Back to basics and beyond may seem like a strange title, but I believe that is exactly where the Point of Sale industry along with our customers is heading.
POS systems offer so much added utility - sometimes too much for the average store or restaurant owner to utilize in a short period of time. a POS system is designed to assist you in running your business more profitably and for the most part they do a great job. However, all of the reports, functions and myriad options can get in the way of actually using the system in the best way - IF the owner/manager has not been adequately trained.
In the current economy taking care of the customer is 'job one'. If you can't do that, you close - period. And unfortunately we have seen too many of our customers closing their doors recently. Businesses that were running successfully for years suddenly empty ghost towns. We have to ask why? What worked before to keep the customers coming that changed in the course of a few months? It was more than the economy 'stupid'. In some cases the owners lost focus on the idea of creating business and only looked at the bottom line. When they couldn't increase profits, they began cutting costs. When cost cutting pushed more customers away because of lack of customer service, they downsized more. How far down can you go before there is nothing left?
So what am I trying to say? Use your POS system to track sales, monitor inventory, keep track of customer history and customers information for marketing. But for now leave the bells and whistles on the side until you have more time.
A great Point of Sale system doesn't have to cost a fortune to do what you need it to do, which is handle the items above. Anything else is simply 'extra' for now. Spend you money and your time in keeping the customers you have and gaining a few new ones by understanding what they really what and need. And what is that? You! Out front speaking to each and every one of them and genuinely Thanking them for their business and loyalty.