The life of a business owner is not an easy one, especially in today’s rapidly evolving consumer market. The surge of technology solutions now available to merchants can provide unrivaled efficiency and customer experiences, or it can drown your staff in unproductive maintenance and drive away your clients. A good POS solution should provide the easiest ordering experience for the most diverse client base, and self-service ordering is a key component of any forward-thinking merchant.
As Amazon, Jimmy Johns, and rideshare services have demonstrated, there are many customers whose primary concern when making purchases is the speed of fulfillment. Reliably getting a product (or service) in your buyer’s hands with the least number of steps or wait time goes a long way towards securing a healthy market share. Mobile app ordering, web ordering, self-service kiosks; all these things and more can free up your staff from repetitive tasks and allow them to focus on providing the best customer experience. By allowing your customers to choose the method of ordering they prefer, the clients who opt for self-ordering will allow your staff to focus on the clients who prefer staffed ordering. Thus, even clients with no interest in self-service options can benefit from a business that uses them.
Self-ordering options can also benefit your management and your bottom line. A self-service system will never forget a customer’s order, or ‘forget’ to upsell. When guests place their own order you are less likely to incur potentially costly mistakes. Good help is hard to find. So why waste valuable labor hours keying in orders and waiting at the register for the next customer?
For all these benefits, however, there are also risks. A system that breaks frequently, or doesn’t record accurately, can be far worse than no system at all. A customer using self-service for the first time (or worse, a client very familiar with other self-service systems) that has a poor experience may leave without you ever knowing, warning off their friends and associates and crippling your brand. No system will ever be foolproof, but having a resilient, redundant, responsive system goes a long way towards mitigating the inescapable risk of technology. Good things to look for before and after selecting a POS system can include automated crash reports, offline recovery, clear error messages, and most importantly a good disaster recovery plan. If something breaks, it is imperative that staff know what to do and who to contact for a fast resolution.
The life of a business owner is not an easy one, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made easier. By taking advantage of today’s self-service POS technology to get your product into your client’s hand, collect and process business data, and simplify your staff’s workflows, you can ensure that your business will be agile, competitive, and efficient.