of stakeholders.
Partners who can help you identify any gaps in your project plan.
Sheridan Orr is the Managing Partner of the Interrobang! Agency, a consulting firm specializing in brand experiences. She has a decade of experience in consumer behaviors, brands, technology and design. Her passion is in crafting engaging and connected customer experiences.