Developments in retail and EPOS technology in recent years have focused on improving customer service with more efficient and secure payment methods, going from card swiping to PIN and now onto contactless. Implementing modern EPOS solutions is only half of the job, and unreliable or poorly functioning equipment can discourage customers from returning. Successful retail technology must be correctly maintained in order achieve optimal performance and keep customers happy, placing a lot of responsibility on retail staff. Here are a few pointers of things to remember when aiming to improve customer service via retail technology.
The market is expanding, and has reached a point at which small and independent shops are adopting EPOS and PID systems. In the past, this was not a viable option for financial and logistical reasons, yet the progress in retail technology is enabling businesses of all descriptions to use electronic solutions. Research conducted by Pay Point and JWT indicates that 25% of businesses find limited access to suitable retail technology is the biggest challenge they face in delivering good customer service. Implementing the most advanced retail technology possible can make a considerable difference in the quality of experience customers have. Smaller businesses now have trustworthy and affordable retail technology options, opening up a whole new customer base that would previously have shopped elsewhere for convenience.
The installation of advanced retail technology can soon go downhill, however, if proper system management and maintenance is not scheduled. Maintenance can be carried out remotely by service providers, who can monitor all company equipment on a constant basis. Not only does this give businesses and their customers peace of mind about the security of the systems, but it also allows for potential threats to be detected before they strike, and for compromise trends to be logged and used to identify risks in the future. Having pro-active system management in place significantly reduces risk of downtime, helping companies to maintain high standards and a reputation for positive customer experiences.
The security of the network used by retail technology should be a priority for companies. Business networks should flow seamlessly from store level right up to head offices, enabling everybody to do their jobs efficiently, without allowing cybercriminals any opportunity for sabotage. Decent network providers will help to identify individual companies’ needs, and recommend a network setup that best serves the requirements of staff and customers alike. Unsuitable network options can cause many difficulties on the shop floor, which does nothing for a company’s customer service reputation. Both the security and functionality of company networks should be maintained by professionals at all times to ensure the most satisfactory customer experience with minimal downtime.
Staff are often the face of the business, and are likely to have the most interaction with any company equipment, so it is essential to give them adequate training for the use of retail technologies. Introducing essential training sessions for new recruits and frequent refresher courses for all others is important, as even the best colleague can lose momentum. Ensuring that staff are comfortable and confident with operating retail technology is paramount to delivering outstanding customer service, and maintaining regular pace and flow in a retail setting.
PCI DSS Compliance
The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a worldwide control on the storage, transmission and processing of secure cardholder data. Security is, of course, of critical importance to card payments, which make up the majority of transactions nowadays. With card payments being made easier – that is, less awkward to make, and therefore, easier to defraud – the security attached to P2PE machines must be of unquestionable quality. Being PCI DSS compliant is a legal requirement to ensure the safety of customers’ money and identities, and lack of compliance is certain to raise some very serious issues for everyone involved before long.
Retail technology is taking an ever more central position in the everyday operations of businesses, with customers expecting easy electronic payment to be available as part of the good service they receive. It is essential that in return, companies recognise the trust customers are giving them, and treat their sensitive data with appropriate precautions.