In most conversations, all you have to do is mention the words "DMV" or some other local government office, and you will hear a collective groan. These offices seem to be designed specifically to cause frustration with their hot rooms, long lines and complicated processes.
Thankfully, though, many local governments are hearing the complaints and deploying self-service kiosk solutions that save time and improve the experience for the user. In some cases, the kiosks are even providing life-saving services. Let's take a look at some key deployments and general lessons.
Law enforcement kiosks
This group of kiosks handles matters of life and death, potentially. They provide information about wanted criminals and amber alerts as well as crime prevention tips. With amber alerts, getting information out quickly and effectively is of the utmost importance.
These kiosks have proven immensely helpful in Marion County, Florida. Out of all missing persons shown on the kiosks, 94 percent have been found. Of the 288 wanted suspects featured on the kiosks, 162 have been found and arrested.
In Delaware, courthouses have deployed kiosks that accept child support payments. In 2015, the kiosks handled more than 6,000 transactions. The devices are designed to accept payments for criminal fines and assessments from the superior court, as well.
Nevada was one of the first states to deploy kiosk solutions at the DMV. Its kiosks offer a variety of services such as renewing registration, reinstating registration, receiving a duplicate driver's license, getting a driver history printout and other services.
In addition to the deployments on DMV premises, Nevada has deployed kiosks to several retail locations across the state.
Other states have also begun to experiment with kiosks. For example, Ohio recently deployed nine kiosks that allow users to renew vehicle registration. Georgia has also introduced a bill payment kiosk to allow residents to renew their car tags.
It can be difficult to plan your vacation when you can't find all the right information in one place. A few local governments are attempting to address this by deploying informational kiosks at visitor's offices and in central locations throughout the community.
In addition to providing relevant information to the user, these kiosks can be a money-maker for tourism agencies that allow area businesses to advertise their goods and services on the kiosk.
Other examples include New York's Wi-Fi kiosks and Maryland's car emission test kiosks. However, these solutions are scattered, and some are only available at specific locations at specific times.
"Kiosks deployed have to be readily accessible to maximize utilization," said Manny Almeida, division president at FUJIFILM North American Corp. "They have to be deployed in sufficient quantities to create a positive user experience."
Another key to growth is to enable the kiosks to perform multiple tasks. Nevadans can perform several different types of transactions at the same DMV kiosks, but many other states limit their kiosks to very specific tasks.
"A kiosk with a great [user interface] can perform multiple tasks for the user in a single location," Almeida said. "This can result in a better user experience in dealing with transactions. There is potential for cost savings by having kiosks available outside of normal operating hours, reducing lines and user frustrations in waiting in those lines."
Government kiosks certainly provide the potential for an improved customer experience, but more kiosk deployments and more features on kiosks deployed will be required if end-users and local governments are to get the full benefits of greater convenience and cost-efficiency.
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