Offering a Stellar Customer Experience (Leverage Your POS)
April 5 2018 |
POS systems have come a long way since the first cash register was invented. From using tablets to mobile phones and other sophisticated wireless technology, POS systems are so much more than a tool to tally a customer’s bill. They now offer incredible insights and opportunities into one’s business and most importantly, one’s customers.
The importance of providing excellent customer experience should not be underestimated, especially since the way we do business is constantly evolving – especially online. It’s no secret that millions of people are using social media to share their thoughts and experiences about anything and everything. That means customers are likely to tell their friends and online community if they’ve had a bad customer experience.
In a world where someone can easily share his or her disappointing experience at a local restaurant, coffee shop or store to his or her 250 Facebook friends, it is crucial that you go the extra mile to ensure your business offers stellar customer service. Here’s how you can leverage your POS software to provide a great customer service experience.
What Does Customer Experience Look Like in 2018 & Beyond?
The rise of e-commerce has irrevocably changed customer service best practices forever. According to Forrester Research Inc. and as cited by Digital Commerce 360, online sales are projected to account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. With more and more people purchasing products online, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have found themselves on the wrong side of the digital business shift.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are experiencing less foot traffic and are unable to offer comparable prices than their online competitors. That’s why it’s time for them to change strategies and focus less on the transaction and more on the customer’s overall experience.
Improving your customers’ experience can have a significant impact on your business – i.e. increase sales. Thanks to all the information readily available online, customers are now much more educated than they used to be. They likely already know what they’re looking for and they don’t need a salesman to guide them in their product choice.
In fact, they’ve probably compared several reviews online before walking into your store. They even probably know as much or more about your product or service than you do. What they truly need is tailored service. How do you provide great customer service experience in this case? By using the data you’ve collected through your POS software wisely (we’ll explain further below).
Understanding Customer Psychology
When it comes to brick-and-mortal retailers, understanding consumer behaviour will allow to you to identify points of friction and improve your overall customer experience. By ensuring your customer receives the best possible service, you will increase the odds of having a repeat customer.
There are several points of friction that can occur when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store; today we’ll discuss three of them. One of the first and most obvious irritants is in direct correlation with the modern digital age: getting to your store in the first place. Unfortunately, this factor is completely out of your control and you can’t force consumers to make the physical effort to visit your business. The second irritant most people experience is finding the product they’re looking for (they know what they want, but don’t know where to find it!). The third irritant is a negative POS experience (slow service, inventory errors, poor payment processes, etc.).
Fortunately, there are two points you can manage and improve upon. Notice anything special about the latter two? They’re the first and last impressions a customer has of your store.
First impression: finding the product they’re looking for
People are in a hurry, and they don’t always have time to stroll through a store to casually check out all your products. They often know exactly what they want as soon as they come in. To avoid any feelings of frustration on your customers’ part, ensure you or a staff member is easily available to assist them as soon as they enter your business.
As part of its marketing strategy, electronics’ retail giant Best Buy ensures a representative greets clients as soon as they walk in. This allows the representative to provide immediate assistance should someone need help finding a specific product, even if that means redirecting the client to another department. In addition, Best Buy employees aren’t pushy. Customers don’t like to feel pressured, and an easy-going approach upon first contact will help them feel at ease.
Remember, they say first impressions last a lifetime. This is especially true when it comes to providing a great customer service experience. The first impression you give will set the tone for your customer’s overall experience: make sure it’s a good one.
Last impression: POS experience
Having the right POS software can make or break your customer’s last impression. That’s why you need to ensure you offer a variety of payment options – not just cash. Payment options can include debit, credit (Visa, MasterCard), gift cards, Paypass, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Many POS systems also let you create a customer loyalty program, allowing your clients to earn points or rewards when purchasing from your store. If you want to be the go-to store for your vertical, give people a reason to visit again and again.
Speedy transactions are another important feature of your POS system. We’ve mentioned it before, people are in a hurry. Nobody likes standing in line, so ensure your POS system has integrated barcode scanning to speed things up. This will also help eliminate human error since you or your employees won’t have to punch several buttons to register an item. The sight of a long line can have clients running for the exits – don’t let transactions slow you down.
Thanks to innovative POS software, merchants can now offer customer receipts by email. Email receipts have several benefits, including better safe keeping. For instance, if your customer purchases a big-ticket item and needs to return or exchange it but loses the paper receipt, you or your customer can easily track its digital version.
Another important benefit is that email receipts capture customer info. By having their personal info and purchase history on hand, you can target your customers with email campaigns and let them know when you’re having promotions that might interest them. You will also be able call them by name at checkout, which will make them feel more valued and less anonymous.
By ensuring your customers have a positive first and last impressions when visiting your business, you will increase the likelihood of customer satisfaction and appreciation, increase your customer repeat rates and finally, potentially increase sales. For more information about providing a great customer service experience, check out our blog article, How to Enhance Customer Experience.