Why Sell Self-Service Solutions In A Tough Economy
By Tyler Wells, MicroTouch
You’ve seen the headlines. The economy’s teetering on the edge of what very well could slide into a recession. Inflation’s making everything a little more expensive. Paychecks can’t seem to keep up with what gas stations and grocery stores are charging. But for small business owners, those paychecks pose a new problem with new measures aimed at raising minimum wages from one side of the country to the other.
Not only do merchants face the prospect of pay taking a bigger bite out of their bottom line, but they’re also scrambling to find workers in a labor market that’s getting more cutthroat by the day. However, there’s an answer to this mountain of problems and the creeping reality that businesses must evolve their models to remain relevant. Self-service solutions offer a lifeline to merchants weathering a shaky economy and looking to save a buck without sacrificing the customer experience.
Who’s Deploying Self-Service Solutions?
Interest in self-service solutions isn’t limited to just one or two verticals. In fact, there’s an opportunity for a wide range of industries to adopt technology designed to streamline processes, both for businesses and their customers.
Restaurant And Hospitality
Hospitality’s been all over this movement. McDonald’s is pretty famous for the self-service ordering kiosks they installed in the dining room of restaurants around the world, allowing people to punch in what they want and swipe or tap their payment cards, avoiding having to give their order verbally. It also has automated drive-thrus with speed and efficiency in mind.
The small-sized nature of food trucks makes self-service solutions and automation a no-brainer for operators seeking to streamline the end-to-end experience. Kiosks here can make quick work of ordering while employees focus on preparing each menu item.
Hotel check-in kiosks are becoming more popular, allowing guests to check in, upgrade their rooms, order extra services, and even print their room keys. These solutions provide a faster, more convenient experience for guests than waiting in line at the check-in counter to have a hotel employee perform those tasks for them.
Retailers are transitioning to self-checkout to help ease the struggles of the labor shortage – one employee can oversee several self-checkouts, and managers can assign other cashiers to other tasks in the store.
Additionally, with interactive digital signage and self-service solutions throughout the store, shoppers have autonomy with tasks such as checking inventory availability, ordering out-of-stock items, finding product information, managing loyalty accounts, and accessing coupons and promotions.
In a healthcare setting, self-service can take several forms. For example, touchscreens at entrances to doctor’s offices or outpatient care allow patients to register, make copayments, or access information without assistance.
Self-service can also extend to inpatient care. Touchscreens in patient rooms can provide a way to order meals or snacks, view educational information about their health conditions, access information about healthcare coverage, and make arrangements for discharge.
Self-service ticketing helps commuters more quickly pay for their fares and reduces congestion in metro, train, and bus stations. And the TSA, the staple of airports nationwide, relies on touchscreen kiosks to rapidly funnel members through Clear’s expedited security screening program.
Businesses and enterprises across the spectrum control access to restricted areas. Now, they’re reassigning receptionists and guards to other duties and using self-service kiosks for check-in. Kiosks allow visitors to notify staff that they’ve arrived for their appointments and, with the proper credentials, can open doors or gates for them to enter.
Total Solutions Will Capture Stakeholders’ Attention
While VARs will find opportunities to sell self-service solutions in a range of vertical markets, competing in this area requires expertise and strategy. Listen to your clients to figure out exactly what kind of package and platform will best meet the challenges they face. Additionally, your job will be to design a solution with the software and hardware that perfectly suits their application, including printers, payment devices, touchscreens, and other features that create good user experiences.
A turnkey, hassle-free solution that takes care of integrations and other pain points will help you convert and build a growing base of satisfied customers.
The uncertainty of the labor market, changing consumer behaviors, and your clients’ continual search for more efficiency are creating opportunities to provide self-service solutions. Identify opportunities in your market and make the most of them.
About The Author
Tyler Wells is the North American Sales Manager for MicroTouch. Since joining the company in July 2021, he has focused on developing sales and implementing the US distribution strategy. He brings over 14 years of experience in the built-for-purpose computer hardware and sports entertainment industry. Before joining MicroTouch, Tyler served as the Global Distribution Sales Manager and Manager of Business Development at Mimo Monitors, Marketing and Business consultant for DYT Solutions, and Inside Ticket Sales for Red Bull. Tyler has a degree in Marketing Management from the University of Wyoming.