Gaining a competitive edge for your business means making the customer experience as memorable and pleasant as possible. While the first thing that comes to mind may be service with a smile for your brick-and-mortar shop or a welcoming, easy-to-use website for your eCommerce store, the payment experience is one of the final interactions your customers have with your business each time they visit.
A great shopping experience that ends with a frustrating checkout will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your patrons and increases the chance they will make their purchases elsewhere next time.
Just as you can welcome your customers and prepare to receive them in ways that facilitate a smooth shopping experience, you can take steps to make sure checkout has them walking away with a smile. Train your employees to provide the best service possible the whole way through a customer’s journey, including time spent at the ePOS till.
Help them understand how to ensure visitors to your shop are happy at the end of their trip, and give them the tools they need to provide personalised customer care.
Train Clerks and Set Your Website to Personalise Service
Obviously, friendly clerks go a long way to enhance the checkout experience, but you need a comprehensive ePOS system in order to truly personalise your service.
An ePOS system that has been integrated with your customer relationship management software gives clerks access to VIP information like the names of your customers, important dates, and favourite items.
When customers check out, clerks can address them by name, wish them a happy birthday if appropriate, and suggest and offer discounts on complementary items.
Virtually the same process can happen if someone is shopping on your eCommerce site. As they check out, you can set your software to make sure they haven’t forgotten their favourite items, prompt them to try a complementary item, or simply acknowledge upcoming special dates.
When customers feel recognised and heard, they are more likely to remain loyal to your shop.
Make Multiple Payment Options Available
The only thing worse than having to tell your patrons that you are out of an item they are looking for is not being able to accept their payment when they check out. Customers come into your shop or visit your website prepared to pay with the debit or credit card of their choice, and you will lose business if you cannot process their preferred method.
Currently, in the UK, eighty percent of purchases are made with debit and credit cards instead of cash. Offering multiple options ensures you are covered no matter what, so you can serve your customers in the way they want to be served.
A full-service ePOS system gives your brick-and-mortar shop the ability to take payments in the form of cash, plastic, NFC, gift cards, layaway, split payments, and mobile wallets, and your ecommerce shop can offer electronic payment options that cover all the possibilities.
Take Checkout to the Sales Floor
Another major advantage of having a modern ePOS system in your business is that you can take the checkout process to the sales floor. Many systems now store all data on the cloud, meaning that you can access it from nearly any device in any location.
No one enjoys waiting in queue, and you can eliminate the need by using iPhones or pads to take checkouts to your customers. All they need to do is check-in at a station within the store, then they can continue browsing until a clerk is ready to ring up their purchases.
While customers still have to wait, continuing to browse beats standing in a queue watching the person in front of you sort through expired coupons.
Let Customers Know Their Payment is Secure
Identity theft is a real concern for your patrons, and reassuring them that their data is safe is key to building trust. Make sure your shop displays the seal for your security software near the till, and include security seals on your website and payment pages as well.
Give customers peace of mind that their information is securely encrypted, and that you have the proper software to block any attacks or scams that may pose a threat.
Additionally, regardless if customers are at your brick-and-mortar shop or using your eCommerce platform, make sure they do not feel that they are being forced to provide more information than necessary to complete their purchase.
You do not need very much information at all to run a loyalty program. Just a name and an email address should suffice. You can ask for more information, but do not force the issue. Similarly, you just need a physical location to deliver packages, and an email or phone number to communicate in case of any delays.
Though it often gets overlooked, the payment experience may be the most important part of the customer journey. It is one of the last modes of interaction consumers have with the businesses they patronise, and the impression the experience leaves affects whether or not they will return.
A bad checkout experience may have customers avoiding your shop indefinitely, while an excellent one will have them telling their friends how awesome your customer service is.
In addition to ensuring you are able to take whichever form of payment your customers are prepared to use, an integrated ePOS system can help you optimise the customer payment experience by making checkout more convenient, portable and faster.
Clerks can use the data collected about purchase history to personalise service, offer additional products, and acknowledge dates that are important to customers.
Finally, it is important to reassure customers that their data is safe by keeping up to date and using advanced security software. Make sure the information they share is encrypted when it is shared across networks, and that the location in which it is stored is secure and protected from intrusion.