The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryCustomer Service

Thank you to our customers!

T

What a thrill to have so many customers join our live POS software Q&A this morning. We were proud to show off some soon to be released POS software enhancements, discuss opportunities and more. In addition to the live meeting, there was live chat.

Sessions like the one we hosted this morning are regular for us as we connect with our customer community outside of the usual help desk and other one-on-one engagement.

We have a commercial licence for the Zoom platform. This enables us to record the session for wider release to those unable to participate.

To those at the meeting today, thank you. To those who will watch the video and provide feedback, thank you, too!

Previewing new POS software update for customers

P

We are hosting a live preview of our latest POS software update this week, sharing a live demonstration of the latest software vis a customer-only Zoom meeting.

At this session we will be showing some new facilities as well as other enhancements in the software, including a new fast-tech reporting solution that is sure to be loved.

This Zoom session is the next in our series of customer / software development team engagement through which our customers can ask questions, provide feedback and play a more active role in what is considered in our POS software update process.

We are recording the session and making it available by way of registered private link for customers unable to be with us live to view.

There is no doubt here at Tower Systems as to the value of these customer engagement sessions. We are thankful that customers embrace the opportunity.

The end of the financial year

T

Wow, what a year it has been, this 2020 / 2021 financial year.

As we sit here in our Hawthorn, Victoria, office early this morning, looking back on the year, beyond the challenges and opportunities, yes, opportunities, of the coronavirus pandemic, this year has been big on plenty of fronts, very big in fact.

  • New software. We are grateful to our team of dedicated software developers who have enabled us to deliver some beautiful new facilities in our POS software. These new facilities have been an important part of key software updates tested and then released to our customers.
  • New services. Thanks to the dedication of our help desk team we have launches some new services in the last year, which have been loved by our customers as they have sought to gain even more value from our POS software.
  • New under the hood. We have been working on our internal systems, delivering new tech with new facilities that help in serving our customers. We are so thankful to have been able to do this.
  • New connections. Thanks to engagement by our customers we have made new connections though our online workshops, our community calls and more as we have leveraged different ways we can reach out to our customers and talk with them. these conversations are truly beneficial in us and them getting more from the POS software and the relationships it facilitates.
  • New customers. This is the icing on the cake for us, so many new friends, new connections, new businesses to work with, learn from and share with. Every new customer is this and much more and for this we are sincerely grateful. Indeed, the number of new customers is quite stunning. This year has been a good year for new customers.

We are ending this financial year on a high, and for that we are truly grateful. We are encouraged, too, for what the next financial year will bring, where it will take us, what we will discover and those we will meet.

We understand that for some, these times are not so great. Based on our experience, offer …  plan for better days, train for strength and endurance. Cultivate your land so that it offers abundance for you and all who work with you in your business. yes, it can sound a bit twee … but it is true. The successes we have in business are usually down to planning and commitment to professional and efficient execution.

Roll on 2021/2022, if you anything like this last year it will be awesome!

Help for businesses forced to temporarily close due to Covid

H

In late February 2020 we put in place a set of measures, assistances and advice to help any of our customers forced to close temporarily due to Covid.

Those measures, assistances and advice remain in place today, accessible to all of our customers.

As businesses in NSW are today further impacted by Covid transmission suppression moves by the state government, we are here to help in specific and tangible ways.

Today, Saturday, for example, we have been taking calls for help from business owners with businesses in NSW with queries about transacting online, engaging with click and collect or closing from shopfront trade. There are several opportunities in our software and our broader customer service arrangements to help our community of customers.

New POS software customer newsletter out now

N

Last week we mailed our latest customer newsletter to our POS software customers. We do this regularly, we well as our weekly customer emails, as some customers prefer to read a print copy.

Across the two pages of the latest customer newsletter we share plenty of news about our specialty retail POS software, our latest customer service survey, new advice sheets published, new staff, up to date support contact details and more.

Communication is important to us, and we know it is important to our customers. The print newsletter is something we have published for decades and while email is our prime channel of outbound communication, the print newsletter helps us reach those who are less engaged with email.

Between the newsletter, emails, phone calls and our regular Zoom meetings, here at Tower Systems we offer our customers many touchpoints through which they can learn more, influence more and enjoy more.

We surveyed our POS software customers

W

We surveyed our POS software customers recently and have found the results most useful. While we follow up each help desk call with a quick service survey, this latest survey was broader. It’s also part of a series with which we are engaging, but more on that later.

