Digital self-service is easy, fun and lucrative

What comes to mind when you hear the word ’self-service’? “Great, I can get this done quickly and easily” or “They ruined this too and now everything is more difficult”? Various self-service solutions have been around for a while, but thanks to digitalization, they have evolved by leaps and bounds. For companies, digital self-service offers a new way to engage customers.

At its best, self-service really makes things easier. The possibility to scan your purchases yourself means less time spent queueing at the till. And very few people would still prefer to pay all their bills at the bank desk during office hours.

“At Etteplan More, we have a long track record of providing customer companies with advanced solutions to develop digital self-service, and in the process, we have seen what works and what does not. The world is not complete in that respect either; we are constantly learning how digital self-service can be further improved. Our job is to, together with the customer, conceptualize and implement a solution that adds value and serves their specific business needs,” says Toni Kokkonen, Etteplan’s software development unit’s Key Account Lead.

Digital refueling for drivers

Service stations are an interesting example of the development of self-service applications. Self-service refueling has been possible for a while, but digitalization and the spread of smartphones have expanded the offering and genuinely improved the service.

“It’s extremely convenient to be able to pay for the fuel directly on a smartphone without needing to press buttons on a machine that everyone uses. In addition to convenience, this also increases the attractiveness of the service, with people paying more attention to hygiene and the number of close contacts. Information security also improves because there is no need to worry about skimmers that criminals install at electronic payment card readers to collect card data,” Kokkonen says.

In the world of service stations, development is not about to end here. Etteplan participates, together with Neste, in a pilot project where the whole refueling process can be carried out automatically without the customer leaving the car. This is an attractive option, especially in the fall when it rains, but it also goes to show that new innovations are possible in all kinds of sectors.

It is still too early to say whether the refueling robot is here to stay, but in any case, it provides experiences and can plant the seed for new ideas. Etteplan is also closely involved in developing self-service solutions for the charging of electric vehicles.

Smooth self-service is an advantage for a company

When we talk about digital self-service, the focus is often on the end customer experience. This, however, omits an essential aspect: self-service is not only the customer’s privilege.

Companies can enhance their operations and develop new business ideas by focusing on developing self-service. Self-service solutions also produce interesting data, which can be used to improve customer experience through analytics. They can, for example, provide data on how and when congestion builds up at the service outlets, which helps remove bottlenecks and speed up service.

Digital self-service is an excellent solution in many sectors. Sending and receiving parcels is easy using the self-service terminal located at the store entrance when you go grocery shopping. In an increasing number of fast food restaurants, it is possible to place an order on a smartphone app and pick up the food from the counter. This is convenient when you are hungry, and the company gets a new kind of channel for customer relationship management, marketing and additional sales: Would you like to have sweet potato fries to go with your falafel burger? Click here!

There is no one correct way to produce digital self-services; the topic needs to be approached from the perspective of customer needs and the company’s own capabilities. It is a fortunate situation in that the spectrum of possibilities is extremely wide. What services in your company would bring value to your customers if provided in the form of self-service? In all probability, a convenient solution would already be feasible.

Toni Kokkonen

Key Account Lead, Cloud and Applications
040 591 0390
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