How To, Insights

Lobby Kiosks: How to Choose the Right Self-Service Solution for Your Lobbies

By Aila Staff

May 17, 2022

Lobby kiosks are becoming ubiquitous across travel and hospitality due to their ability to offset labor shortages, reduce lines at the front desk, and provide a convenient customer experience across all of your physical locations. 

But choosing the right lobby kiosk requires some planning and thought. Here are some of the primary considerations for selecting the best solution for your lobbies. 

What is a lobby kiosk?

Lobby kiosks are a self-service interface where visitors can check in, sign-up, verify documents, and perform several other tasks without assistance from an associate. 

They often include a scanner for capturing information and barcodes off of smartphones, printed tickets, or ID cards, and they almost always include a touchscreen interface for ease of use. Some lobby kiosks also have a camera to take photos for guest ID cards. 

Lobby kiosk

What components are most important in a lobby kiosk? 

The most essential components of a self-service lobby kiosk depend on your specific business needs. For example, if guests are using the kiosk to sign in with their driver’s license, an ID barcode scanner with an ID tray will make the process streamlined and user-friendly, reducing the need for an associate to provide assistance. 

Generally, however, there are 5 main components to consider: 

  1. User-friendly mounting options that fit your lobby
  2. A fast, intuitive app
  3. A modern iOS or Android-based tablet interface that can be updated
  4. Compatibility with leading printers or payment terminals (if needed)
  5. Image-based scanning, which allows guests to scan QR codes, IDs, and more

Choosing the best mounting option for your lobby kiosk

Kiosk mounting options provide businesses with options that are fit for their specific lobby environment. Larger lobbies may need a floor stand option that is placed near the entrance so guests don’t have to search for a place to be greeted, check in, or sign-up. 

Many lobbies can benefit from a table or countertop mounting option that can be placed on or near their front desk so that an associate is within close proximity should the visitor have any questions. 

Small lobbies are well-suited for a wall-mounted lobby kiosk. Wall-mounted kiosks take up the least amount of floor space and can also be used as a way to supplement other kiosks if the business receives a lot of foot traffic. This “fleet” approach lets users avoid long lines while also making it clear where to go and is part of kiosk best practices

Which operating system is best for a lobby kiosk: iOS, Android, Windows, or other?

Lobby kiosks come on a range of mobile operating systems. While it’s true that your app will play a large role in the overall user experience, the device and operating system still play a key role. 

iOS is our preferred operating system for customer-facing experiences. With iOS/iPadOS, you get:

  • Bright, hi-res displays
  • Built-in security
  • 5+ years of OS update support
  • A more unified rollout (all of your devices will be on the same OS version)
  • An overall UI experience used and preferred by your current customers and associates

For a full breakdown of why iOS is the best platform for self-service for enterprises, read our guide

sign-in kiosk from Aila and Proxyclick for retail pharmacy self-service

Choosing an app for your lobby kiosk

Your lobby kiosk app should include everything your customer needs to accomplish the task at the point of entry, as well as instructions on what to do if they can’t complete the task for any reason. 

Apps that are user-friendly, modern, and in line with your company’s branding will provide the best results and leave the best impression on your customers. But, how do you get that app?

There are three main ways to select a lobby kiosk app: buy, build, or partner. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. 

Pre-built apps are proven to be functional and user-friendly, with fewer bugs and a customer-ready design. The downside of buying a pre-built app can often be in lack of customization or expandability. In other words, if your workflow changes, your app may not be able to adapt to the new workflow. 

Building an app in-house will allow you the most flexible option, but it does require internal development capabilities and the bandwidth needed to create and maintain that endeavor. 

Partnering to create your app is a good in-between. It allows you to choose the features you need without dedicating internal resources to a time-intensive process of developing, updating, and supporting your app. 

Aila’s Interactive Kiosk for lobbies

The Interactive Kiosk provides an ideal self-service solution for lobbies. With a range of mounting options, powerful scanning, and a user-friendly iOS-based interface, and compatibility with any iOS app, the Interactive Kiosk can offset labor shortages and improve the customer experience at the point of entry. 

Get our free Self-Service Playbook to learn how to deploy the perfect self-service solution in your lobbies:

Get the Self-Service Playbook

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