Customer-facing kiosks: Successes and pitfalls

If done right, they can help improve customer satisfaction with minimal IT investment.

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Though not every experiment has yielded pay dirt, many organizations giving kiosks a go report minimal IT investment and improvement in customer satisfaction or employee self-service.

Travelers on commuter rail systems sometimes have to wait long periods of time for the next available train. So it would seem to be the perfect opportunity for them to do some errands -- food shopping, for instance.

It's simple enough. They walk up to a special advertising panel on the train platform, take out their Apple or Android mobile device and download the Peapod mobile app. They can then browse virtual aisles of groceries and produce, scan the barcodes below the images of the items they want and, finally, place and pay for their order -- all online. Their items will be delivered the next day.

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