From Movie Theaters to Museums: How Kiosks Can Help Your Organization
As the only full time employee at the Music Farm, my General Manager title also included Bar Manager, Marketing Manager, Administrative Assistant, HR Dept and Box Office Coordinator. Oh, how the box office was a thorn in my side. I had 100 things I needed to do, yet I was stuck in an office in the middle of my day, selling tickets. No matter how long I had the box office open, the hours never seemed convenient for all of our customers. The ability to sell tickets to any of our concerts at all hours of the day would have been invaluable. A kiosk was what we needed.
Self service has become the new norm. Customers are already familiar with online purchasing, from personal shopping to paying bills. They’ve become accustomed to and enjoy this technology; using kiosks to check in at the airport, rent movies, even buy groceries, without ever speaking to an employee.
In a 2009 survey titled, “2009 Self-Service Consumer Survey” sponsored by the Self Service Kiosk Association, customers said that their top three reasons for choosing self-service technology over traditional methods of retail purchase were speed, convenience, and a liking for the technology.
Self service kiosks typically reduce the time a customer spends in line, therefore increasing the time they spend in your facility and enhancing their overall experience. Kiosks accept all forms of payment; some even offer ATM or gift card services. Many can replace the will-call line, allowing customers to print their tickets at the kiosk after purchasing at home.
For movie theaters that incorporate kiosks, this shorter wait has resulted in an increase in per cap spending by as much as 5%. A reduced time in line allows more time to purchase concessions or play arcade games in the lobby. Some kiosks offer up-selling, encouraging customers to purchase concessions at the kiosk in addition to tickets, reducing their time in the concession line as well. Having a kiosk located outside the theater reduces lobby congestion, giving patrons less reason to rush to their seats. All these factors lead to an improved customer experience and larger profits.
Arts and Cultural organizations can customize this same type of up-selling, where customers can be prompted to upgrade to a membership, buy additional tickets for programs or events, or purchase package deals. Additionally, many kiosks offer advertising, where ad space could be sold to sponsors or the organization could advertise upcoming events and programs. These ads could continue to run when the kiosk is not in use, doubling as a virtual billboard. Profits from advertising would help offset the cost of the kiosk.
In the slow season, kiosks help reduce the cost incurred by staffing. Employers can schedule staff for the morning or afternoon rush, and let the kiosk handle the remaining traffic. According to research conducted by Mendelsohn’s Summit Research Associates, a typical kiosk transaction costs a tenth of a human-mediated transaction. Kiosks are not a replacement for employees, as some customers still prefer transactions with a cashier. Instead, a kiosk will allow your employees to focus on the customers that need more attention, allowing them to ask questions and take their time with a transaction, without the pressure of a line growing behind them. It’s a better experience for both the customers that prefer this face to face interaction and those that don’t.
Interested in a kiosk for your organization? Blackbaud is in discussion with the leading, self-service entertainment kiosk provider in the US about a co-marketing relationship for Altru clients. We’re exploring whether there’s value to adding arts and cultural ticket sales –and possibly membership sales too, to their kiosks.
Check out the Altru Community to submit ideas, ask questions and network with fellow Altru users.