Self service kiosks speed up service at post offices, study finds

Customers queueing for self service kiosks (SSKs) at post offices save an average of 3 minutes compared to staffed counters and are three times less likely to have to queue at all, found a study by Citizens Advice, the statutory consumer advocate for post offices and postal services.

Customers who use SSKs rates their overall experience as good and the facility is particularly popular with younger people, reveals the study. It identified habit and lack of confidence as major barriers that prevent many consumers from using self service in post offices.

SSKs are now available only in around 220 post offices, just 2 percent of the 11,500-strong network. Providing more SSKs and helping more people to use them can reduce queues and improve public perception of the Post Office, said the advocacy charity.

This could also free up staff to spend more time assisting consumers who need or want a more personal service, it added.

The study also found customers experiencing some problems with the machine including navigating options, identifying equipment, and posting items.

Citizens Advice called on the Post Office Limited to double the number of post offices with SSKs and retain SSKs in Crown branches that go on to be franchised.

The charity also recommended awareness programmes and new generation machines to maximise consumer benefit.