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June 27, 2014

Self-Check in Provides Seamless Traveling Experience

In the battle of physical distribution of e-commerce, generally attributed the quality of customer service to stores: proximity, recognition, expertise sellers, human relationship advice ... But the e- commerce services has developed acclaimed by consumers what they do not find in stores. The main strength of e-tailers, gradually created a level of service to great precision through good use of technology and customers behavioral data. Faced with no particular expectations as customers without material comparison, this wealth of services steadily built up a new repository service covering many dimensions acclaimed by consumers.
Technological innovations have created new distribution methods of services through multi-channels. The multi channel service allows availability in all time and in any place (Jiun-Sheng & Hsing-Chi, 2011) and leads to multiple changes both in the service business at the level of customer. Another important feature that needs to be accentuated here is that in the competitive corporate culture it has become mandatory for businesses to introduce diversity irrespective of the business that they are engaged in. Hence it is in this context that the idea of introducing self service technology at airports becomes increasingly efficient and effective.
The diverse nature of services that the traveling business provides to its customers intend to completely redefine the image of travel and leisure along with the level of services that customers anticipate from the traveling company all of which collectively contribute to the construction of a highly reputed and credible image of the business in such competitive times. Furthermore, in such recessionary circumstances customers opting for traveling intend to choose a company adheres to the principle of brand extension, a company that offers them a wide range of services and products at a highly economic rate. In this case the modus operandi of airlines and airports become extremely pivotal in providing a completely new dimension to the traveling industry in times to come.
The aerial platforms seek to simplify travel for their passengers using new machines such as self-service terminals and the expenses in the installation of high-tech products increased by 4.4% in 2010 (Yang, 2010) (against 3.6% in 2009) and 81% of airports have increased their budgets further in 2012. Research indicates that "improved customer service" is an important part of the investment in new technology. These machines have indeed been installed at border controls by 28% of respondents (Abdelaziz, Hegazy & Elabbassy, 2010). Although still a major concern, cost reduction seems less important for leaders than last year. Overall, nearly six out of ten airports have scheduled to invest heavily in the modernization of their existing IT infrastructure to prepare for the arrival of new solutions. In other words, it is the lust of Innovation that attracts all the self-service terminal. Despite an already high level of adoption, 53% of airports are planning to increase the number of future check-in kiosks. 25% plan to use even for new services such as printing labels luggage, flight transfers and self-scanning of documents such as passports.
Airlines place innovation at the heart of their activities, with the aim to provide the best possible service both at the pre-trip, during and after the trip. To this end, numerous means are implemented, including digital media, from the Internet to the new fixed equipment such as PDAs, mobile phones and smartphones. To meet the growing needs of mobility and instantaneity, the Client can access key information from their reservation record, register and obtain their boarding pass, and inquire about flight schedules in real time. Airlines are using different self-check-in kiosks to improve their efficiency. Some of such self-check in kiosks include
·         Self-check in Kiosks: There are two types of kiosks, or those belonging to an airline and those in common use (Common-Use Self-Service - CUSS). They allow travelers to save faster and distance (airport parking, train stations and even hotel!), Thereby reducing congestion at the airport. Economies of scale and reduced labor are obvious consequences for carriers. The kiosks are better suited to use common terminals that are not dominated by an airline. They are widespread in Europe, Asia and Canada;
·         Boarding pass barcode: This type of boarding pass, which meets the barcode IATA standards, replacing magnetic stripe cards. Information about flights to multiple segments can be recorded on a single card. This technology allows passengers to print their boarding pass from anywhere and even display them on a cell phone - and no paper is required. This obviously reduces costs for businesses, both in terms of equipment (magnetic encoding devices cost about $ 5,000) and personnel necessary to facilitate registration;
·         Baggage handling and other initiatives: More airports installing automated baggage registration services according to IATA standards. Devices print labels, weigh luggage and carry. Other initiatives are developing in order to accelerate the process, such as automatic loading (automated checking the boarding pass and passport free agent at the door), the more effective treatment of irregular operations, the verification of official documents (passport) and self-service luggage identification with RFID (RFID is tracking luggage, travelers, conventioneers and taxis). In short, since there is a customer demand and benefits for airports and carriers, technological developments follow;
The operation is quite simple. Before moving on to the check-in, simply place the luggage on the balance built into the system, while leaving the scanner read the code of ticket to log in (a code displayed on passenger’s smartphone or print of tickets email do the work). With this information on passenger’s flight and suitcase, terminal prints a sticker that he can simply install it following the instructions. The processing time will be saved and when the passenger arrives at the registration desk, the clerk merely checks against the entered weight.
·         To identify whether the passenger’s satisfaction has increased or not by using self service technologies
·         To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using self-check in during traveling
·         What is the importance of self service technologies during traveling at the present era?
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of using self check-in while traveling?
·         Does self-check in really provide a quick and seamless traveling experience?

