How a Good Point of Sale System Can Spike Customer Satisfaction
Not too long ago, online and offline businesses were focused on promoting their services, their products, and their brand. Everything revolved around advertising their organization and accomplishments and by any means necessary. Now with the help of social media and the digital age, the emergence of a need for customer engagement and satisfaction is dominating business landscapes everywhere. The focus now lies on creating a sustainable and profitable business model for both brick-and-mortar and online companies while revolving around the customer’s needs, desires, and purchasing habits.
For online businesses, understanding and interacting with their customers is a bit easier than for offline retailers. Website plugins, monitoring tools, social media, and online analytics help open the door to the customer’s mind, allowing businesses to promote their products through online engagement. How about retailers? How do you physically and equally engage with each customer that walks through the door and make a memorable impression? A modernized POS system integrated with an ERP solution is probably the last thing that comes to a retailer’s mind but you’d be surprised of the wonders it can do in the way your associates and customers interact.
POS is evolving to meet today’s increasing in-store digital and consumer needs.
The number one reason customers don’t return to a store is that they ‘forget’ about that retail outlet. (Source: Bill Glazier, Glazier-Kennedy). A Point of Sale ensures memorable and favorable customer experiences by speeding up mundane tasks, such as returns and exchanges or inventory lookup. Every point of digitally interactive in-store contact can be leveraged to meet the customer’s current and perceived continuous needs. Here are some examples of how a POS can improve in-store operations and in turn, create a more memorable experience for your customers:
- Synchronized, real-time POS statistics are integrated with Purchasing;
- Management can respond to style changes and item trends fast;
- Goods sell with less markdowns for greater profit;
- Floor space is allocated to fast moving items while pruning slow movers;
- When staff know inventory counts are bullet-proof, less theft results;
- Clerks can complete regular and custom orders faster, interact with customers more and not make errors.
POS can be designed to deliver speed, convenience and the best possible customer satisfaction level personalized to each retailer.
A good POS is integrated with the store’s CRM and ERP system, meaning all data is updated in real-time. This means that retailers can personalize the customer’s experience through special promotions and loyalty program offers available at the point-of-purchase. With an intuitive and touch-enabled user interface that is easy to learn, store associates can look up transaction data, including past purchases, even if a network connection is offline. Think of the POS as a marketing tool, it’s not only just a cash register but a powerhouse that can open a whole new world of data about your business. Here are some features of what to expect of a computerized POS:
- POS can become a marketing and profit-generating center;
- POS gives clerks, self-service POS kiosks, customer-owned mobile devices, or associates with access to full-featured lightweight wireless mobile POS units, instant access to proven customer history and preferences;
- Reliable order and delivery status is one click away;
- Associates can knowingly sell, up-sell, cross-sell, promote special programs and create high quality, highly targeted interactions between themselves and purchasers;
- POS can be customized to all customers can serve themselves, if they wish;
- Customers can also make returns without an original sales slip;
- With full-featured mobile POS, clerks can perform suspend and retrieve, lane busting, complete secure credit and debit transactions, accompany and assist customers;
- Full-featured mobile POS units given to cashiers let them move inside or outside the store with ease, and be confident in the information they provide customers;
- Cashier’s contact becomes a truly customer-centric, service-oriented experience;
- Customers know they will save time, be recognized and can more easily enhance their lifestyle pursuits;
- Shopping becomes tailored to their precise needs and wants.
A Point of Sale system can help retailers track their best sellers and reorder when those items are low. Always have your customer’s favorite products in stock and ready to go.
It’s never a pleasant experience seeing the disappointed look on a customer’s face when they’re told their favorite products is not in stock. They’ve chosen your place of business as the go-to for this specific item, and yet you were unable to live up to their expectations. A good POS can avoid such situations all together. As a retailer, you are aware of your store’s best and worst sellers and can setup alerts when such items need to be ordered or to cancel additional shipments. This can remarkably reduce cost at the inventory level while ensuring your customers can purchase the products they need. Additionally, below are some other inventory-related POS benefits:
- Centralized, accurate information on demand is possible when fully-integrated multi-channel inventory management solutions update inventory enterprise-wide in true real-time.
- Inventory status can be trusted at the current store, other stores, online, or via other existing channels.
- The POS or cashier clerk can tell customers exactly what, when and where merchandise is and exactly when it will be available.
- All goods can be seen, sold and profits dropped to the bottom line quickly.
What adaptations will POS make in the era of mobile commerce?
Mobile devices are changing the way we shop and communicate. No matter the time of day or the device in hand, we can browse and purchase products effortlessly. For brick-and-mortar retailers, this presents a challenge as customer are expecting a seamless and engaged shopping experience online and offline. Here’s where mobile commerce comes into play. “POS 2013-2018 Forecast” a report by Javelin, forecasts that by 2018, mobile POS payments will total 13 percent, or $5.4 billion, of overall US POS purchases! A right platform that can integrate your mobile strategy and POS is the key to a unified omni-channel strategy. By adapting a computerized POS system, retailers who wish to mobilize payments to motivate shoppers and drive traffic, can connect the purchases under one umbrella.
- Customer-owned mobile devices provide highly useful, yet necessarily constrained, access to POS;
- Empowering clerks with sophisticated full-featured handheld mobile POS ensures clerks can interact and move with customers throughout the store, drive-through, mall or parking lot;
- Inventory can be checked by product description or SKU;
- Store associates can sign up and display customer loyalty ID, scan drivers’ licenses, do age verification, and process payments;
- Full-featured mobile POS becomes a walking mobile returns desk where customers receive bar-coded receipts from clerks when they enter the store;
- Customers can shop or proceed to the check out where the return receipt is scanned and their purchase recalculated or refunded;
- Full-featured mobile POS devices also boost staff productivity and ROI by doing ongoing inventory counts, receiving and shelf price verification;
- A store system mobile-POS also dramatically reduces checkout counter footprint costs vs. a dedicated POS, and eases holiday shopping bottlenecks.
It’s hard to keep up with the customer especially for retailers who have to compete with online businesses. Habituated to a digital life, customers are frustrated with any interactions that wastes their valuable time or fails to connect with them on a personal level. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Even as a retail business owner or manager you are a customer just like the rest of us. Long lines, broken lines of communication, and the lack of compassion from cashier clerks can drive anyone crazy. By adapting a modern and integrated POS system at your retail chain, you can empower your staff with real-time data necessary to customize offline promotions, perform mandatory customer satisfaction checks, and keep your customers happy.
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