A good retail POS can increase customer satisfaction.
The key question is ó how to use it?
For starters, itís important to recognize what a powerful tool a retail POS system is. Think of it as the command station for orchestrating all the things customers love in a good store.
A good store has what customers need, when they need it. Itís a place they trust to treat them fairly, and to be considerate of their time. And a really great store is maybe, just maybe, even a place where everybody knows their name.
Used in the right way, a good retail POS system is the tool that can help a savvy retailer to deliver such a place, whether a single location specialty boutique or part of a brick-and-mortar and online chain. Hereís how your POS system can increase customer satisfaction:
Customers invest time to find a store and they expect to find what they want when they get there. If they do, they will come back time and again. If they donít, their time is wasted and the store has lost a sale.
Runitís POS system helps managers track trending sales in real-time, both in physical stores and online, so popular items can be quickly restocked and given prime display, while lagging sellers can be displayed differently or marked down. A real-time analysis of purchasing trends can also greatly improve predictive stocking. And a POS systemís birds-eye view of inventory lets store employees find an item for a customer in another store or online, even if the store they are in has run out.
The end result: Customers find what they are looking for and the store will see them again.
A recent study of 2,500 retail customers by The Verdant Group found that half experienced some dissatisfaction with a recent transaction. Of those, 8 in 10 failed to contact the retailer to let them know about it and 32 percent said they wouldnít recommend the store to friends.
That, as every retailer knows, can be a killer.
A POS system can help a business identify customers who have not returned in some time, providing the ability to reach out with special sales, discounts on items the customer has bought in the past, or other incentives to return. A POS system can offer instant surveys at checkout, which can help flag developing problems before they grow. And a POS system can ease and speed returns, which provides the ability to turn a potentially unsatisfactory purchase into a positive experience.
Turning a negative into a positive experience can be crucial. The same Verdant study found that dissatisfied customers who notified the retailer of their problems and had their issues resolved were 84 percent more likely than the silent complainers to maintain or increase spending going forward.
The best customers hate waiting. According to Verdant, customers who listed long checkout lines among their biggest peeves also spent 23 percent more than the average customer. A good POS system can help cut wait times with quick processing at the front of the checkout line. It can also integrate mobile devices into the process, so employees can check out customers without even having to reach a register. The end result ó faster service and a happier clientele.
A good POS system can tell a store employee a great deal about who is standing in front of them, especially if they are a returning customer. That means they can do more than just the obvious. The system can use the customerís personal record of past purchases to suggest similar items in stock, offer customized sales or incentives or simply notify the customer of upcoming sales on items they might particularly like.
Whether those benefits are delivered in the store or later by email, or both, the shop and the customer have built a more personal bond Ė a factor that can noticeably increase customer satisfaction.
Itís important to note that the tools a POS system provides to increase customer satisfaction also help the business save money. Creative inventory control is the key. A typical boutique apparel store, a sporting goods store or a gift store might carry thousands of items, which can lead to an ocean of inefficiency. U.S. businesses in total lose $224 billion a year due to excess inventory and another $45 billion from not keeping the right items in stock, according to the National Federation of Retailers.
Just gaining better control of that inventory with a good POS system not only increases customer satisfaction. It can also, according to research cited by Entrepreneur.com, cut an individual retailerís costs by 10 percent ó a significant addition to the bottom line, over and above the benefits that happier customers can bring.