At the airport, CVS or at the movie theater, you’ll find self-checkout. Self-checkout has its benefits. Most of those benefits, though, do not go to you or me. The customer. We don’t care about lower labor costs, less shrinkage or better analytics.
We, the customer, don’t like the imbalance of benefits associated with self-checkout. But this is not what’s so painful. The utter lack of updates we get during the process, especially when we’re waiting, is what’s so painful
At self-checkout, there’s nobody to give you an update. Good or bad. There’s nobody to say “We’re experiencing delays with the computer.” There’s nobody to say, “Customer assistance for an extra register please.” There’s nobody to say, “Ma’am, this credit card didn’t go through, can we try another?”
How can we get self-checkout machines to give status updates? We don’t need much. Something like, “I’m an expert, here’s what’s happening, here’s how long it’s going to be. Thanks for the patience.” Oh, that’s a job a machine can’t do?