The technology is doing wonders for the mankind, it has completely changed our lifestyle. Now a days we can’t go even a single day without relying on the technology. The internet and the smartphone revolution have completely transformed each and every aspect of our lives, the business sector is no exception. The businesses are using technological solutions for decades, in fact a modern day business is totally dependent on the technology. The service based industry is mainly focused on improving the customer experience and customer journey. The customer happiness is a key to success and long term growth for service based businesses in UAE or anywhere else in the world. Businesses adopt new technologies, implement innovative solutions and invest in digital services just to improve customer happiness and to ensure ultimate level of customer satisfaction. The self-service technologies are helping businesses and customers as well. The businesses are adopting self-service technologies to enhance their customers’ experience and also to expand their markets.
What is Self Service Technology?
The self-service technology is a digital solution that includes both hardware and software to serve a particular function which help customers to avail a service through an interactive channel without getting any help from the staff or customer service agents. Majorly the self-service technology offers users/customers an interactive channel where they can avail information immediately, do transactions, and get a service which was usually delivered by the customer service staff. Here in Dubai and in fact all around the UAE businesses are rapidly adopting to self-service technologies to boost their customer’s experience and to maximize their profitability. The self-service technologies are a great competitive advantage and can attract more customers too. As for the self-service technologies, everything is done via digital algorithms and AI (Artificial Intelligence) based systems so the businesses doesn’t require to post an employee on their self-service channels. Which saves a lot of cost and it also help reducing the per service delivery cost, that results in higher profitability and better overall efficiency of the business.
Why Businesses Need Self-Service Technologies?
These day’s interactive self-service technologies are very popular in Dubai and everywhere in the UAE. The beauty of self-service technology is that it is a win-win situation for both the customers and the businesses. Usually business invest in customer satisfaction solutions which cost them a lotin return they get improved customer experience and mostly they have to bear the cost for that. However, with the self-service technologies, the customer can enjoy many benefits and the business also got equal benefits. Here are some advantages of the self-service technologies for the customers and for the businesses:
- 24/7 Availability of the Service
- Customers can have more freedom, control and comfort in availing the service
- Customers can instantly get the service there is no need of waiting in long queues
- Customers can easily avail service from any nearby self-service terminal or from online portal
- Customer experience and customer journey is enhanced
- Customers will get a happy and satisfactory experience
- Customers can access up-to-date information and can interact with the business at any time
- The user-friendly interactive dashboard help the customers to easily do a transaction or to perform a certain function
- Businesses can reduce the workload as most of the easy enquiries will go to self-service channels
- Businesses can reduce daily foot fall which ensure balanced workload for the employees
- Businesses can easily improve employee efficiency
- Businesses can reduce per-service delivery cost
- Businesses can utilize resources in a better way to ensure higher efficiency and maximum profitability
- Businesses can easily improve communication with customers
- Customer relationship can be improved significantly
- The customer loyalty will get increased and help businesses in achieving long term goals
- Businesses can also gather business intelligence data from self-service channels
Surely the interactive self-service technologies have several key benefits for the businesses and the customers. Ultimately it can boost customer business relationship and increase customer loyalty. Which help businesses to achieve their long term goals and improve their reputation. A business with a good reputation easily attracts more customers and can also get repeated business from its existing clientele.
List of Top 10 Self Service Technologies in UAE
The self-service technology can be classified in two main categories one is only software-based self-service technology and the second category includes all self-service technologies that comprises of both software and hardware components. Apart from that the self-service technologies are categorized on the bases of use or application. The main idea behind commissioning any self-service technology is to get above mentioned benefits. Here are top 10 most commonly used self-service technologies in UAE:
1. Self-Service Interactive Kiosks
This is one of the most popular self-service technology, not only in UAE but all over the world. The interactive kiosks consists of an interactive user dashboard which runs on a specialized computer hardware. Usually these kiosks are used as an extension of the customer service counters. The user interaction is facilitated by touchscreen, physical/virtual keyboard & mouse along with any other hardware or software component that is necessary to perform certain tasks and functions through the kiosk. This is usually called customer terminal. The software consists of a server, which is installed on a local data center or in cloud or hosted online. The self-service interactive kiosk’s server is connected with the central information center of the business and also with any other system and database which is required to perform the required functions at the interactive kiosk. The interactive self-service kiosks are widely used for queue management systems, registration process, HR department, documents processing, payments and transactions and much more. The self-service interactive kiosks are placed on certain locations where the customers can easily reach them. It enables the businesses to offer 24/7 service and communication channel.
2. Self-Service Online Portals
The self-service online portals are web pages that provide information and functionalities to resolve customer problems and to enable them to perform certain actions or to avail certain services. The customers can access these web pages either publically or either by signing-up or logging-in to the portals. The portals can be hosted on the official website of the business as well as they can be hosted separately. It entirely depends on the need and usage of the portal. The self-service online portals are very common these days. Especially in the corporate websites businesses usually provide a self-service sections. For example the FAQs page is technically a self-service online portal. It provides information and resolve customer’s issues without any intervention from the customer support staff or any other employee.
