The 'Out of Order' dilemma
"Out of Order" - is that a self-service solution company? With the number of kiosks wearing that tag, you might come to think so. These three words translate to "No Thank You" for end-user engagement and businesses considering purchasing these units. As a self-service solutions company, we find ourselves often competing with the perception that self-service doesn't work, is not reliable, is too complicated or simply collects dust. As "Out of Order" spreads, so does its market share.
When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them "I am in the self-service business." I reference airport-ticketing kiosks as an example. Unfortunately, I often get the response, "Like the one in the movie theater that never works?" To that I respond, "We try and avoid that situation."
Recently a sales team member went to a local movie theater. As he approached the kiosk he saw the blank screen syndrome and the sign "Out of Order." He noted that he did not ever recall the kiosk working. Rather than walk away from it like everyone else does, he sought out an employee. The employee commented, "That thing has never worked since it's been here."
The next work day, our sales team member called the theater's corporate office and spoke to the IT director. He offered to diagnose the kiosk and fix it at no charge (as it sits in our "backyard" and is an embarrassment).
No matter who manufactured this kiosk, it is not a good situation for anyone in our line of business. Whether the issue is with hardware, software, or as simple as the cleaning service leaving it unplugged - no matter the fault, someone should know about it and not rely on a customer to eventually ask "what's this supposed to do?"
I have blogged before about the importance of quality grade components, but even the best components require management. Now for the plug, if you don't use our Performance Management platform, Mzero, use someone's. Keep the industry growing, keep those kiosks running, and if there is a problem don't just leave it with the unwelcome "Out of Order" sign. The demand for self-service devices is on the rise. Let's not curb that enthusiasm by promoting the "Out Of Order" kiosk company. They have too much market share as it is.
Chris Gilder, CEO and founder of Meridian Kiosks, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. Meridian has been recognized as a leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.www