Visit any shopping centre while the sales are on and you’re very likely to find it heaving with bargain-hunters. But a while later you’ll find they’re not so keen.
Why? Because South African retailers are inclined to treat their customers like sheep. You don’t realise you’re doing it but every time you make your customers stand in queues, that’s how they feel.
The psychology of queuing is not pretty. Most people are too polite to express their frustration but making them wait in a queue – especially when they’re trying to give you their money – is demoralising. And when people are demoralised they become restless and surly. Far from delighting your customers, you become their tormentor.
A queue, especially a long, slow one, makes people feel as if they have been forced to submit to a system that is inefficient. And, be honest, isn’t that exactly what’s happening? You have probably felt these feelings yourself when forced to queue.
The world has changed dramatically and, along with it, service expectations. Most of us inhabit an online world for a fair portion of the day. In this world, everything happens fast. Online you can find, order and pay for a product in mere minutes and it will be delivered directly to you tomorrow.
Products are the easy part of the business. They are simply consumed. Service is another matter entirely because it is experienced in real time, with time being the key word. No wonder customers begrudge the time they are forced to stand in queues.
So if service is your best friend and queue your worst enemy, what can you do to get more of the former and less of the latter? The very same modern technology that makes customers so impatient also provides the solution to their need for speed: mobile point-of-sale (mPOS).
mPOS systems are not just for artisans who trade at markets and mobile service providers like plumbers and electricians. There’s no reason not to use an mPOS in-store… and a great many good reasons to do so, not the least of which is that it’s a simple and elegant solution to those nasty queues that your customers hate so much.
5 key elements to look for in an mPOS system:
- Up-to-date security: to ensure that every transaction is safe and secure, payment information should not only be encrypted but also transferred via point-to-point encryption to a PCI Level 1 certified gateway.
- Integration with your existing system: you shouldn’t need to buy a whole new payments system to use mPOS: you should be able to quickly and easily introduce it within your current system.
- Bank agnostic: it should work with every bank that has a local presence.
- Easy to use: there’s nothing complicated about mPOS. It’s a quick, easy solution.
- Fully communication-enabled in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet: you should be able to use your mPOS system everywhere, at any time. If you really want to gain major customer service points and put your competitors in the shade, how about letting customers pay for the products they want as they walk out of the changing room! Seriously, how impressed would you be if that happened to you in-store? Talk about delighting your customers!
* Bronwyn Watt, Group Marketing Manager at Paycorp