However, a bit more complex and business oriented online interaction is usually referred to as a self-service online portal. For example, customer portals where they can make purchases or file complaints or enquire for quotes, etc. An e-commerce transaction is one of the most popular example. If a customer is purchasing from an e-commerce, the entire purchase process is done without any help from the staff so it is a self-service portal. The self-service online portals are used for the customers and employees as well. For example, a real-estate customer portal allows the customers to make transactions and perform many tasks which were earlier only possible by visiting the real-estate office. The employees can log-in to their HR portals or intranet system to avail multiple automated functionalities which can boost the operational efficiency and as well as the individual employee efficiency. These are some of the examples of the self-service online portals. There are hundreds and maybe thousands of more applications, enlisting them all in this blog is not our main subject. The self-service online portals could be a game changer for the businesses and can give them a great competitive advantage.
3. Self-Service via Mobile Apps
These day’s in Dubai and all around the UAE everyone has access to the internet and almost 99% of the population owns at least one smartphone too. This number is staggering. This led to a trend of rapid adaptation of the smartphone and mobile apps. Now a day’s the mobile apps has become an expectation rather a trend. Customers expect a user-friendly, feature-rich mobile app from their favorite brands. What else can be more desired for a business than a self-service mobile app that can provide information, resolve problems, and enable customers to make payments, provide them with easy access to the customer support team and let them perform tons of other functions? This could save the time and cost and the mobile apps can significantly improve customer experience and customer happiness. Businesses can use them to improve communication as well. That is why businesses are rapidly adopting mobile apps and increasing their capabilities to maximize their performance which not only improves customer satisfaction but also improves profitability and operational efficiency of the business. The customers can get access to the services whenever and wherever they want.
4. Self-Service ATMs & Cash Deposit Machines
The self-service ATMs or Automated Teller Machines are the most widely used type of the self-service technology. In fact it is the very first self-service technology that have ever build. These days the ATMs also come with a CDM or cash deposit machine.Although the technology is only associated with the banks but it has a huge potential. Businesses can utilize the CDM features for a variety of services. In fact some businesses are already using the technology. If you are living in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE you must have seen the mobile top-up machines/kiosks. They are placed everywhere, in the malls, public places, and even in streets. The machine accept cash and allow user to perform a number of functions such as paying for the utility bills, or topping up your mobile phone balance and much more. The service based industry can utilize the technology to offer a variety of services. Especially the simpler and easier services could be offered through the self-service interactive kiosk which could reduce the workload of the offices and branches by up to 60% in some cases. Which can improve overall profitability and also help enhancing customer journey and customer experience.
5. Self-Service Immigration Counter
The immigration counters are always busy, the passengers always have to face long queues at the immigration counters and the airports are always concerned about the congestion and crowd at the immigration counters. However, self-service technologies can be implemented at the airports to reduce the pressure from the immigration counters. Large airports all around the world are implementing self-service immigration counters and self-service check-in counters to boost the efficiency and to reduce the passenger queues. The specialized self-service technology can be used to facilitate the autonomous immigration process. As for the immigration the safety and security is also the top priority which can be ensured by latest peripherals such as retina scanning, biometrics, facial recognition technology, passport scanning, smart ID card scanning and there are a lot more hardware and software features can be added to ensure the 100% security and accuracy of the system.
Apart from the immigration counters the self-service technologies can also help airports to streamline the boarding process. The customized interactive self-service terminals can be used to allow passengers to automatically board with the help of their booking number, credentials or barcode/QR code scanning facility. The passengers can print their boarding passes, luggage tags and they can perform various other functions such as upgrading or rescheduling flights, utilizing award points or bonus flight hours and much more.
6. Self-Service Retail Counter
The retail sector is the most competitive market in UAE. There are several large retail chains and there are hundreds of small and local retail stores. Everyone is competing against each other in offering the best services to their customers. Whether it is a grocery store, a clothing store, an electronic shop or any other retail businesses, the customer satisfaction is their top priority. One of the most important factor in customer happiness for retail businesses is the customer waiting queues. If the queues get too long, people start quitting. The customer churn rate goes higher and the customers who just saw the long queues and never entered are a separate story. For any retail business it is extremely important to maintain a seamless customer flow. That is why retail businesses are actively looking into the possibilities of self-service check-out systems. A self-service checkout not only enable customers to check-out without relying on the sales staff but it also provide them more freedom and flexibility in the checkout process.
The self-service check-out counters or terminals are linked with the central information center and also connected with the cashier or service counter dashboard, which further simplifies the process and make it easier to deal with unusual situations. For retail businesses most of the time the physical space is also a barrier, which limits them to a certain number of counters, and more counters cannot be added. This is why the self-service check-out terminals are a great choice, they take less space, doesn’t require a human attendant or a staff, and are fully automated. The customer can scan their products and checkout very conveniently. The self-service check-out counters also allow the customers to enjoy some additional features, thanks to the digitalization and integration of the system with other technologies. The self-service check-out terminal can increase sale, improve the efficiency of the staff and results in better ROI. It also reduce customer churn rate and help businesses in building good relationship with the customers.