This latest survey was focussed on understanding value. We did this across ten questions and compared the results with benchmark results, to see where we sit.

Plus, we have followed up with some customer who asked for contact direct without leadership team.

Being accessible is key to our customer engagement – through surveys like this latest one, our escalation process, our regular online workshops and also through one-on-one calls.

We are grateful to the customers who completed this survey and the hundreds who have taken part in other surveys over the last year. Every feedback point is appreciated and valuable.

Queen’s Birthday holiday hours

Q

While our office is closed today for the Queen’s Birthday pub lic holiday, even though it is not our birthday, we’re offering customer support through our after hours numbers and additional capacity if needed.

POS software customers engage in software ideas forum

P

We are grateful for the terrific session with our POS software customers last week in which we discussed software enhancement ideas and how our transparent software Ideas platform works.

Established in March 2009 and inspired by US author Jeff Jarvis and his book What Would Google Do?, the Software Ideas platform has been a wonderful Gide to opportunities for software enhancements as much as for customer education – when ideas suggested already exist in the software.

The Tower Systems customer forum last week explored several POS software enhancement idea suggestions and shared with customers how to submit ideas and vote on them.

What makes a good software enhancement idea?

  1. Something that removes a pain point. We call pain points friction. We are keen to remove friction. It could be an extra keystroke, a screen design that could be easier to follow, more meaningful text. This type of change request is usually about us editing what we have today.
  2. Something that adds value to your specific retail channel. We are a vertical market software company, with software for specific retail channels. The more we serve the needs of a retail channel the more sales we can expect … and all customers benefit from this.
  3. Wide appeal. We like changes that will benefit many hundreds of retailers. We all like to think that how we run our businesses is how everyone in our niche should run their business. It’s not as simple as that. So, in making a software change or enhancement suggestion, please consider broad appeal beyond your business.
  4. Easy. We are not afraid to take on complex changes, we love easy changes as an easy win is good for us and good for you. Each changes are easy to put at the top of the queue.

Our transparent approach to software ideas is a differentiator for us … for which we are grateful.

Tower Systems is a vertical market POS software company serving a range of specialty retail channels with software tailored to their needs. It is this specialisation that is served by the company’s transparent approach to harvesting ideas from customers as it leads to better software for the niche retail channels.

New customers loving our new customer focus

N

We have a separate focus within our help desk team that is solely for new customers … to help them settle into the software and land with comfort in the use of our POS software.

This focussed work solely with new customers helps them enjoy the software more, and sooner.

Their early feedback helps us help them tune the software through its many settings so that it is better in it’s service of our customers.

We are grateful to be able to offer this and appreciate our new customers who love the service. It means a lot.

Transparency matters when considering POS software companies

T

When considering a POS software company for your retail business, consider accessibility. While the software itself is important, knowing how to drive it and how to leverage it matters as it is this that will determine how much value you get from the POS software.

Transparency is key. Here are examples of POS software company transparency, in areas where customer value is the core focus. These are all things we offer here at Tower Systems:

  • Regular customer forums with our leadership team, including our software development management team – to preview new facilities in development as well as to ask any questions or provide any feedback.
  • Use of professional platforms for group meetings and sessions, such as a commercial licence for Zoom, rather than cheap or free platforms that are not of the same quality or that may not offer the same security. Professional software companies use professional tools.
  • A structured process for suggesting and voting on POS software changes.
  • Easy access to a clear escalation process should there be a query or request for further assistance on any issue.
  • Unlimited top-up training after the software is installed and setup.
  • The ability to understand and assess software changes before you decide whether to install the software update. Software that is auto-installed without user input or control of limited, often frustrating.
  • Easy access to the CEO level of the business.
  • Access to the business through multiple entry points: phone, email, social media, web form and more. Being able to make contact where it works best for you is key.

Why do these points matter? It’s simple, really … the value you derive from the POS software in your business is more likely to be determined by the level of service from the POS software company than the software itself. Not always is this the case, but often it is. Good software backed by poor and non-trans[parent service will not be good software for you.

This is why it is vital to thoroughly investigate the company behind the POS software, to fully understand the people and their service model. This will guide your decision and help you see if the company is as helpful as it needs to be in service of your business needs and goals.

Bringing more retail experience to the POS software help desk

B

Last week, we added a ne team member to our POS software help desk, someone with fifteen years retail experience, most of that using our POS software in business, not just one shop but several.

