Digital kiosks have moved from a trend to a common sight. Users are becoming increasingly comfortable with using them to purchase travel tickets, sporting or music tickets or to order food at quick-service restaurants (QSRs). Today, we will be discussing how self-service kiosk technology can be used to benefit museums and other similar institutions.
With the current state of the world, kiosks or self-service stations are more vital than ever, as they allow a business or an organization to continue running while still maintaining minimum human contact. This is integral for keeping users safe while still giving customers and visitors a degree of autonomy by allowing them to engage with the kiosk on their own terms and on their own time.
Museums are a great place to employ kiosks as they can assist with helping visitors navigate exhibits as well as handle transactions. Below are some ways in which kiosks can be a benefit to museums.
A kiosk can handle the sale and dispensing of tickets, thus freeing up staff for more pertinent tasks. This can help to expedite the process of purchasing a ticket to the museum, and/or buying entrance to special museum exhibits or events.
Perhaps the most useful functions kiosks can provide is a central point for displaying information. Museums tend to be quite large and can be confusing to navigate. That is where kiosks can come in, helping to provide useful information about a particular exhibit, or at the very least, provide a helpful route to ensure no visitor ever gets lost.
Kiosks can handle other self-pay functions beyond regular ticket sales. Some museums offer special tours to other sections of the museum, and kiosks can easily handle payment for these without the need for human interaction. Many tours today are self-guided which is beneficial for these current times. Beyond just tours, kiosks can also handle food and other gift purchases. Many museums today have self-service kiosks for ordering food or other museum souvenirs, thus increasing the safety of staff and visitors.
Having a kiosk can greatly benefit a museum's revenue. For visitors who suffer from social anxiety when interacting with another individual or feel they might feel rushed, a kiosk can easily allow them to engage in different transactions at their own leisure, thus increasing repeat visits and business as well. Below are some additional benefits to having a kiosk in a museum.
Allocating more tasks to a kiosk decreases strain on staff, allowing their services to be better used elsewhere. In the long term, this is more cost-effective than hiring more staff to handle simple tasks that are able to be easily automated.
Having a digital presence is important to almost every business in 2020. The internet and social media is a constant in everyone’s daily life, so it stands to reason that your museum should have digital information available. Kiosks can easily handle this, by providing a portal for information that can allow visitors to interact in multiple ways, from acting as a digital photo booth to providing on-demand wayfinding assistance.
Kiosks are often more efficient than individual workers. Kiosks have many self-service functions, and similar to NFC pay options, purchasing a ticket and entering the museum can be done in just a few minutes, making ticket purchases easy, and helping to keep waiting queues short. Similarly, a kiosk can display upcoming events and important dates so that all visitors are kept informed.
It is crucial during COVID-19 that businesses do their part to keep the public safe and healthy. This means that personal interactions between staff and visitors need to be kept to a minimum. Employing digital kiosks to handle many museum transactions can help protect everyone by limiting the person-to-person spread of viruses and bacteria.
Digital kiosks can go a long way towards improving the guest experience. Wayfinding and digital signage are both uniquely suited to the digital self-service format provided by kiosks. Similarly, both of these will greatly improve any museum and increase visitor attendance if implemented.
Wayfinding is the act of using signs, symbols and colors to convey a visual path for a visitor to follow. The point of wayfinding is to create an easy to follow pathway that allows for organic learning so that a guest can quickly familiarize themselves with their surroundings, ensuring that they are never lost. This is crucial for museums as they tend to be housed in large spaces that may not be easy to navigate. Digital wayfinding ensures that all visitors can easily move from one exhibit to the other, allowing them to quickly find their place should they wander off the path. Wayfinding software can be used directly on kiosks, or sent from kiosks to visitors' personal mobile devices.
Digital signage is the term given to digital displays that convey images, video, web pages, menus or any other important information. Digital signage can be a fantastic way to highlight information pertaining to upcoming events or key exhibits. An example would be LED screens prominently displayed in the lobby or outside of special exhibits. These displays can easily convey many types of information in one place by rotating through various screens, and are often used to display important dates, cafe menus, ticket or exhibit pricing, or gift shop information.
Finding a trustworthy kiosk manufacturer can be complicated. Understanding your organization's needs is the first step so that you can easily focus on the features that matter. Reading reviews, consulting with different manufacturers, and researching the many options is the only way to truly find a company that suits your needs. Oftentimes the most suitable kiosk manufacturers are the ones that intend to work one on one with you to create a product that fulfills your specific requirements.
In today's business climate, it is important to ensure the safety and health of visitors and staff. Kiosks help to ensure this while providing a solution that is cost-effective and customer-centric. With digital kiosks installed, you can ensure that museums can operate optimally, while boosting revenue, and most importantly, protecting public health.