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5 ways to improve your customer service at the point of sale

5 ways to improve your customer service at the point of sale

Your retail location’s point of sale (POS) is one of the most vulnerable processes in your business. Give a customer a memorable and positive final experience, and they’ll be more likely to associate the entire experience with positive feelings. If it’s clunky and awkward, on the other hand, even a good experience might be tainted with that memory.

So why is the POS so crucial to the average customer’s experience, and what can you do to make it better?

Why POS matters

These are three of the main reasons why service at the POS matters:

  • Financial ties. We tend to place tremendous value on money—even if we like to believe we aren’t materialistic. Anytime we pay for anything (especially if we’re paying cash), we feel resistance and a bit of a thrill. Maximizing the positive feelings and minimizing the negative ones is important to leave your customers with a positive experience.

  • Last call. The POS is also the last opportunity customers have to change their mind about a purchasing decision. If the line is crawling and they’re in a hurry, for example, they may leave prematurely.

  • Memorability. We tend to remember the first and last moments of a given experience more than anything in the middle; it’s why the last bite of food is the most important for a meal. Your customers’ POS experience will come to define their entire experience, in retrospect, so make sure it’s a good one.

How to improve your POS strategy

If you want to improve your customers’ experiences with your POS system, try using these strategies:

  1. Find the right POS software. You can only be as efficient as your POS software will allow you to be. Make sure you compare retail POS systems before you buy anything, and experiment with different settings, devices, and platforms. You’ll want to find a system that offers strong functionality, high reliability, and speed, all for a reasonable price. There are dozens of competitive options available, so at least one is certain to work for your business, specifically.

  2. Improve transaction speed. We all live busy lives, and nobody wants to be stuck in a checkout process for more than a minute or two. Optimizing the transaction speed your system can handle is an easy way to make life easier for everybody. If your line runs smoothly and few people ever have to wait, people will barely notice, but if your line is ever backed up or slow, it will work strongly against you.

  3. Offer more payment options. You should also consider accepting more payment options. Accepting cash and all major credit cards is a good start, but you’ll also want to accept digital wallets and other forms of payment. If you can make life more convenient even for a handful of customers, it will be worth it.

  4. Train your staff on personal engagement. Customers who feel like they have a personal connection to your brand will be far more likely to return, so make sure there’s a personal touch for them at the POS. Train your staff to have more engaging personal conversations, and make sure they’re representing the characteristics you want to be associated with your brand.

  5. Give customers takeaways, bonuses, and surprises. We tend to remember things better if they’re associated with a surprise; it’s part of the reason you can’t remember a part of your routine that you’ve repeated a thousand times, but you can more easily remember some aberration of that routine. Giving your customers a pleasant surprise at the POS can make them remember their experience more fondly, and increase their chances of coming back. Consider adding some bonuses or rewards, even if it’s a coupon for a discount the next time they visit.

These five strategies can make your POS system more positive and memorable for customers, which in turn will improve your customer retention and strengthen your brand reputation. The best part is, few of these strategies require a heavy investment, so even a small contribution of extra time and effort can be enough to tip the scales in your favor.

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