The retail industry is never quiet, and the point of sale is never still. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Even during the down season, when you catch your cashiers painting their nails or playing on their phones, you could be getting extra work done through your point of sale. The right POS software is more than a cash drawer and a card reader. Innovative solutions for retail are waiting in your POS. With the right software, you can maximize efficiency, improve management effectiveness, and potentially eliminate peripheral positions in your store.
This seems like a lot to expect from your point of sale, but the bulk of a retailer’s daily work takes place there. No matter how many helpful associates roam your store restocking shelves and assisting shoppers, your cashiers always interact with your customers the most. Doing more than taking money, they serve as half of your customer service force. With innovative POS solutions, your managers get the back-of-house work done without leaving the storefront unattended. Moreover, you can maximize individual employee efficiency with relatively little planning.
Your point of sale is more than a cash register. This is especially true in busy retail stores where customers approach cashiers with questions and concerns. A POS’s primary role may be to accept and process payments, but in order for your employees to meet customers’ demands, their workstations must serve multiple roles. Customer records, shipping data, and merchandise information must be ready and easy to access. Cashiers also sign up customers for newsletters, email offers, ad registries, and even rewards programs. Customers never like being redirected to a separate customer service desk. Giving your cashiers the ability to handle as many customer service tasks as possible leads to happy customers. Customers need to have confidence in your employees’ skills. Faith in cashiers usually draws return customers.
Even if your business is large enough to require an entirely separate customer service desk, it’s best to give your cashiers some customer service abilities. By sorting problems at the point of sale and providing immediate solutions, you make the customer’s problem feel smaller. You also relieve a considerable burden from your customer service employees. Combining workstations is about efficiency. It answers customer concerns at the first desk visited, and empowers cashiers to participate in customer service.
By combining roles through your POS, you enable cross-training in two ways. First, you allow cashiers to get a taste of customer service. Granted, cashiers must practice customer service whenever they interact with shoppers, but they rarely have a chance to perform the duties typically left up to customer service representatives. It’s much easier for managers to gauge how an employee will perform in a different role if they can see how the employee handles similar tasks in their established position.
By making your POS as powerful as it can be, you allow a single employee to handle more work. This frees other employees for cross training during slow times. A good POS allows employees to get back to work quickly, and the fluctuating demands of a retail environment demand this kind of flexibility. Cross training gives your employees the ability to handle issues as they arise, and it’s easier for managers to keep the right staff on hand. After all, if all of your employees have some degree of cross-training, then they can all lend a hand when it’s needed.
Adjusting prices and updating sales usually means wandering away from the point of sale. During short-staffed days, this means managers who need to be front and center have to choose between manning the register and getting prices ready for the next day. Fortunately, the right POS allows multitasking. Software like QuickBooks allows retailers to update prices and sales straight from the point of sale. Managers don’t have to choose between their front of house duties and their secondary roles behind the scenes.
As mentioned above, the POS software brings elements of many different workstations into one. This includes bringing back-of-house work to the front. The most effective leaders lead from the front, and retail managers need to be on the floor, engaging with employees and customers alike to be good at what they do. A POS that allows managers and other high ranking employees to handle their work without leaving the central retail environment promotes maximum efficiency.
Your POS is key for business profit, but it’s also an important tool for your employees. By giving them the best tools available, you can ensure they have what they need to accomplish additional tasks during slow times. Managers can perform their jobs better, and it’s far easier to select and train cross training candidates after seeing them in action. You may be surprised how many roles your POS can fill.