If your business experiences heavy lines, complaints about the checkout process, and more than a few frustrated customers each day, it may be a good time to examine your checkout process to see if it’s slowing down your business. Not only do long lines make for frustrated customers and poor performance reviews, but they can actually turn people away from your business. Here are some tips on what to look for in your checkout process and how to speed up your payment processing.
How Long are Your Lines?
A long line during a busy time of day is nothing new to retailers, and generally not cause for concern. You can assign backup clerks to man registers and keep the lines flowing. The real problems occur when this becomes a daily occurrence for your store.
When you’ve got lines wrapped around aisles, spanning the length of the store, or jammed up by the entry/exit doors, not only are you bound to experience customer frustration, but you could also be turning away potential business.
Consumers like to enter a store, shop around, get what they need, and get out as quickly as possible. With the increasingly busy schedules of modern shoppers, ease, convenience, and speed are a retailer’s best friend.
Is Your POS Outdated?
POS systems have come light years from where they began. From simple rotary cash registers to electronic registers, to full-blown digital/cloud-based software, the modern POS system is no laughing matter and an essential tool for success in the modern retail world.
POS systems can perform a variety of tasks, not limited to simple payment processing. That’s the power of modern systems; not only will they help keep those lines moving, but they’ll also track your inventory, sales numbers, help create customer profiles, and much more!
When you use POS software for faster checkouts, you’ll find your customers (and employees) appreciate the expedited process. Faster checkouts mean shorter lines, wait times, and fewer complaints. POS software processes payments with incredible speed and puts your store a step ahead of the competition.
If you’re still using a simple cash register and card reader setup at your checkout lines, you’re already behind the curve. POS systems are on the rise, with many options available for retailers in all niches.
You’ve probably used one of these machines if you’ve visited any large retailer like Target or Wal Mart. Automated checkouts are newer on the scene, but gaining traction as retailers nationwide look for ways to cut costs and improve their checkout process.
An automated system is generally quicker and much, much cheaper than traditional labor costs. These automated systems are generally preferred by customers due to their shorter lines and more “independent” checkout process.
In fact, as much as 73% of consumers actually prefer an automated system to a manned register. Self-service technology is well on its way to becoming the most popular option among retailers, and with consumers backing the shift, it’s only a matter of time before these tools become the standard for any retail business.
Customer Feedback is Your Best Friend
If you really want an in-depth look at what your customers would like to see improved in your checkout process, ask them! Customer feedback is incredibly valuable in any business niche, as it grants you insight from the perspective of the people who frequent your store.
Pay close attention to any trends in customer feedback. If a few dozen customers mention one particular concern (such as slow payment processing), that’s probably a good starting point for your improvements. Customers know exactly what they want from their favorite stores, so always take their concerns seriously.
Not only will listening to customer feedback improve your store, but also your relationship with your customers. When they see you’re making a positive change based on their feedback, they’ll feel like their voice matters. When a customer feels valued, they’re more likely to return to your store and remain loyal to the brand.
Feedback can be acquired in a number of ways, from post-purchase surveys to email surveys to in-store surveys or conversations. Get to know your customers so you can approach them easier with such questions and generate more honest feedback from them. Honest feedback is certainly more useful than pressured feedback from someone who feels backed into a corner.
Gain a Leg Up on the Competition
Business is all about getting ahead; placing yourself a tier above your competition and driving in new customers and promoting loyalty among your current customer base. When you focus on improving your long lines and overall checkout process, you’re placing priority on customer service. Anyone can appreciate such efforts, and it lets potential customers know that yours is a business that cares about their satisfaction.
Long lines cause frustration and disengagement from customers. When customers know your store is focused on getting them through the line quickly, listening to what they have to say, and concerned with their overall satisfaction, they’re much more likely to return as well as recommend your brand to friends and family.
Don’t stunt your business’s growth by neglecting something as impactful as your checkout process! Upgrade that POS system, gather feedback, and most of all, listen to that feedback. Don’t ask for customer feedback if you don’t plan on following up on it and making adjustments to trending issues.