Is customer service a thing of the past?

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Have you recently been to a fast-food restaurant with a self-ordering kiosk? Interestingly enough, some individuals consider it a convenience, while others think that this new piece of technology takes jobs away from others.  

(Forbes/Website)

The McDonald’s kiosk is a touch-enabled device that will allow the customer to order a meal of their choice by using the on-screen menus. After the customer places and pays for their order at the kiosk, they receive a receipt with a numbered order and wait for their order to be served. Some adults and children may think it is cool or trendy to order on a kiosk, however, there are both positive and negative factors. 

The benefits

Some of the positive factors are that the customer can avoid big line-ups if they understand how to use the self-ordering checkout. Another is that the customer can select an item on the list and order it without any chance of error that may occur if they use the traditional counter service. Some may also think this is great if there is a new employee in training, as some may get the perception that new employees are more likely to make mistakes.   

The disadvantages

However, self-ordering negatively impacts frontline workers who are most likely making minimum wage. As well, frontline workers are able to know their customers by offering suggestions and answering customer questions, whereas the self-service kiosk is unable to interact socially with the customer. Frontline workers may even suggest new items on the menu to try out or offer cheaper deals than the self-order kiosk. If an order is incorrect, the frontline workers can go to the manager for assistance and the manager may offer a free incentive to the customer.  

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace; however, we ultimately choose between the traditional method (frontline workers) or the self-order kiosk. The self-order kiosk takes away our human interaction, such as waiting in a line or communicating with frontline workers. This next generation of children needs to learn to interact by communicating with frontline workers instead of one-on-one interactions with a screen. Self-order kiosks may also offer convenience, but it takes away jobs.  

What will you choose?

Next time you visit a fast-food restaurant, you should give some thought to your method of ordering. Will you place an order with a frontline worker or use a self-order kiosk?