Their retail experience is terrific as is their knowledge of our software and their ability to train retail employees in the use of our software.

We are grateful to find this new team member and expand our head count to accomodate their position.

We are also grateful to our growing customer base for encouraging the head count growth. 2021 is just over four months old and already it is a terrific year for Tower Systems, and this plays well for our customer community.

We did let our customers know a couple of weeks ago about the new team member. Their support has been terrific.

POS software helps small business retailers deliver memorable customer service

P

Memorable customer service is the most important point of difference a retail business can have, especially a business which does not make what it sells and therefore could have its products being sold by any other business apple to reach the same pool of shoppers.

We call it memorable customer service because it truly has to be that … memorable. So memorable that it is praised by your customers to others.

Good customer service should be the norm, the lowest hurdle any retail business can jump. Memorable customer service, the level of customer service that makes a shopper talk about the experience to their friends, must be the goal and it is the word of mouth from these customers that is a factor in driving traffic growth.

Memorable customer service is just as vital to Point of Sale software companies as it is for retail businesses. Since we own retail businesses as well as our POS software company we see it, live it and reach for it from both sides.

This is why we work hard to encode the ability to focus on customer service in our Point of Sale software.  That’s right, retailers using our software have touch points they can leverageusing software which help deliver the kind of memorable customer service we are talking about here.

Memorable customer service in retail, just as in a software company, is experiences which exceed expectations, it delivers benefits outside of what you expect even from a good business.  In our IT company we compete with big IT companies and small, like us, IT companies. While we want our software to be the point of difference customers notice and talk about positively, it is our customer service which is loved and mentioned to colleagues more.  Realising this was an epiphany for us.

We focus on building stronger, better and more valuable software. But we also surround this, completely, with customer service experiences which are the very best of the best. This gives us, and our customers, the best of both worlds. And we love it ourselves.

Given that most retailers do not have products unique to their businesses, delivering memorable customer service is critical to the business plan.  Small and independent retailers can do this more easily and effectively than big retailers. From the genuine smile to shoppers to product knowledge to that extra information which helps a shopper get more out of the product purchased than they would have had the purchased the product elsewhere. This added value is the key and it can be delivered in almost any situation and with any product from a stapler through to a high-end road bike.

So, beyond our software and as part of our customer service focus, we seek out opportunities to help our customers deliver memorable customer service.  Indeed, this was one topic we covered in the recent face-to-face user meetings we ran in capital cities and major regional centres around Australia.

As a Point of Sale software company, our mission is to deliver constantly improving retail management software backed with memorable customer service and going beyond this with business insights and assistance which helps our retailers themselves deliver exceptional and memorable experiences to their customers.

Easter break

E

While our offices are closed for the Easter break, our customer service is accessible online as well as via our after hours phone network.

Saturday POS software support for small business retailers

S

In addition to excellent after hours coverage by mobile phone, Tower Systems today, and for many years past, offers office based help desk POS software support. We have done this for many years – offering office based POS software help on Saturdays.

The Saturday support is full service, practical and engaged.

We are proud to continue to offer this service in support of our 3,500+ small business customers.

We’re open for business.

We love seeing our customers in the news

W

The Cairns Post ran a feature on The Feed Shop from Gordonvale, located half an hour out of Cairns, and their online sales. We are grateful to have made their POS software connected website. The reference in the article to tech support is a reference to us.

Michelle, the owner of the business said this yesterday on our private Tower customer Facebook group: If there are any Tower customers who are considering an online store with Tower, I encourage you to chat to the team. From the first step in planning, to completion, and now upkeep/new ideas, the Tower support has been amazing! Our online store has made HUGE difference to our business during these challenging times. 

Comprehensive approach to POS software onboarding helps small business retailers

C

Aussie POS software company Tower Systems offers a structured, comprehensive approach to POS software onboarding.

Onboarding is the process of bringing on new POS software customers. It involves software installation, setup, tuning and training.

The Tower Systems onboarding approach is whole, complete and solely focussed on helping each small business retailer to achieve their goals for use of the POS software.

Onboarding is the process of installation, training and advice related to getting our new customers up and running with the Tower Systems POS software in your business.

With many new customers joining our POS software community each month, it makes sense that we have a structured process through which we deliver personal and consistent service in pursuit of you happily using our software.

