Where is your POS software company today?

It is almost 9am today, Saturday October 22, 2016, and our help desk based out of our head office has been busy answering questions for customers and providing training. Our leadership team, too, has taken calls already.

The majority of calls on the weekend are not about problems with the POS software. Some relate to retail supplier files, others relate to other software and some calls are for business advice.

As we are accessible we take the calls and help as much as possible.

A core tenet of good customer service is being accessible to your customers when they need you. We are proud to be available on days like today.

Where is our POS software company today?


How our Xero partnership benefits our customers

Being a certified Xero partner, listed on their website and participating in their events positions Tower Systems with authority in this space of POS software Xero integration.

We appreciate the Xero support from being a partner with them. For us, in several of our specialty retail channels, this is differentiating. It positions us differently to competitors that are not this connected with Xero and not lusted on their website.

Our Xero integration is clean, neat, with many users in many different retail channels. We are also working with accountants and bookkeepers in many locations helping them serve their customers leveraging the POS software / xero integration.

While we link to other accounting solutions, Xero is the winner in our view based on our own personal experience with it.

The Retailer To Xero Link Makes Accounting Easy

The powerful Tower Advantage Link platform allows Tower Systems’ specialist retail software to connect directly to Xero, one of Australia’s most popular and streamlined accounting services. Linking Retailer to Xero saves you precious time by completing the majority of your day-to-day accounting for you.  We are experts at bringing independent retail businesses and Xero together and pride ourselves on connecting business owners with such an innovative, useful service.


New help desk team member now live

We are thrilled to have a new voice on our help desk. James has come to us from retail where he had years of experience using our software. When he speaks with a retailer using our software, he can speak from his own experience.

This is another difference for our POS software company. We have people here on our help desk with recent retail experience using our software. This helps provide context for advice and in small business, context can be everything.

Anyone can read a script in proving POS software support. It takes retail passion and knowledge to provide genuinely useful POS software support. That is our goal through the people we bring on board an the nurturing we provide them in what they do.

Our Australian based POS software help desk is a valuable differentiator for us.


How we handled the Blueshyft debacle demonstrates our customer service commitment

A couple of weeks ago start-up Blueshyft mishandled communication with small business newsagents – saying POS software companies were responsible that Blueshyft ought be responsible for. The result was many POS software help desk calls that caused use to spend money on calls that were 100% the responsibility of Blueshyft.

Here at Tower Systems we did the work, provided the service. Then, we took a look at what Bluieshyft did and wrote to our customers:

Poor communication from Blueshyft disrespects you and us.
Blueshyft emailed newsagents today asking them to call their POS software company for a file update.

Blueshyft had not told us about the update, we did not have the file, we had not seen the file and could, therefore, not help.

But the support calls came. In huge number. Newsagents calling us because Blueshyft told them to. Some customers were rude to Tower employees, saying we were fools for not knowing about this.

This all happened when Gavin Williams, our COO, and I were on a flight from there Gold Coast back to Melbourne. We had been on the Gold Coast on business.

Our help desk was slammed – all because Blueshyft had kept us in the dark and because some newsagents didn’t believe that we had no knowledge of this new file.

I spoke with Blueshyft CEO Kain Warwick 45 minutes ago and expressed by frustration at what is, in my opinion, appalling communication from Blueshyft and a lack of respect for what Tower Systems does for them.

We get no compensation for any work related to Blueshyft. XchangeIT is paid to do what they do. I suspect Blueshyft pays VANA for their support and kind words. Yet the POS software company with the most newsagents is expected to be mind readers and know about a file we have never seen.

What happened today is ridiculous.

I have told our help desk we will not take calls on this new file. Instead, we have updated our online advice. This has all the instructions you need to load the file. Click here for our advice.

Had Blueshyft been professional, they would have provided the file, let us test it, let us provide them with advice on loading and then communicated with you. Instead, they dumped the heavy lifting on companies like ours for no compensation at all.

But on the file, it has 2,700 stock items. It does not make sense they want to bloat your system with all these but that is a separate issue.

Yes, I am frustrated as it is things like this that divert our attention from providing support individual customers of ours call us for – calls from the businesses that pay for our support services.  Blueshyft is freeloading at my expense and, ultimately, at your expense.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
0418 321 338


Handling the public holiday on the POS software help desk

The day is drawing to a close here in Melbourne and we have some time for reflection on the day. Thanks to the help from our Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide support team members and folks from Melbourne in for the day, we are happy with the coverage delivered today.

