Consumers Want Self-Service: NCR Report

WASHINGTON -- Time-starved shoppers are more likely to patronize retailers that enable them to take care of their own business through self-service devices, according to a major new study conducted by BuzzBack Market Research for Dayton, Ohio-based global technology company NCR Corp.

Among the top three locations where the 633 U.S. and Canadian consumers surveyed would like to see this kind of convenience was grocery stores, chosen by 55 percent. Only airports and malls ranked higher, at 70 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

Over three out of four, or 77 percent, of those polled said they'd prefer to do business with companies offering self-service, and 92 percent said they'd like to combine mobile devices such as mobile phones or PDAs with Internet and self-service kiosks or ATMs to enhance their overall service experience.

"People want more control of their interaction with your business," noted NCR president and c.e.o. Bill Nuti. "Why wait for assistance with transactions they can more quickly and easily do themselves at guaranteed quality? Consumers increasingly expect to be served where and when they choose, and are putting pressure on businesses and government agencies to deliver seamless service through the integration of self-serve devices, including the Internet, mobile devices, and multipurpose kiosks."

Respondents also wanted to be able to do their own printing, with 89 percent saying they would prefer to use self-service to print loyalty points or coupons while shopping. Additionally, 88 percent of those polled wanted to be able to print out food and wine information and recipes, and 84 percent wanted to be able to pick up, sign in, or check on the status of items ordered online.

Interestingly, despite their requests for more self-service technology, a "significant" number of respondents still said they prefer person-to-person interaction for such complex transactions as receiving mortgage or investment advice, according to NCR.
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