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Self-Service Kiosks Aren’t Just For Quick-Service Restaurants!

Just like the drive-thru window revolutionized the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) industry in the 1960s, self-service kiosk technology is poised to do the same in the late 2000s. Restaurants like Panera, McDonald’s, and many others are turning to self-service kiosks in record numbers. QSR’s see digital ordering capabilities a critical differentiator that saves customers’ time, adds convenience and increases menu-customization options. These restaurants are also finding the self-service ordering model also helps free up employees to focus on other customer needs that contribute to higher-quality customer experiences. Not only that, whether it’s a touch-screen tablet or innovative self-service kiosk, younger buyers are even more comfortable with the digital technology. According to AdAge, millennials and Generation Z (ages 2-19) will change how customer service is defined dramatically in the coming years. Those groups are digital natives and exceptionally technologically savvy. Think about it: Generation Z-ers have never known a time before Google! And, they expect to be able to self-serve, while also receiving assistance anywhere along their personalized customer journey. (Source: AdAge). By digitizing their businesses now, companies are striving to build strong connections with this younger demographic and their next-generation of customers.

For those reasons, the adoption of self-service kiosks is also expanding way beyond our favorite fast food locations. Today you can see these digital technologies being leveraged everywhere from the supermarket checkout line at Whole Foods or Kroger, to the airport counter, to gas stations, as well as other areas such as hospitality, government and retail, and banking. Let’s explore how some of these other industries are utilizing self-service kiosks and how they are changing their business models in exciting ways.

  •    Healthcare- Healthcare kiosks span the gamut from appointment check-in centers to those kiosks with personal information related to medications, referrals, pharmacy reminders or instructions for scheduling a follow-up appointment. Many sophisticated healthcare kiosks also offer privacy screens, biometric identification or cameras, and scanners for insurance cards and payments.  In-clinic kiosks help to streamline and enhance the patient’s experience and improve critical workflows that ensure HIPAA compliance. Self-assessment kiosks and those that offer screenings like weight and blood pressure, help individuals and encourage repeat visits. Interactive kiosks also have the unique ability to deliver targeted messages about brands that are personally relevant, according to assessment results. Other digital booths are more information such as ones outside pharmacies that provide details about new generic drugs available, or those that offer health and wellness and nutritional information. Informational kiosks may even be located at community centers like the YMCA or local gym.
  •    Retail- The user interface improved dramatically over the years and now include everything from touch-screens to next-generation technologies like gesture-based interactions and augmented reality (AR) applications. These advancements are keeping visitors in the store longer and allowing customers to explore the breadth of what the store has to offer. They also sync more customer data with loyalty-building programs, enabling more targeted and personalized promotional. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, for example, now offers its customers free phone charging stations. Because these kiosks require shoppers to enter their phone number, they double as a customer acquisition tool, where the store can send a targeted text message to shoppers within 30 minutes of removing their phones. Taking the digital kiosk even further, the company also introduced a Memory Mirror application that acts as a full-sized fashion mirror, giving shoppers the ability to record a video of themselves in an outfit, and download or share it instantly via social media. (Source: Retail Dive) By linking in-person digital experiences with other marketing programs like email, loyalty programs, and mobile-based efforts, retail-based kiosks are changing how companies connect with their best customers.
  •    Hospitality- While most of us are very familiar and comfortable with booking hotels online, fewer hotels offer the same convenience and flexibility for their check-in and check-out processes.  However, recent studies show, there’s a significant opportunity in this area. According to JD Power & Associates, today only 4% of check-ins and 1% of check-outs today occur through mobile apps, but when it is used, it is associated with higher guest satisfaction. (Source: J.D. Power & Associates). For hotels with frequent international guests, kiosks also level the playing field, giving guests multiple language options. While digital self-service applications and kiosks don’t replace hospitality staff members, they free up staff to attend to other guest needs, overall enhancing the level of customer service.

Leading companies today are finding innovative ways to turn what was once transactional encounters (i.e., ordering food or checking into a hotel room or doctor’s office) into personalized and interactive digital experiences that are unique and interesting, as well as efficient. Today more than ever, consumers form strong attachments to brands that can offer these types of engagement. Talk to TechLink today about how self-service kiosks may fit into your overall customer service strategy and how we can help your business, select, design, and deploy innovative digital technology that can save money, enhance customer support, and transform your business.