Help desk calls are in good shape. Queries have been handles. Training over the phone has been provided. We have also been able to provide some retail business management advice.

We are retail-focussed here at Tower Systems. We understand the reliance of our customers on easy access to their POS software. This is why we take care to ensure good coverage even on days of public holidays.


It’s AFL Grand Final eve

If the grand State of Victoria, Australia, today is a public holiday so we have the opportunity to prepare for tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final. So, most of us are off today, relaxing. However, we have made arrangements for others on our team interstate to handle help desk traffic. Also, our after hours numbers are live for any overflow issues.

Our official company position is we want the Bulldogs to win. However, our prediction is for an easy Swans victory.


Making it easy for small business retailers to contact Tower Systems

Here at Tower Systems we prefer human contact with our customers.

We don’t use one of those annoying computer run phone systems forcing you through a bunch of menu selections.

We don’t run a call centre offshore, getting you to talk with people who can only follow a script rather than having a conversation.

We don’t force you to put every query in writing.

No, doing business with us, accessing customer support through is is personal. Here is the information we share with our customers weekly. You will see real names, direct numbers and transparent escalation:

    • Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm AEST and Saturday 7:30am to 3pm.
      • VIC (and national): 03 9524 8000.
      • NSW: 02 8556 1600.
      • QLD: 07 3136 6888.
      • SA: 08 8121 3366.
      • WA: 08 6317 0207.
      • NZ: 0800 444 367. Toll free.
    • After hours support for system down calls
      • 0418 554 963 or 0419 842 334
    • Email: support@towersystems.com.au.
    • Knowledge Base: http://support.towersystems.com.au/
    • Website home page: www.towersystems.com.au
    • Email: accounts@towersystems.com.au or call 03 9824 8000.
  • SALES.
    • VIC/TAS. Mike Hill. 0423 848 482. mike@towersystems.com.au.
    • QLD. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148. nathan@towersystems.com.au.
    • SA/WA/NT. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917. tim@towersystems.com.au.
    • NSW/ACT. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148. nathan@towersystems.com.au.

To book free training, please email: bookings@towersystems.com.au

If you any reason you are unhappy with help desk contact, here is our escalation process to connect you with management assistance outside the help desk.

  1. Please provide as complete a description of the issues as possible.
  1. If you have multiple points, please number each.
  2. Please escalate by email to enable us to share with others here.
  3. Please note if your concern relates to a specific employee.
  4. Here are the escalation points, in sequence, for your use:
    1. CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER: csm@towersystems.com.au. The role can be done by one of several people. PH: 03 9524 8000.
    2. CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Gavin Williams. 03 9524 8000. Email gavinw@towersystems.com.au.
    3. OWNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR: Mark Fletcher. 0418 321 338. Email: mark@towersystems.com.au.

New training helps small business retailers master POS software

Tower Systems is thrilled to have announced details of new training programs for retailers using our small business POS software.

From our POS software training page on our website, retailers can see the new topics along with repeat sessions of popular topics, training retailers tell us they love.

We are proud to continue our free online training workshops and to deliver these free, accessible from anywhere in the world, to our retailers. This is important to us as the weekly access is proof of our actions matching our words.

In selecting training topics, we go for bold topic descriptions that make the training sound different to your usual boring computer training – because the training is different, our trainers are engaged, personal and good to listen too. The training is interactive too, helping people get the best value possible from their involvement.

The new round of training just announced includes topics suggested by customers. We are grateful to customers who have engaged with us in suggesting and developing new training topics.

On-going training is important to POS software users as it helps them continue to learn long after the software is installed. This is our commitment to our customers.


Small business retail management advice: ten reasons to ditch the old-school points based loyalty programs

While the Tower Systems POS software supports points-based loyalty, we have other more advanced and more current loyalty offers. Our new loyalty offers help retailers drive excellent sales results.

