Sir: The news that customers would like to see more self-service tills in store (‘Unexpected finding in self-service till survey,’ 25 August) shows that customers are becoming better educated in the technology and are seeing more of the benefits.
Self-service technology has developed in recent years, and second-generation self-checkouts can help avoid the oft-maligned “unexpected item in bagging area” situation encountered with earlier models. Some of the new terminals are even equipped with a cash hopper, meaning customers can save on time otherwise taken by flattening and feeding in notes and coins one at a time.
While self-service is becoming more and more usable, we agree with Asda that it is important to offer customers the right level of choice. There will also always be those that prefer a manned checkout, and this is not necessarily tied to the customer’s age. Our own research closely resembled the findings of Market Force in that 60% still preferred a manned checkout, but it also provided the added insight that of all respondents 21% preferred self-service.
Retailers must remember to offer customers the right level of choice and, first and foremost, ensure that they provide a high level of customer service - whatever the checkout.
Edward Brindley, director of marketing and business development, Wincor Nixdorf