7. Self-Service Food Ordering System
The self-service technologies are also making their way in the food industry. Same like the retail sector businesses in food sectors also face similar problems. The customers don’t like to wait too long. Especially during the rush hours, the wait time could get too long. So much so that the customers consider to go to next restaurant. The long queues also repel customers and when there are long queues, some of the customers don’t even come inside. That is why the self-service food ordering systems are introduced. The system can facilitate customers through multiple channels for example, the customers can order food from the mobile app of the brand, or from their website or even from a self-service food ordering kiosk at the business premises. The self-service food ordering system offers more time and control to the customers and let them make payments easily. Moreover the businesses can also utilize the self-service technologies to boost their sales. Studies have shown that the customer who place their order at a food ordering kiosk tend to place bigger order comparing to the person who are dealing with a sales staff. The businesses can easily increase their sales, reduce the workload from the staff and improve customer experience with a self-service food ordering system.
8. Self-Service Hotel Check-in System
For hotels and hospitality sector the top priority is the satisfaction of the customers and guests. The hospitality sector is one of the most scrutinized industry by the customers. People don’t often take such decisions very quickly, but once they established a trustful relationship with a brand they become more loyal to it avoiding any risk in going for a new or untried brand. That is why the customer experience is extremely important for hotels and hospitality industry. Most of the time guests are arriving from a distant location, more often foreign guests are also coming in UAE. As the Dubai Expo 2020 is going on, there are several other attraction that make the Dubai the most attractive tourist destination. In fact the entire country is admired by international and local tourists. The hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses are huge contributors in the economy comparing to other countries. This means the competition is also very high and the guests have too many options available. Which further raise the importance of a great first impression and excellent service by the hotels.
The self-service hotel check-in system is a great choice to enhance guest experience, as it immediately serves the customers without any delay and it also offer numerous other features which improve customer experience. The customers can be great with an automated self-service check-in kiosk which allow them to login with credentials or scan their passport or any other document to login to the system to be able to check-in without the help of a reception staff. The guests can also change or customize their stay plan as per the availability and in addition to that the hotels can also run promotions at the kiosk which can help them increase sales and improve customer happiness.
9. Self-Service Wayfinding Signage
The interactive self-service wayfinding signage is one of the widely used interactive self-service technology in Dubai. Mainly shopping malls, large offices, libraries, educational institutes, hospitals, and large indoor facilities are using self-service wayfinding signage. The wayfinding signage is a large interactive screen which runs a wayfinding application. The users can easily navigate the entire facility from the wayfinding signage and they can also lookup for their destination. The businesses can also provide additional information, news/updates, tenant directory and details and much more. The digital interactive self-service wayfinding signage are great for advertisements and promotional activities as well. For example the shopping mall management can run adverts of the brands that are located inside the mall and this promotion can generate some revenue for them too. Moreover it is a great convenience for the visitors and customers to find a complete 2D or 3D map of the entire facility and easily get the location map to save time and hustle. The information center could also help the visitors to get the information from the self-service wayfinding signage. It can enhance customer experience and improve their journey.
10. Self-Service Vending Machines
The self-service vending machines are also very common, especially in bus stations, airports, hospitals, and such large waiting areas where the customers and guest could wait for an extended period of time. The vending machines can also be used by businesses to generate revenue and to reach out to the unexplored markets. The self-service customized vending machine is a great technology it can provide businesses a chance to reach to maximum audience. The customers can purchase many things such as cold drinks, snacks SIM cards, mobile covers, face masks and much more. Such small items are bought on regular bases, in areas where these items are not easily available is a great choice to install a vending machine. Businesses can also acquire such vending machines to either facilitate the purchase process or to improve their customer’s waiting experience. The vending machines are popular since many decades now and are still gaining more popularity. Businesses who are selling small items can utilize the vending machine to boost their sales.
The self-service technologies are revolutionizing customer service sectors all over the world. Here in Dubai and all around the UAE many businesses are proactively adopting to self-service solutions. Since past few years an ordinary customer is more accustomed with digital interactions. This lead to a faster adaptation of the self-service interactive technologies. In this blog we have listed top 10 self-service technologies. There are several others, and on top of that a business can completely customize a self-service solution to accommodate their special needs. This also allow businesses to innovate new features and facilities that can provide them a better competitive advantage. RSI Concepts is a leading customer satisfaction solution and self-service technology provider in Dubai, UAE. If you want to learn more about the self-service technologies or if you want to enquire about a self-service solution, please feel free to contact us through our Contact Us page or leave a comment in the comment box below and we will get in touch with you soon.
Check out this blog: Self Service Kiosk for Retail Sector