Here are some reasons why we think points based loyalty programs are not useful for small business retailers:

  1. Big businesses use points, meaning a small business program does not offer an identifiable post of difference.
  2. Plenty of medium and small businesses offer points based programs.
  3. Points are not a point of difference.
  4. How can a shopper separate your points program from that in another retail business? Try and do this yourself.
  5. Shoppers struggle to understand the value of points.
  6. $$$ in value is better understood than points.
  7. Points are old-school.
  8. Shoppers have loyalty fatigue from the same old points based programs.
  9. Points are more often used as a faux reward rather than real reward.
  10. Points appear as vague whereas a cash benefit is easily understood.

Our advice is to put your customers at the heart of your loyalty program. Once you do this you will quickly see the value of a more customer-focussed loyalty offer and the benefits that could flow for your business.


Small business POS software users invited to suggest training topics

Tower Systems in its weekly customer email has invited retailers using our POS software to suggest topics for us to cover in our weekly online training workshops.

While we have topics to cover based on help desk and in-store experiences, we wanted to put the call out to customers to suggest topics so they can guide the curriculum of the next round.

Here is the call we included in yesterday’s customer email:

We are currently planning our October and November free weekly online training workshops. We’d love your topic suggestions so we can ensure we provide content you find useful. Please email your training topic suggestions to support@towersystems.com.au. we promise to take on board all suggestions.

Every week we run a one hour group workshop. This is what we are calling for topic suggestions for. In addition to this we run free business specific one-on-one training. These sessions are customer specific its topics guided 100% by our customers.

The value of training is clear when we track back results achieved by customers who engage with training on getting more from their software. We are grateful to customers who embrace training.


135 candidates for Tower Systems help desk role

We have made the first two rounds of reviews of candidates for another new help desk role, our second additional role this quarter. We are spoilt for choice in the pool of candidates available, making the selection of even the short list challenging.

We have to commence interviews late next week.


Government approved small business scale integrated POS software

The scale integrated POS software from Tower Systems has passed all testing and regulatory requirements of the National Measurement Institute, an arm of the Australian government that regulates weights and measures. We have our certification.

Small business retailers using POS software integrated to scales need to ensure their software is NMI approved for if it is not, there could be consequences for the business. Ask to see the certification.

The risk from using POS software that is not certified is too great.


Our small business POS software company is serious when we say we’re here to help

IMG_2497Here at Tower Systems we take our tag line we’re here to help seriously.

From our smart POS software to our after-sales service we help in every way we can with help taking many different forms and occurring at many different times.

We take helping our small business retail customers seriously, as a whole of company service, core to our mission – a point of pride for us.

Help starts with making contact with us easy, certain and professional.

Every one of our customers has the usual contact points you would expect to find in a POS software company. Our customers also have the direct phone numbers and email addresses of our leadership team through to the owner of the company. This demonstrates a level of commitment that is best-practice in our view.

We are so certain of our software and our after sales service that we are proud to make accessing our leadership team easy.

This is another example of the Tower AdvantageTM.


Helping newsagents navigate change for a brighter future

In his downtime from Tower Systems, CEO Mark Fletcher writes the Australian Newsagency Blog to encourage newsagents to embrace change and transform their businesses into retail relevant to today and beyond. Heroes a new video where mark explains some of what the book is about.

This work also helps inform Tower on retail trends as all retail businesses are transforming as a result of many factors agitating for change.


Expanding the POS software help desk

We are thrilled to have signed a new team member to join our national help desk. James will be on board in a few weeks to commence intensive training prior to taking calls solo.

This new role will help us serve our growing customer base and ensure service levels are good.

James comes to us with good retail experience. It helps to walk in the shoes of the customer.


POS software user meetings in New Zealand

Today we are hosting a user meeting for users of our POS software in Wellington New Zealand. yesterday we were in Auckland.

These face to face sessions are important for us and for our customers as we learn from each other and our businesses benefit as a result.

We are grateful to our customers for their support.

The live and local user meetings are in addition to other POS software user touch points:

  1. Weekly live training and discussion workshops.
  2. Trade show meetings.
  3. Free one on one training.
  4. Help desk support.
  5. Knowledge base.
  6. 130+ training videos.

All of this is with real people. Live. Where retailers know the names of people they are dealing with.

We are enjoying our time in NZ this week.


Shortlisting for the new POS software help desk role

We are busy shortlisting candidates for a new help desk role based in our head office. With more than sixty candidates its is proving to be tough to trim the list to a more manageable mix for interview.

Our hiring process is structured like our help desk management – small business customer service focussed.