Higher Education Gets an A+ with Digital Signage Deployments

If you take a look around a college campus today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a student walking around without a smartphone, tablet, or some wearable device. With students being more tech-savvy than ever before, higher education has no choice but to interact with their audience in a more modern, technological manner. The days of disseminating information via traditional methods are going the way of the dinosaur, and universities that want to attract potential students must adapt or lose tuition dollars to more technology-driven campuses. Innovative colleges and universities are embracing digital signage as a dynamic way to get essential and time-sensitive, critical information in the hands of students, visitors, faculty, and other university employees. Not only does digital signage give universities a modern, attention-grabbing way to communicate with their audience, but staff members and administrators can manage the communications networks for a more efficient method of distribution.

Spreading safety messages and emergency announcements.

In 2017, we saw how natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey and the California wildfires created panic among those in their wake. For college campuses, the ability to quickly and efficiently alert students in the event of a campus emergency is paramount.

Digital signage offers strategically placed signs that can give detailed information to users on where to take cover, the severity of the situation, and other life-saving information. Even more, these systems often integrate with the organization’s additional mass messaging platforms like SMS and email notifications to help further disseminate information to on-campus students and facility.

Improve wayfinding for new students and visitors.

Navigating your way across large campuses, especially those like Berry College in Georgia that sprawls over 27,000 acres, can be quite a nightmare for new and prospective students, campus visitors, and emergency personnel. For example, the University of Oregon’s Campus GIS and Mapping Program uses digital signage to showcase interactive maps that highlight helpful information like current construction projects, fastest available routes, and the location of the nearest restroom.

Digital signage replaces the antiquated method of printing static campus maps that can easily be out-of-date within a matter of months. By moving the wayfinding from a piece of paper to a digital screen, users can search for their destination with the touch of a screen and in some cases push that information to a smartphone or wearable navigation app for even better user experiences.

Better promote campus activities and academic deadlines.

College isn’t just about the classroom. For many students, the activities that happen outside of the classroom are much more interesting than Dr. Brown’s Econ 301 class. From sporting events to art exhibits, Rush Week to lecture series, colleges have no shortage of extracurricular activities taking place both on and off campus. Digital signage not only gives the organizations responsible for promoting these events the opportunity to get event information out to students but also helps the university cut down on the brightly colored event flyers that litter the resident halls and classroom floors. But digital signage isn’t limited to the “social” events. Administration departments can leverage signage to help students meet deadlines for registration, tuition payments, class cancellation, and exam periods.

Campuses across the US are finding creative ways to leverage technology in digital signage to better engage with students and faculty. While many haven’t gone “all in,” we expect to see more adoption over the next few years as students demand a high-tech environment that supports their tech-savvy ways.






Digital Signage

TechLink is an Expert Digital Signage Solution Installer.

TechLink combines the very best in project management, full client integration, and superior field technicians to deliver digital signage solutions to your business plan. This is a constantly evolving field and hiring in-house expertise can be both costly and time-consuming. TechLink allows you to get to your customers in a fully upgradable and scale-able way, creating a digital signage solution customized for your company.

What is digital signage?

ProjectorDigital signage is used both in-house and as a form of advertising that has no equal. It can be used in a variety of ways that will reach employees and customers with customized messages that target a specific demographic. It can be used to give your employees up-to-date information about projects and meetings or simply to tell them what the cafeteria is serving. It can be used in your reception area as an introduction to your business.

Digital signage can also be one of the key drivers of sales in far-flung marketplaces. Your contractor uses TechLink because we have the expertise and skill to reach these customers no matter where they are. Retailers can update advertising and pricing. Quick serve restaurants (QSRs) can introduce new menu items and reinforce the value of existing products. Commercial enterprises can “go green” by eliminating print costs. Governments can use digital signage to signal potential emergencies and offer dependable information in real time. No matter where your customers are, the ability to communicate with them in real time is a key sales driver and can build long-term trust and confidence.

Why should you use digital signage?Order Confirmation

TechLink has proven to be trusted partner for your contractor. We can professionally install and maintain a wide range of digital signage options displaying your message and at the same time cutting costs. Because the screens can be customized to the location, this method of reaching current customers and future clients is both cost-effective (far less expensive that print advertising) and time-sensitive (allowing your business to focus to target specific regions individually).

Digital signage not only compels, informs and motivates your customers to consider your products and services, it can be used to include and recognize the achievements of your staff. The ability to portray your messages with motion, shifting the information throughout the day, and ensuring that price execution is done in a timely fashion can increase your company’s profitability. TechLink, working with your contractor can make this happen.

How can TechLink help your business?

LED screensTechLink is an expert in the field of digital signing installation. With vast resources and superior project management, TechLink can rollout your business strategy via your contractor seamlessly and profitably. Our project managers will meet with you and develop an individual plan that will achieve your company’s potential. Because of TechLink’s interactive customer portal, the progress of the project can be monitored by your contractor in real time.

