Self-service technologies offer a benefit to companies and customers alike. From a company standpoint, it is highly beneficial to deploy self-serve options because it reduces costs, reduces volume and increases employee efficiency. Where applicable, it is more cost effective for customers to help themselves, then for a company to pay an employee to do it. For routine tasks such as fund transfers and bill payments, self-serve options are becoming more and more the norm, and not just because of the benefits that it offers the companies that use them, but because customers are actually driving the self-service interactions. Customer satisfaction increases when a variety of self-service options are made available. According to an NCR Corporation study, “On-the-go consumers prefer to handle an increasing number of transactions themselves through self-service devices, and are more likely to do business with companies that make it easier to for them to do so”. People want to be able to help themselves because it gives them more control over how, when and where to complete the service transaction. Offering self-service options not only will increase revenue, but it can also increase customer satisfaction in a multitude of ways.
4 consumer benefits to self-serve bill payment kiosks:
- Multiple Convenient Locations: Bill payment kiosks are generally placed in convenient locations such as gas stations, grocery stores and convenience stores or c-stores. By optimally placing payment kiosks in more accessible locations, it means that your customer doesn’t have to get in their car and drive, or take public transit to the utility office in order to pay their utility bill each month. Instead, they are able to complete these basic, routine transactions on their own at a bill payment kiosk.
- Extended Hours: Utility offices and cable and wireless retail locations typically have limited hours of operation. By placing bill payment kiosks inside the convenient locations discussed above, the consumer enjoys the ability to pay their bill at a time that is more suited to them, some which offer access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is particularly valuable to consumers who work hours that do not coincide with the typical hours of operation.
- Alleviates long line up: By offering multiple bill payment locations through kiosk placement, long line-ups can be eliminated or drastically reduced due to sheer volume dispersal. Furthermore, payment kiosk transaction times typically take a fraction of the time that in-person payments take to complete. With long wait times being at the top of most consumer complaint lists, by decreasing or even eliminating time wasted waiting in line, customers are more satisfied with service as a whole.
- Cash Payments Accepted: Many bill payment kiosks have the ability to accept cash payments. By accepting cash payments higher expectations are met. Self-serve bill payment kiosks with the cash accepting feature offers the consumer everything that an in-person payment transaction can, but more efficiently and conveniently located. Customers that prefer or need to pay in cash are much more limited in their options than those who can pay via online banking or credit/debit card payment. For the 68 million unbanked and underbanked population in the U.S. that relies heavily, if not solely, on cash transactions, bill payments can be a rather daunting task. Self Service bill payment kiosks give this portion of the population a much more convenient alternative to transacting in-person payments at each of their service providers.
Deploying self service bill payment kiosks are not only a way for companies to increase revenue, but it can drastically increase consumer satisfaction because consumers value choice and convenience in their bill payment options. However, it is imperative that a payment kiosk is reliable, secure and functional, and designed to offer a positive consumer experience.
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