Author: Cassie Gasaway
Electronic point-of-sale systems allow retailers to analyze business data, track sales and inventory levels, track repairs and work orders, and manage employees and range schedules. They also enable retailers to collect and store customer data, which can be used to foster meaningful customer relationships that fuel future purchases and increase customer satisfaction rates.
If you don’t have a point-of-sale system, consider upgrading the system you do use to make your life easier. The ATA has MyATA service providers that offer point-of-sale systems, including Celerant Technology and Savings4Members.
If you already have a point-of-sale system, the question is: Are you using it to its full potential? Most systems have capabilities that help retailers better connect with customers. Let’s explore four ways to use the technology to improve customer satisfaction rates.
1. Provide Specialized In-Store Service
As long as you’ve been collecting and storing customer data, store associates can look up a customer’s interests, preferences and sales history to provide better service and a tailored shopping experience.
When sales staff greet people at the door, have them ask if this is the customer’s first visit or if they’ve been to the store before. If it’s their first time, have your employee collect information and take notes during the initial conversation if you have a mobile point-of-sale system with a tablet. If not, jot the information down using pen and paper to transfer into your system later. If the customer has shopped at the store, there should already be a customer profile in your point-of-sale system.
Teach your sales staff to browse the customer’s profile quickly. Giving staff access to customer information allows them to promote suitable products and programs. The targeted interaction establishes trust and credibility between the customer and the sales representative, which creates a more meaningful experience.
2. Send Personalized Communications
People get bombarded with mail and emails, so you must send strategic, thoughtful customer communications. You can use your point-of-sale system and the information you collected to segment customers based on their interests, locations, buying histories or archery disciplines. Then, instead of sending a broad random message to all your customers, you can send more specific information to different categories of customers. You can even personalize the messages with their name or other information. Additionally, when the system recognizes an individual’s recent purchase, you can send an individual message suggesting available complementary items.
Sending personalized communications increases email open rates and therefore sales. If customers get too many useless communications from your business, they’ll start to ignore all your efforts, even if you eventually send them something that interests them. Carefully track customer purchases and interests to fine-tune your marketing efforts. Then, send customized messages about new products and offers that appeal to the recipient. This approach helps ensure your communications and touchpoints are relevant and constructive, making customers more likely to click, engage and buy.
3. Share Relevant, Real-Time Inventory Information
Many point-of-sale systems track inventory and can notify retailers when stock is low. That capability allows you to reorder quickly or, at the very least, have a better understanding of how many products you have left and when you anticipate running out. Having this information on hand allows you and your employees to better answer customer questions regarding what’s out of stock and when it will be available. If customers don’t want to wait for a product to return, you can work with them to find a similar product. Knowledge is power and sharing the logistics of a situation can help customers make educated decisions.
Savings4Members offers partnerships with credit card processing and POS systems. Photo Credit: Savings4Members
4. Make Checking Out and Returning Products Easy
Long lines and clunky checkout processes aggravate customers, but point-of-sale systems allow retailers to process transactions quickly with fewer errors. Most systems allow customers to pay with cash, checks, and credit or debit cards, or by using a contactless payment option like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
The technology and ease of use help eliminate long lines and wait times, which improves the in-person shopping experience. Providing a consistent and efficient checkout experience also encourages customers to shop in-store in the future. Not to mention the system tracks past purchases, allowing customers to return items without a receipt or the original sales slip.
Although most business owners want to promote their brand and products, creating a promotional strategy that revolves around the customer’s needs, desires and purchasing habits is better. Fortunately, you can use your point-of-sale system to achieve that goal and increase customer satisfaction, further increasing your bottom line.
If you have questions about using a point-of-sale system, please contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s senior manager of outreach, at (507) 233-8146 or email@example.com.