One of the most important parts of the customer experience is the Point of Sale, or, POS. A point of guaranteed interaction, it’s the last impression the customer gets at your store and the last chance for any questions or concerns. This is also the last chance for shoppers to abandon the sale or get tired of waiting in line. Needless to say, the POS process is the biggest chance for you to set yourself apart from the competitors.
According to shopper analytics experts, Retail Next, “If you can incorporate these seven important elements into your existing POS strategy, your customers will walk away with a better impression of your business, and you’ll maximize customer retention—one of the most important factors for long-term success. Investing in the right POS software may cost some money upfront, but most of these changes won’t take much time or effort; all you have to do is make the commitment to implement them.”
- Choose the right software and devices. There are literally hundreds of choices for a retail POS system, and the decision is even more complicated when you consider both software and hardware options. You’ll need to evaluate your needs and priorities far in advance of your decision, and do exhaustive research to land with the platform that’s most appropriate for your business.
- Train your staff on the importance of this interaction. Aside from your POS system, the biggest variable here is how your staff handles customer interactions. They have the power to make the experience more positive or negative with their tone of voice, helpfulness, speed, and abilities. Make sure they’re properly trained on your store policies regarding transactions, and that they understand how pivotal the POS moment is for customer retention.
- Prioritize speed. Speed should be one of your biggest priorities in POS; faster transaction times mean you can process more customers per minute, and all those customers will walk away with a more favorable impression of your brand. Shave time by choosing a reliably fast POS system and optimizing the checkout process.
- Accept many payments. Customers these days may prefer one of several different payment types, including cash, credit cards, and digital services like PayPal. The more payment options you offer, the more people you’ll be able to please.
- Offer receipt options. Similarly, people may have differing preferences when it comes to receiving receipts; some want a paper receipt, some want digital, and others don’t care at all. You should be able to offer any of these options.
- Be transparent and answer questions. Train your cashiers to ask incoming customers if they have any questions about their purchases, or if there’s anything they missed in the store. It’s an opportunity to secure another sale (if they missed something), and ensure that the customer has been satisfied with their experience so far. You’ll also want to provide information as transparently as possible, establishing trust with the customer.
- End with a positive note. Whatever it takes, end the transaction (and therefore the entire customer experience) with a positive note. That may mean including a small surprise with every order, like a discount for a subsequent visit, or just offering a polite smile and a bid to have a good day.