Small business retailers love cloud based backup

The Tower Systems cloud backup service for our POS software customers is appreciated by the many using it. This service has plenty of advantages:

  1. It is fast.
  2. The backup is secure.
  3. You have secure onsite storage as well as offsite storage.
  4. Recovery is fast.
  5. It is low cost.
  6. Everything is backed up, you can be specific in selections.
  7. There is niobium’s operational overhead.

How Does Safe Backup Work?
The software performs an incremental backup every fifteen minutes. An incremental backup is a backup of files that have changed or are new since the last backup.

These incremental backups are catalogued on your NAS device. They are then collated to create your full system backup. This process allows access to backups from a particular point of time – even at the file level. Because backups are stored on the NAS device you have immediate access in-store as well as being sent to the Tower Systems Data Storage Centre in the cloud where a secure additional offsite copy of your data is kept.

How Does This Differ From My Daily Backup?
Retailer Backup ONLY backs up your Retailer Data leaving your other business data, accounting data, important documents and emails at risk. Safe Backup backs up your entire main PC, meaning all your business data is safe and secure. A copy of your business backup is also securely sent via the Internet to our secure data storage centre, giving you a safe off-site copy for protection.

Once Safe Backup is implemented you will no longer need to perform your daily backup. You or your staff will no longer need to wait for the daily backup to complete. The saving could be in excess of $150 per month if your backup is taking 15 minutes or more to complete.

Does Tower Have Access To My Data?
No. When you sign up for the service you must set a password which is assigned to your backup. We can only access your backup if you give us your password.

Fast recovery from a Crypto locker attack

One of our clients was locked out of their system last week by a Crypto locker attack. We had them up and running within 24 hours – without them paying anything to the criminals behind the crypto locker attack.

This was achievable solely because used our cloud backup service. The 24 hours included moving them to a secure hosted server for their multi-store system. Had we not done this extra work, we could have had them up and running in a couple of hours.

A Crypto locker attack can devastate any business. Tower Systems is proud to have provided its customers with access to a proven easy and low cost recovery option that minimises business disruption and provides certainty in what is often an uncertain time for small business retailers.

Ready for the Melbourne Cup

There is something very Australian about making plans for POS software help desk support on a public  holiday for a horse race. However, that is what we have done for tomorrow, as we do every year.

We have put in place terrific support coverage for our customers, to provide easy access to support through the day. We let our customers know the arrangements in the weekly emails sent out yesterday.

Helping small business retailers leverage the Facebook opportunity

Helping small business retailers beyond their POS software is a key part of the Tower Systems mission. We share insights, tips and advice with our small business retailer community through our weekly email, knowledge base, one on one advice and more.

This article is part of then Tower Systems difference.

Facebook community growth is as important as shopper traffic growth

Here is one example of advice we have provided our customers on leveraging the facebook opportunity for small business retail.

Growth in the number of likes for your business Facebook page(s) is as important as growth in shopper traffic through your front door.

I see a direct correlation between the two, if you use Facebook well. Of course, if is the important word in that statement.

I have been actively using Facebook for business for many years. It is an excellent platform of reaching new customers and talking with existing customers. It is an important tool in business growth.

HOW DO YOU GET MORE LIKES ON FACEBOOK?

This is simple, provide good content, content that gives people what they come to Facebook for – entertainment, inspiration, a laugh. The more you do this the more your post will be liked and shared. The more likes and shoes the more people you reach.

Growth in likes for your page begins with your content. If your page likes are not growing, look at your content.

While you can ask people to like your Facebook page, resulting likes may not be as valuable as those who like your page of their own accord.

You can also buy likes. That, however, is a waste of money.

HOW DOES A BUSINESS USE FACEBOOK WELL?

Businesses that use Facebook well entertain. This can be by making people laugh, smile, feel emotional or be happy overall. They do it by being human, real and engaged. They do it by not trying to sell. They do it y not being commercial.

Photos are real, not studio shots, showing products in use more so than on the shelves. They show customers, happy customers.

They share something of themselves.

A newsagency uses Facebook well by not writing about products newsagents sell.

HOW DO MORE LIKES OF YOUR BUSINESS TRANSLATE INTO MORE SALES?

Someone engaging with your business Facebook page is similar to someone browsing your shop. Both can lead to sales.

People being on your page and engaging with your page brings them close to you and proximity = sales.

The more people who like your business Facebook page the more people you can pitch and offer to or reach out with an event or product announcement, them more people who will hear what you have to say.