Onboarding includes software installation and training experts at Tower working with you to help you achieve this goal of you happily using our software. It also includes a scheduling expert to be with you at each step of the way.

Our approach to POS software onboarding includes a team of transition experts who will help once the software is setup and the training done. These folks help you transition from high contact training to everyday help desk support access.

As an off-the-shelf software product, the Tower Systems POS software is what it is. By this we mean, it is not bespoke, not written specifically for you. However, there are many options in the software where selections can be made that determine how the software works for you. This is another reason structured onboarding matters.

The pathway we follow to guide you to be live is based on years of experience with thousands of small business retailers like you.

We follow a pathway that works. We understand some of what we suggest may frustrate, especially if you are moving from other software. Please be patient. We are grateful for your joining our community.

While our approach is structured for each specialty retail channel, it is also flexible to ensure we have time to address queries unique to each business. We understand the importance of personal service and seek to deliver a personal and appreciated experience to our customers each time.

The Tower Systems approach to onboarding of new POS software customers is comprehensive, mature and loved by customers.  It continues to evolve, too.

Massive POS software knowledge base expansion

M

Over the last three weeks we have completed a major piece of work in relation to our POS software knowledge base.

We have added many new articles and revised even more existing articles.

This work delivers a better experience for our customers who search our POS software knowledge base.

With now more than 700 articles serving our small business retail customers, our refreshed and renewed knowledge base is a key differentiator for Tower Systems.

We are not done yet, however. We have more changes coming, new articles too.

Our knowledge base will continue to evolve in 2021.

A big retail day today

A

We have been busy helping plenty of our retailers prep for today, Boxing Day with in-store and online deals to be managed by our software, ensuring the businesses maximising the Boxing Day sale opportunity.

Using our POS software and Shopify websites connected to our POS software we have helped retailers be ready for this.

If you are shopping today, our wish is that you shop local, shop the high street.

Christmas / New Year POS software support hours

C

We have shared with our customers the details of our office hours through Christmas and the New Year period, ensuring they have easy access to our POS software support services.

While our offices are closed the actual public holidays, our after hours support network will be live throughout. Outside of them public holidays, our office is open.

There will be no Aussie summer holiday here.

Small business retail management advice: how to stop your business data being useless

S

Too often in small business retail, there is insufficient care for business data. Data is an asset and needs to be cared for as such. Disrespect data and data will not serve you.

This advice is for retailers, it is offered to encourage respect for data so that the business may benefit.

There is no doubt: poor business data = poor business decisions.

If you ever hope to sell your retail business, accurate business data is vital, it will determine the price you achieve for your business.

Don’t be one of those business owners who only cares about accurate business data when you decide to sell as that could be too late.

Here is all you need to do to ensure you have accurate business data.

  1. Ensure you have a good department and category structure. This helps ensure the reports are useful. By good we suggest no more than fifteen departments and no more than fifteen categories within each department.
  2. Arrive all stock into your POS software. The best way to do this is to receive and import into your software electronic invoices from suppliers. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

The slower way is to manually enter invoices into your software item by item. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

If you created an order using the software and this order subsequently arrives, you can receive the order – to save time.

  1. Scan all stock you sell at the point of sale. Resist excuses like items are too small or too big or it takes too long or it is impractical. All these excuses can be countered.
  2. Scan all stock you return to suppliers. Use the Returns facility.
  3. Scan all stock you write off. Use the Write-off Stock facility.

Very simple, right?

Accurate business data is up to you. Not your software company, not your suppliers.

Accurate business data is 100% up to you.

Once you have accurate data, track business performance. Use the accurate data to see trends in your business, to guide better quality business decisions.

It is easy to create accurate business data. The operational and financial benefits are extraordinary.

How Tower Systems can help. Through our personal training, help desk support and knowledge base articles we offer advice, guidance and support on creating more accurate business data.

POS software support – help for small business retailers

P

POS software support can be hard to access in some retail business situations. It could be due to technical, language or other factors.

Here at Tower Systems, our goal is to make POS software support easy to access, genuinely helpful and cost effective for small business retailers.

Our POS software support team is professional, capable and friendly. We offer access through several languages, too, to make the support experience more useful for customers where English is not their first language.

The POS software support team at Tower Systems is all in-house. That is, the company does not outsource POS software support to a cheap labour destination, there is no call centre in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, the Phillipines or similar, no the Tower help desk team works for the company 100% and is staffed by full time professionals.