The basic purpose of this study is to determine whether the self-check in provides a quick and seamless traveling experience or not. This research study not only relies upon the data from pre-existing sources but it also conduct quantitative survey and qualitative interviews of concerned people and tries to investigate the objective presented in the study through the conduction of qualitative research.
As technological applications have simplified with the passage of time, businesses have started to show signs of developing novel approaches towards understanding different kinds of applications that can be used primarily for uplifting the reputation of their businesses (Czaja et al., 2006). With the understanding of this approach the behavior and strategic interests of traveling industry has diverted towards the advancements of self service technologies. In times when people all over the world have already paid enough for policies that were completely fleeting in terms of their existence, it is time that airlines, airports, stations etc. shift their attention towards things that carry a more sustainable image and functioning procedure (Hsieh, 2005). It is basically through the development and growth achieved on the lines of sustainable development that will in the long-run prove to be the driving force for travelling industry.
The traveling sector has undergone a real transformation (Fecikov√°, 2004) with the advent of multi-channel distribution channels and self service technologies. The emergence and revolution in information and communication technology brings new changes in the way the service is produced and delivered (Jong, Ruyter & Lemmink, 2003). Thus, the airlines and the airports, for the sake of productivity and to better meet the expectations of their customers are increasingly adopting more self service technologies which results in the development of different delivery channels or distribution of their services. In addition to traditional networks formed by the branches, the technological channels are emerging and are increasingly used by clients. These channels act as the interface of service relationship between the service company and its customers.  Self Service Technologies at airports provides the ability to produce and distribute the service in different ways. One of the primary characteristics of such technologies is the ease and diversification of delivery of service it provides (Dabholkar, 1996).
With the help of advanced technologies of information and communication, the client interacts with the remote enterprise (Internet) and / or close (kiosks) without the intervention of contract staff. The service is made possible by the interaction between the client and the machine (Shostack, 2005). The major innovation introduced by this type of channel lies in this different manner which businesses delivering the service. With these new channels combining electronic and / or digital service becomes available soon at anytime and anywhere. One of the most widely used virtual channels is undoubtedly the Internet. With this technology, the concept of "e-service" is born which, according to Tsikriktsis (2004) allows the customer a facility to interact with the company at any time without having to move from his place.
The innovation in self service technologies is the source of many behavioral organizational and managerial changes. The personnel of the related companies experience that the clients become more demanding for better information through alternative channels. On the other hand, a malfunction that may occur during service experience is directly related to customer dissatisfaction in technology channels (Shih-Chih, 2011). This implies the need for the company to work for accompaniment and ongoing training (Ramayah et al., 2003) for personnel in contact to work with these technologies. Just as the personal contact, the multi-channel induced in client new skills and new roles. With the arrival of technology channels that gave birth to the "self-service", the powered client finds a role from passive to active actor of main processes (Parasuraman & Colby, 2001).  
This additional new role allotted to him will be born to him two feelings: uncertainty and opportunism (Meuter et al., 2003). Thus, the client with the service delivery technology options available to him, finds himself alone in front of the machine and performs all the tasks necessary for the delivery of the service by himself. Similarly, minimal training to use the free Service technology is therefore necessary to him. Learning compared to the technology itself and in relation to the role it has to play. To facilitate this learning process, some controllers are placed close to the physical outlets where personal contact can intervene if necessary.
Also, in addition to these changes that involve the setting up of technology channels to the customer, we are also seeing a change in behavior of the customer (Meuter et al., 2000). Indeed, the existence of hybrid system introduced by the multi-channel gives rise to a new behavior to the customer. He is a new customer in various stages of process of decision-making which can be used with two or more channels. The behavior of click and mortar: the client passes the automatic channel automatic (e.g. internet symbolized by the "click") to the informational side, the physical channel (e.g. agency symbolized by the term "mortar") for the transactional aspect. The behavior of "mortar and click" passing the physical channel for the preparation of purchase to the channel for the internet transactional phase. Also, being able to use at least two channels in a same decision-making process shows the existence of synergies between channels. This leads service companies to cope with new challenges.
With multi-channel, service companies are facing new managerial challenges. By using the multi-channel, service companies are among other to reach a greater number of customers. However, "having more customers does not mean a channel necessarily or automatically over clients (Rosenbloom, 2007). If we take the example of a service company offering Internet channel in addition to its traditional customers channel, the new customer segment using the Internet channel can come from the same customers who used the traditional channel. It is one of the major obstacles faced by service companies with multi channel. Physical contact of a client constitutes a potential sale of new services, such as desertion of the physical to the virtual channel can have adverse effects on the business relationship. In addition to the risk of "cannibalization between channels "the company runs the risk of not being able to monetize these channels and end up with extra costs instead of cost savings.
This raises the question of the definition of the roles of each channel and how they interact. Some service companies to mitigate the risk of conflict between the channels do not hesitate, choose one where some undifferentiated multi-channel strategy to adopt a undifferentiated multi-channel strategy differentiated where each channel has a clear defined role. The disadvantage of this strategy is that the customer feels fragmented (Rhoda,, 2010) and difficulty in accepting that imposes channel especially when it obeys the imperatives of profitability. This suggests that in the multi channel, this is not the number of channels that can reach more customers but it is how they are integrated and coordinated matters (Rosenbloom, 2007). The conflict between the main channel has its origin in the confusion of the roles of different channels where the need for management coordinate the different channels.

Most companies who use the technology channels such as the Internet in addition to traditional channels face the question of how to integrate their different channels (Stone et al., 2002; Soussa & Voss, 2006). The adoption of multi-channel is made for many companies by adding successive channels without true global integration. The integration of different channels is to provide the customer through all channels "seamless" experience (Payne and Frow, 2004; Soussa & Voss, 2006). Companies have realized the benefits that they could withdraw by adopting an integrated multi-channel strategy. In fact the benefits are visible both on the client side as that of the company. The multi-channel integration increases customer service experience across all channels leading to a level of great satisfaction (Rosenbloom, 2007; Soussa & Voss, 2006) supporting a long-term relationship long-term (Payne & Frow, 2004) based on trust. On the other side, the service company integrating these different channels can benefit from the synergies between them. Allowing it to achieve economies of scale through the sharing process, customer data technology and especially through the channels to maximize sales opportunities and therefore greater profitability.


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