3 Ways A Retail POS Solution Improves Customer Management
It’s well known in business that it’s easier to keep current customers satisfied than it is to attract new ones. Technology solutions like a retail point-of-sale (POS) solution can supply retailers with the analytics to get more from current customer relationships, including engagement, sales incentives and expectations.
Before implementing technology solutions like a retail POS solution, retailers must understand their niche and what differentiates them from competitors. Is your niche offering low prices? Or is it providing higher quality products? If you can’t differentiate yourself in any way, you’re just relying on the hope that there is enough customer volume to keep all businesses afloat. At some point, that will change because another business will come in and take away market share.
Understanding your niche may mean accepting that you can’t be everything to all customers. While you may be able to offer good, affordable quality, you likely won’t be able to attract both customers who want high-end items and customers who want to pay bottom dollar.
For the most part, customers will continue to shop at their favorite stores unless a competitor offers a distinct advantage. That’s where a retail POS solution can help retailers to build and maintain a customer base by effectively managing three customer-based functions — loyalty programs, customer surveys and coupons.
- Establish a loyalty program: A loyalty program is the low-hanging fruit to start growing your customer base. Retail POS software can track a customer’s buying history and loyalty points, and retailers should make it easy for customers to accumulate points and earn rewards. For example, after filling up with gas five times at the same gasoline chain, a customer might have enough loyalty points to earn a reward such as a $10 gas card. A customer loyalty program incentives repeat business by offering rewards.
Offer incentives to complete customer surveys: A retail POS system can prompt customers at checkout to take a survey. To encourage customers to complete the survey after they leave the store, offer them a deal, like a discount on their next purchase. Surveys can help retailers to gain insight into changes customer would like to see and ways in which the retailer could improve operations. While the survey can offer feedback, it also can serve as a means to gather additional customer demographic information, such as gender, age and ethnicity.
Combining both survey feedback and demographic information can help your business meet the expectations of your loyal demographic. Customer demographic information can boost analytic data on buying patterns or purchase history. You might see, for example, that a repeat customer of a children’s clothing retailer only buys infant sizes for girls. You could then capitalize on that customer’s buying pattern by sending targeted product suggestions like shoes or accessories that complement past purchases. Over time, you can even tailor your messages to target the child’s growth.
- Generate coupons based on purchase history: A retail POS system has the ability to create, track and redeem targeted coupons for specific customer demographics. To better track the redemption of email coupons, a retail POS system could produce a unique serial code for each coupon that is tagged to a loyalty program member. When customers redeem coupons, a retailer gains more insight into what deals or incentives that specific customer responds to.
All the emerging technologies that help manage customer relationships don’t overshadow old-fashioned customer service. Interacting directly with customers requires proper employee training. In the end, customer service in a digital-focused world is still about meeting customer expectations, and a retail POS system can help you do just that.