POS software user meetings in New Zealand

We are thrilled to be bringing our POS software user meetings to New Zealand next week – Monday and Tuesday. First in Auckland and then in Wellington, we will meet with our customers in a structured and open forum, outlining the latest software and encouraging suggestions for further enhancements.

Christchurch will be covered in a separate trip.

We have shared details with our customers and look forward to seeing them next week.

These latest meetings are an extension of our Australian national user meeting tour where the leadership of the company meets face to face with customers, answering questions, sharing insights and talking about the future of the software.



New social medial engagement a hit for Tower Systems and its customers

The new social media channel we opened over a week ago is receiving terrific traction and providing another customer facing / customer service opportunity. We are proud to offer this initiative and thrilled with Tower customer engagement.

Using social media in this way and giving our customers control over the conversation is empowering for them and valuable for us. We are excited to see where this goes.

We think too many software companies hide behind a corporate names rather than real people. We think they do everything possible to not talk with customers.

Here are Tower Systems we are the opposite. We like direct contact and appreciate the engagement from our customers.

An extension to our customer contact, this new channel will help reinforce the Tower Systems difference.


Automatic POS software updates cause small business retailers to switch software

Several retailers at the Melbourne Gift Fair last week told us they will switch POS software to us because of the automatic updates in their current POS software.

Tower Systems does not do automatic POS software u0dates. We prefer our customers to decide which updates they want and to install them at a time of their choosing.

The complaints about automatic updates were specific. They reflect the challenges automatic updates present to small business retailers. Here are quotes from the retailers:

  1. You turn the computer on and a downloading message comes up. You have to wait for this to be done before you can use it. When I turn the computer on I want to use it right away.
  2. There is no advice what is in the update. You have to hope you pick up changes as you go.
  3. They mustn’t test the software because almost every time there is an update something goes wrong.
  4. It has been so bad I don’t trust the software any more. That’s why I am switching.
  5. I call them but usually have to wait a day or two for them to call me back.
  6. One update last year cost be a couple of hundred dollars because of mistakes they made.

Here at Tower Systems or software goes through a comprehensive multi-layered quality assurance process prior to us installing it in our shops. If it works fine there it goes to our opt-in beta sites. If it goes well with them it is slowly released for optional download by our customers at a time of their choosing.

POS software is critical to the successful operation of any business that uses it. This is why the business ownwr or manager has to have control about what updates are loaded and when. Otherwise, they do not have the control of their business they need.


What is really different about our POS software company today: Saturday August 13, 2016

Today, Saturday August 13, 2016, some of our senior management have been in retail, working in retail, engaged in retail customer contact and retailer contact – soaking up the real-world experiences that further inform decisions we make about our POS software.

In addition to owning and operating our own retail businesses, we get out in the field, on the shop floor and behind the counter learning from active engagement in retail to help us create even more useful retail management software.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.


Tower Systems invited to be part of an ATO working group

We have agreed to be part of a working group with the Australian taxation Office to help our customers meet compliance requirements. Here are the details of the ATO invitation:

You are invited you to be part of a working group for the Software Assurance project. The intent of the project is to provide your clients with transactional certainty prior to lodgment, reducing the burden and cost of compliance.
We want to work with you to co-design solutions for your software products that help to reduce or remove common errors that trigger our analytics and subsequent audit action.
Common errors can include:
  1. duplicated invoice or receipt numbers
  2. incorrect or misclassification of supplies
  3. reversal mistakes
  4. discount corrections.
We would also like to explore other opportunities to improve the internal governance and assurance processes your clients use, making it easier for them to get their tax and super obligations right.

Now hiring for the Tower Systems POS software help desk

In our weekly customer service email last weekend we put out a call for prospective candidates to connect with us for an opportunity to be trained to join our help desk. The process of bringing someone on to the help desk is structured with the new-hire receiving comprehensive training and in-store tutoring prior to taking calls live.


Customer service at Melbourne Gift Fair

One of the benefits of participating in trade shows is being accessible to customers. This is what we are experiencing today at the Melbourne Gift Fair. Already, two and a half hours in, customers have stopped by our star for a chat and to catch up on software enhancements. We have also been able to ask questions and learn of more opportunities we can explore.

It is important for all software companies to be accessible to customers like this. Invaluable!

We are here at the Showgrounds for five days and energised for the opportunities we will encounter.