Feature Article by Steve Methvin, Bozzuto’s, Inc.
Today’s grocery customer cares about your POS systems. While customers may be spending less on electronics and technology due to recent economic trends, it does not mean the desire for intuitive systems is gone. Customers appreciate outstanding customer service and expect systems that “smile”. A large rollout of self- scanning systems taught some valuable lessons about customer feedback when planning a new system or upgrade. After spending a considerable amount of time talking with our customers about systems; we learned some new approaches that greatly increased our ROI.
Let me share some lessons learned…
1. “Ask me!” – Remember to ask customers about your systems. A quick survey of about 10% of your customer base can reveal some important elements. Do you need to add a new lane? Is the display clear and easy to read? Is the font legible? Customers appreciate a “vote” and will look forward to seeing the new changes put into effect.
2. “Respect my privacy” – Guard your customer’s privacy. Too much information may not seem like a problem to your cashier; the customer may feel differently. Do you allow customers to buy sensitive items in a discreet way? Respect is a fantastic way to build loyalty (card or no card).
3. “Keep me safe” – Systems have a way of “forcing” customers to stand or move in certain ways. Can they put their purse or baby in a safe place while they do business with you? Do they have to push the baby out into “traffic” to reach the credit card machine? Have you done everything you can to protect her banking information?
4. “Have a backup plan” – When systems fail for whatever reason, do not blame the system in front of the customer. Apologize and execute the back up plan. Most system-related complaints are not that the system fails but that the customer is given no other option!
5. “Tell me about changes” – Retailers work hard to make customers “feel at home” at the store and love to hear customers say “my store”. These same loyal customers may not enjoy the surprise of some new procedure. If we change their system, communicate the change in a positive way.
“Take care of my equipment” – Any system the customer sees or touches should be clean and repaired. Credit card devices and customer displays can reflect the store’s cleaning standards. If your Pinpads look dated or unsecured, customers may question the security of the transaction. Some warehouses, such as Bozzuto’s, have a special program to make sure their retailers have the latest credit card equipment to deliver an outstanding and safe customer experience.
Ask your customers about your systems and be prepared with a pen and note card. It may surprise you to hear what customers think. If they share something not on our list – please share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.