Take Facebook seriously as a key business tool. The benefits are real and valuable.

POS software help for small business retailers on Saturday

Not many POS software companies in Australia offer office based POS software help desk on a Saturday.

Here at Tower Systems, in addition to mobile p0hone based support, we offer office based support Saturdays from 7:30am to 3pm. Yes, we are open right now.

This office based service is loved by small business owners who use Saturday to catch up. We are here for them, delivering another Tower Systems point of difference.

Why small business retailers should not be worried about software bugs

All software has bugs. The challenges are finding them and fixing them.

Any POS software company that says their POS software is bug free is either lying, delusional or not in high demand.

Here at Tower Systems our approach to software bugs is structured and professional.

  1. When a bug its suspected tests are conducted, to prove the bug exists.
  2. Proof of a bug is further tested, to ensure it is repeatable.
  3. Once proven, the bug is logged, given a bug id and sent to the development team for consideration. Only on the provision of s bug id is the bug accepted as existing.
  4. The development team fixes the bug and loads it as part of a softwAre update.
  5. The update is alpha tested in the office.
  6. A successfully alpha tested release of the software is tested in or own shops.
  7. The tested in our own shops software is released to the beta community.
  8. The successfully beta tested software is released to the wider community.
  9. On release to any end-user we provide a complete list of bugs fixed in the update along with details of all other enhancements delivered through the update.

All the way through our structured process our customers are kept in the loop and up to date with our progress on resolving issues for them.

Software bugs are not the problem. How software companies deal with them is. We are confident here at Tower Systems in our processes and in the transparency we provide to our customers.

How retailers can continue to trade if the internet is down

Here is a question we are often asked by retailers:

In a cloud environment what happens when the Internet is unavailable? The offering is for an external cloud provider, can we leverage our own cloud provider? How are hosting charges calculated, i.e. data storage charges?

Here is our answer:

Our POS software system is very configurable.  Users have the ability, if they wish, to run without being hosted.  This solves any Internet stability questions, particularly for rural/regional Australian where this may be an issue.

The other challenge with cloud is the costs. Our experience is some small business owners are not happy with the monthly hosting cost for a cloud service. However, the customer can choose the approach that is best for their specific circumstances.

These are the reasons we have configured our software to suit whatever situation a customer prefers.

Alternatively, if users want, we can host the system in the cloud, 100% in the cloud.  This can be hosted on our secure dedicated infrastructure (additional costs will apply) or on infrastructure of their choosing.  We will provide guidance on the configuration so the ideal environment is created.

If hosted on our infrastructure customers are charged on a per user per month basis.

If the user runs in a hosted environment and the internet drops out the user can switch to a facility we call Outpost Mode.  OUTPOST mode allows for basic trading, scanning sales, until such time as Internet access is restored.

The level of software access in the event of internet access being down, blocked or otherwise hampered does depend on choices made by the customer. Our customers can be secure in the knowledge that we support multiple choices, we make it easy for them transact if that is the core goal of their business.

Can you continue to trade if the internet is down? Yes!

Crucially, we can train our customers on how to be ready for this in advance of any problem occurring. This is important since customers might otherwise scrambling too get up and running in the middle of a problem could be too disruptive for the business,

Planning ahead of any incident or disaster is important in our view.

How Tower Systems manages small business POS software support calls

How we handle a support call from a small business user of o0ur POS software is a differentiator for us and for our customers.

Here is the process, as it unfolds for our customers:

  1. Customer calls, emails, logs request for help through our website or our software.
  2. The call is immediately logged into our CRM system.
  3. The call often handled immediately, with the answer provided.
  4. If appropriate, the client site is accessed, with permission of the client.
  5. Advice is provided or other work done to fix the issue.
  6. A call close email is sent with a summary of the assistance provided, so the client can confirm that this did in fact fix the query.
  7. A second of the call is placed on the client digital file, for future reference.
  8. A random num bee of calls are peer-reviewed to ensure best practice is followed.
  9. A random selection of support alls are followed up for a customer happiness check.

All through the process, no matter how long or how short, our service is personal. Real people. Real names. 100% based in Australia.

Customer service is vital for small business retailers when considering POS software for their businesses. We understand that. We recourse our team to be able to deliver quality customer service as and when customers want it.

We call what we do the Tower AdvantageTM. It is a differentiator for us and we love it. We think our customers do too.

Personal service matters when it comes to small business POS software

Every day in small business retail shops personal service matters. For many local independent retail businesses, personal service is the differentiator, the thing that shoppers remember and brings them back.

