New Tech Era for You, Customers

New Tech Era for You, Customers

The Gist

  • Tech expectations. Customers demand smart tech and kiosk service options.
  • Pervasive digitization. Tech-based services are expected in all consumer engagements.
  • Integration imperative. Seamless tech integration is key for satisfaction.

Neither customer-facing tech, nor digital kiosks, nor self-service are new phenomena.

But in an age where customers expect more tech options, including smart tech and kiosks, tech-friendly customer service, and fully integrated tech ecosystems in even the unlikeliest places, businesses must adapt to stay competitive.

Simply put, the existence of powerful technologies alone is producing customer demand for those tools — which is, in turn, driving continued innovation.

What do changing customer demands look like in a tech-enabled economy? Let’s dive into how smart tech, like kiosks, has reshaped customers’ expectations in various industries.

Customer Demand Smart Tech and Kiosk Options and More

In today’s landscape, customers simply expect to have tech options available where they shop, work, seek care and purchase services.

When it comes to the types of devices and tools customers expect, consumers routinely look for:

  • Self-service point of sale (POS) systems, like:
    • Self-checkout
    • Kiosk ordering in food service
  • Digital information hubs, like:
    • Tablet catalogs in retail
    • Digital maps and wayfinding in a variety of contexts
  • Tech-enabled customer service channels, including:
  • Electronic payment options such as:
    • RFID tap-to-pay for physical cards
    • Apple Pay
    • Digital wallet compatibility
Close up of a senior man paying with smart phone on self-service cash register with senior woman in the background, signifying the growing demand of smart tech and kiosks in customer service.
Smart tech pay options’ growing popularity. dusanpetkovic1 on Adobe Stock Photo

These are just the tip of the iceberg.

Suppose you’re wondering how we transitioned from a landscape where consumers were wary of a cashless world to an economy where digital integration is an outright demand. In that case, the answer lies in the recent past. Experts generally credit the COVID-19 pandemic with accelerating efforts to digitize POS, customer service and other consumer functions.

Related Article: The Bittersweet Story of the Restaurant Kiosk and Customer Experience

Customer Service Expectations Haven’t Changed

It’s important to note that, though consumers’ expectations for available tech have changed, their standards for customer service have not.

Customers still expect robust, quality service from their favorite brands — but in an increasingly digital world, they also expect reasonable shifts in how they get customer service.

What does that look like?

  • Customers want tech-savvy support – If your business offers a slate of consumer-facing technologies, your customers will expect every customer service rep they encounter to be fluent in those systems.
  • Customers want new channels – More and more customers are turning to (and demanding) digital customer support channels like live chat and SMS support.
  • Customers want automation and self-service – Many customers don’t reach out to live customer service agents until they can’t solve their issues themselves — by this point, they’re already frustrated. Customers expect to be able to solve their own problems first, and advanced tools like AI chatbots and automated self-service functions can help them avoid frustration.

Efforts like these can be generally described as customer experience (CX) technologies. They enhance the client’s overall experience with a brand by facilitating smoother, tech-informed customer service.

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