The 4 Principles of Using Kiosks for Queue Reduction

Self service kiosks are used by tens of thousands of businesses around the world to increase efficiency. One of the biggest benefits of kiosks is their ability to massively reduce queues in retail and service environments.

Reducing queues using self service kiosks isn’t quite as simple as installing them and hoping for the best. In order to successfully cut down queues, you’ll need to create a ‘flow’ from kiosk to counter and a simple, user-friendly kiosk system.

In this blog post, we’ll share four strategies that you can use to downside queues in your place of business and create a more efficient environment for your customers using self service kiosks.

Keep your user interface intuitive and simple

The best way to use self service kiosks for queue reduction is by encouraging people to use them for quick, simple tasks. A classic example of this is a self service kiosk in a bank that assigns tickets based on the requirements of the customer.

One key to efficient queue management is creating a user interface and kiosk work flow that’s intuitive and simple. Customers should intuitively know what to do with your kiosk, even if it’s their first time using it.

Using large buttons, a clear typeface and simple instructions, you can ‘guide’ users through your kiosk naturally. The easier your interface is to use, the less time most people will spend using your kiosk and the faster your queues will move.

Create a flow from your kiosk to your counter

Another key aspect of queue reduction is using your kiosks to manage tasks that are otherwise time-consuming and unsuitable to queue flow. When used properly, a self service kiosk is part of the ‘flow’ towards your counter.

Before considering a self service kiosk, break down your checkout process into steps and calculate how long each step takes, on average. Kiosks are best used as a way to manage steps that take a lot of time for a human but can quickly be automated.

From printing tickets for a sorted queue to replacing an in-person checkout, find a way for your kiosks to fill a gap in the checkout or order process that creates a flow of customers from the kiosk itself to your counter.

Place kiosks away from queues and waiting areas

Queues naturally develop when people aren’t sure what to do or where to go. When a checkout area is neatly organized and designed for maximum flow, efforts to limit queues are almost always more effective.

Placing a self service kiosk in the center of your checkout area can create blockages that confuse customers and worsen queues instead of fixing them. Avoid this issue by placing kiosks near counters but far enough away to prevent crowding.

Focus on 1-3 common customer tasks and processes

What are the three most common processes customers perform at your checkout or service desk? From making a purchase to requesting a ticket, your kiosk should only focus on a few tasks for maximum efficiency.

Most customers are naturally in a rush, and when a kiosk’s interface is too complex or specialized, they’ll skip it in favor of an old-fashioned counter. Use your kiosks to speed up your three most common processes and effectively reduce queues.