Many businesses today are utilizing self-ordering kiosks, technological tools that provide many benefits. Major chains like Panera and McDonald’s have continued to roll out kiosks over the past few years with increased sales, and people have expressed interest in and satisfaction with kiosk technology. While kiosks streamline ordering, in the time of COVID–19, the issue remains that kiosks still involve physical touch. Having kiosks that utilize AI technology to communicate with customers – conversational AI — can resolve this problem. Fortunately, this development is already in the works with many interactive kiosk manufacturers.


What is conversational AI and how does it work?


Valyant AI and Kiosk Information Systems have recently teamed up to implement conversational AI technology in self-ordering kiosks. The AI technology in the voice activated kiosks will communicate with customers verbally, which mimics natural human dialogue and parallels the communication of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Rather than communicating through touch, transactions can take place completely verbally. This addition brings a variety of advantages for consumers and business owners.


The AI will minimize the need to press buttons by enabling the software and visual display to provide an intuitive user interface. The conversational aspect will also help personalize users’ experience and will be able to offer customized upsells. The average upsell has, in fact, risen due to Valyant’s conversational AI technology. Some additional features of this system include. knowledge of menu items and its situational variations, cost-effectiveness and little maintenance requirement, and integration into the business’ POS and UI systems.


During this pandemic, the most pertinent aspect of this AI technology, however, is that touching a screen is no longer necessary, as the AI handles the entire order through conversation. The revamped, voice input kiosks will perform transactions, take orders, and assist with any queries. This AI kiosk revolutionizes how kiosks generally operate, and can change the way businesses handle their contactless ordering.

What are the benefits of conversational AI in kiosks?


While traditional touchscreen kiosks improve businesses in many ways, self-ordering kiosks are made better by the additional of conversational AI. The future of AI in retail and restaurants is likely through AI kiosks. Traditional kiosks function through customers’ touch, allowing them to specifically customize their selections and thereby minimizing order errors. Voice input kiosks, however, provide all of these pluses in a safer (sometimes quicker) way.


Touching surfaces such as kiosks can be perceived as dangerous, as many consumers touch the screen without wearing protective gloves or finger caps. They might also forget to sanitize their hands properly before using the kiosk. While wiping the screen frequently can help with preventing the transmission of coronavirus, there is still a risk associated with transmission via touchscreens. This conversational AI technology removes the need for touch, effectively protecting all customers, especially those who are immunocompromised or unwell. This could potentially bring more customers in, as there is a peace of mind in knowing that this ordering method is free from human contact.


Besides helping customers, conversational AI technology in kiosks can significantly benefit and protect employees. In general, kiosks allow employees to allocate their time to more productive tasks and prevent them from having to get close to customers. The conversational aspect further saves employees from having to come into contact with the screens to fix any issues customers might face in the ordering process.


Additionally, contactless ordering with conversational AI in kiosks can improve overall efficiency by saving time, both for the consumer and for the business. For one, the customer will not have to take extra time to scroll and find the items they want on the menu. It also saves time for both customers and employees by answering questions, typically a job delegated to an employee.


With its contactless ordering and efficiency-boosting benefits, conversational AI is a giant step toward improving kiosk technology and ordering methods. Public safety is of the utmost importance right now with COVID-19 still present, and this revolutionary technology can help businesses generate sales while ultimately keeping everyone safe.