POS software support here at Tower Systems starts with listening as this leads to understanding. get that right and we are more likely to get the customer service experience right. This is at the heard of POS software support engagement that people love.

POS software support is accessible by phone, email, text message, Facebook, Twitter, online chat and more. It is live and available through the company 24/7 given the time zones our retail partners operate through and the needs of the various niche retail channels in which we serve.

In addition to the human based support, all Tower Systems customers have access to our knowledge base. This is a deep well of resources packed with advice on how to use the software. It can be searched through a natural language query and is accessible for our customers 24/7. This easy access to updated and peer-reviewed advice about how to use our POS software makes self serve access to support a dream.

We publish to our knowledge base advice and articles based on what people tell us they want to know. We have made sure that our knowledge base articles are structured in a way that serves the immediate needs of our customers, packing articles with step by step guides into using the POS software.

We take providing POS software support seriously and do our best to provide our customers with engagement to a level and accessibility that best serves their local retail business needs.

Melbourne Cup day help desk coverage

M

Many of us at Tower Systems have today off as we are based in Victoria and it is the Melbourne Cup (it’s a horse race, apparently) holiday. But fear not, our help desk is up and running, support is at hand. Call any of our office numbers if you need help. We are true to our motto … we’re here to help.

Training for retailers buying a business with the Tower Systems POS software already installed

T

People buying a retail business have plenty to learn. Often, those sewing the retail business are not as thorough in their training as they could be. to help address this we offer personal training for those boys ng a business in which our POS software is situated.

We have packaged together two full days of new owner training. This is personal, one-on-one, training, tailored to the needs of that business, using the data from the business, ensuing that the training is relevant and appropriate.

This personal new owner training ensures that the new business owner knows the POS software and how it can be used to drive the business.

When we sell our POS software to a new business we always provide at least 2 days personal training. It makes sense that someone buying a business in which our POS software is already in use taps into at least 2 days of training. That is what this unique package of training  for new business owners is about.

This training is for new business owners. It reflects that our software is already installed and in use in the business … this makes the training different to what we would do for a fresh installation.

Through the training, we help new business owners develop their own business management processes relating to the POS software. We also can audit the prior use of the software and the data managed by the software, to help the new business owner make data-based decisions. We can also review the business practices of team members, to ensure they are focussed on proper use of the software.

This new owner training from Tower Systems is offered at a considerable discount for new business owners – to make it price appealing and thereby encourage them to make a decision that is good for business.

While new owners can learn the software through our knowledge base articles, our help desk services are priced on the basis that those using our software have been trained.

We know for sure that people who are trained love our software more.

We encourage all new business owners to undertake the new owner training package we offer. They will benefit and their business will benefit.

To find out the current cost of our discounted new owner training, please check out online shop.

Tower Systems releases free Covid contact training tool for small business retailers

T

We have released to our POS software customers today a free contact tracing initiative through our website that enables our customers to easily collect the details of people entering their business in a format useful to health authorities should that be necessary.

We have done this because state and territory governments have not agreed on a consistent approach and because we think manual record keeping is not ideal in times when health authorities will want a fast response.

Using our approach, we collect and securely store customer details and allow our retailers, and only our retailers, to download these based on selection criteria you enter.

We generate a QR code unique to each business. Customers scan this and are taken to a page we create for each business where they enter their name and mobile number. They can optionally enter their email address. We tag this data with the date and time. That’s it. Their visit is tracked. If asked, retailers can show authorities that they have a process in place for collecting this data. For those without a phone, collect the data manually, on a clip-board.

As we gain use experience with this facility we expect to enhance it further.

We have also shared a template document to use at the front of a store, with the sample QR code replaced with the store’s QR code:

We have developed this free QR code based contract tracing tool to help our small business retailer community to be well equipped for helping health authorities should there be a Covid diagnosis that connects with the retail business in some way.

This is another way we can give something back to the small business retail community, a community that is so important to our business.

We have seen with Covid that the ability to quickly track those who may have had contact with someone who tests positive it critical to the public health response.

This contact tracing initiative from our POS software company could be a useful tool. From the outset, we knew we have to deliver this without cost to small business retailers.

We are grateful to those on our team who have brought this to life and our own retail stores where we tested this to ensure its practical usefulness.

With Covid here for a while longer, having tools like this for rapid response is critical for the economy, critical for our small business retail community.

Categories