Our field technicians can install and maintain digital signage solutions across a wide variety of applications. TechLink matches your idea to the medium, whether it be menu boards, kiosk applications, POS terminals, or in-house applications. Because our installation and support is comprehensive, our customer relationships are both long-lasting and profitable, enabling you to get to the business of your business.



Three Considerations for a Regional or National Digital Signage Rollout

By Jordan Parker Means | Contributing writer,
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A wide-scale digital signage rollout across multiple locations and territories is a complex, yet increasingly common endeavor. According to the Digital Screenmedia Association, digital signage is growing at a rate of more than 20 percent annually across all industries, including the fast casual restaurant segment. It is possible to achieve a smoothly implemented, widespread rollout using a project management system to oversee the entire project. This white paper, sponsored by TechLink Services, will detail three necessary components of such a rollout.

Techlink_WP_aug15_1Project management

The elements associated with the planning, installation, and deployment of digital signage are quite complex. Often, owners or select IT personnel face the task of coordinating various vendors to fulfill the numerous parts of the process. Beyond physical installation, these incremental steps include Internet networking, data cabling, and electrical installation.

“It is common to see an individual from an IT department assigned to a digital signage project. The problem is that the project quickly becomes complex, and when the assigned individual has other duties, the project can stall or run into complications,” said Michael Mudd, CEO, TechLink Services.

Turnkey project management takes the opposite approach. Under this model, a single project manager who functions outside of the end client has the sole duty of overseeing the project. The project manager handles all details from start to finish. A large-scale rollout has its own set of complexities, which becomes even more convoluted as the number of individuals working on the project expands. If one individual is knowledgeable of the entire project ecosystem and all working parties, the project will likely flow more smoothly.

Project managers provide frontline communication between the field service technician and the site POC. PMs schedule the service or installation and test equipment as built photographs and completion documents. Field representatives are frequently the face of the company to customers, and they should show sufficient professionalism, courtesy, and expertise to reflect positively on both organizations.

National footprint

Typically, multiple installers handle a rollout across a single region. Those installers are often in no way interconnected. That disconnect creates a situation where each person working on the project has to learn the system, increasing the likelihood of discrepancies and mistakes. When a company with a national footprint steps into the fold, the picture changes. In this scenario, the same installers do the same work across a given region. They are trained and equipped with the information necessary to ensure uniform installation. When the rollout is national in scope, installers do not have to travel from region to region, which slows the installation process. Instead, various regions use a set of predetermined installers. In turn, projects stay within parameters and on schedule.

For example, TechLink provides qualified technicians throughout the U.S. and Canada and provides online training through SIMPL online portal. All technicians maintain and retrieve site documentation, testing procedures, and sign-out information through SIMPL, ensuring standardized installation and service procedures across the nation.


As with any technology, continued maintenance requirements are inevitable. Whether it is because of a break in service, an essential system update, or an equipment failure, the need for upkeep remains despite the level of technological advancement. Without a systematic way to place and track maintenance requests, ensuring consistency is nearly impossible. When working with customer-facing digital signage, such errors may result in inaccurate information being displayed to customers or a shutdown in service. The project manager should support rapid responses across the nation by providing technicians with spares, when requested by the customer, to accommodate rapid response contracts. In today’s world, many digital signage and digital menu board layouts are crucial to the success of a company. The PM should be there to ensure equipment is fixed right the first time.

Without a systematic way to place and track maintenance requests, ensuring consistency is nearly impossible.

TechLink Service and Installation Management Portal (SIMPL) is a valueadded component of the company’s project management offerings. It was developed to provide clients a method of keeping up with orders or repair requests and subsequent maintenance fulfillment. SIMPL removes the ambiguities from the process, as requests on the customer end and fulfillment on the TechLink end are submitted and tracked through the portal. It creates a maintenance history, which can track where an order stands in the maintenance process. Another added benefit is that the history can simplify future repair needs. Each SIMPL client portal is uniquely created to meet client needs. A regional or national digital signage project rollout is complex, and there is no way of getting around that fact. However, by using a project manager model, the complexities can be drastically diminished. The approach is one that organizes the project in a way that ensures quality, consistency, and effective response to any issue that may arise.

About the Sponsor
TechLink Services is the leader of retail, QSR, and kiosk clients for field services, including digital signage and digital menu boards, order confirmation and loop timers, information and interactive kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, and much more. TechLink also provides all professional services on a private white-label basis to system integrators, value-added resellers, and equipment manufacturers.