No matter how cool products in a shop are, if the service is not personal with a shopper they may not return.

Equally, no matter how mundane or everyday products are in a shop, personal service may show them off in a light that makes the experience so delightful that the shoppers think first and only of the shop when next wanting such products.

Just as personal service matters in retail, it matters with POS software in terms of customer service and it matters with POS software and the personal service facilities in the POS software.

The Tower Systems small business POS software has encoded in to facilities that help a small business retailer show off personal service, to deliver a level of personal service consistently through shopper facing touchpoints that are managed by the software.

These personal service facilities in the software help the retailer to be personal, efficiently.

On our receipts, we can include care instructions for individual products or local advice that relates to the products in a way that only a local retailer can know. These facilities encoded within the software enable local small business retailers to personalise the experience in a structured way. Retailers have 100% control over the serving of this information.

On the customer display we can show products and other information that further enhances the personal service experience.

Retailers using our software can easily remember important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, required check in dates, servicing dates, vaccine dates and far more. Indeed, there is no limit to the services that can be provided to personalise a shopper experience based on anniversaries and other date-based information through which a retailer can better serve customers.

For many local small retail businesses, personal service is the big differentiator. Here at Tower Systems we are committed to evolving our support for delivering more and better personal service opportunities through our software. How far we go will be a function of suggestions from our customers.

POS software customers love transparency of help desk traffic

We are just back from another trade show and a common question from sales prospects approaching our stand was about customer service. They usually start by asking if our service is human, based in Australia and helpful.

  1. Our help desk service is human.
  2. Our help desk is based in Hawthorn, Victoria.
  3. Our help desk is helpful.

But most important, our help desk service is transparent. Our customers can easily see, for themselves, how many calls are in the queue, how many have been solved so far in the day and how many are currently being worked on.

This data view is real-time, providing our customers with valuable information that helps them make decisions about when to access support.

We provide the data feed through a direct link to our internal CRM system and into the customer area of our website.

This is another service in our POS software business where we go beyond what people often experience form a POS software help desk.

POS software knowledge base updates help small business retailers

Tower Systems announces each week to its customers the enhancements to advice provided on its 24/7 accessible knowledge base.

Every week there are new articles and updated articles, helping our customers to top into advice and resources they need as and when they want.

Here is a list from our last weekly email of new and revised advice accessible online:

  1. Installing Retailer Updates
  2. Editing an Existing Customer Invoice=
  3. Setting Up A Maximum Credit / Account Limit For A Customer
  4. Direct Debiting Customer Payments Using Credit Card Details=
  5. Redeeming A Gift Voucher / Card=
  6. Gift Voucher Management
  7. Zebra GK420 / GX420 Setup For Barcode Manager
  8. Zebra GK420T / GX420T Setup for Label Manager

With many hundreds of articles, all searchable by keywords, our customers have access to peer-reviewed step by step guides into using the software, to help provide better outcomes.

Revising the advice and providing access to this is part of everyday customer service here at Tower Systems.

Our customers suggest new topics we cover and these suggestions result in new or revised advice published on our knowledge base.

We are grateful to our customers for their in-the-field advice on what they would like to know.

Tower Systems meets new Payment Express compliance standards

We have just been advised that our software has passed acceptance testing for the new Payment Express integration for our New Zealand used POS software.

We have had integration with previous versions of this gateway but with their latest changes needed to pass compliance again. That we have done this well ahead of the October cutover in NZ is a testament to our development and testing teams.

This offers peace of mind to our NZ customers.

Telstra outage not stressing the POS software help desk

We received an alert early this morning about a major Telstra network outage and to expect help desk call traffic to spike as a result. Here we are more than half way through the day and we have not received a single call.

We did proactively share with our customers steps to take to ensure they were not affected. That appears to have helped.

Helping small business retailers with POS software queries on a Saturday

It is Saturday morning, a busy days for local retail businesses. Too often while local shops are open, businesses that support local businesses are closed.

Not Tower Systems.

Our POS software help desk is open. On our after hours mobile phone and, importantly, in the office where the full set of help resources are available. This enables us to do more, rather than asking retailers to wait until Monday.

We take Saturday support seriously for our small business retail customers. hence the office based support on days like today.

Customer service matters at Tower Systems.

Saturday support for small business retailers

In addition to our after hours POS software support, for many years we have offered Saturday support.  This is office based support delivered by folks expert in our POS software.

Our service is unique and loved. Most Saturday calls are from users seeking advice on better use of the software – not your traditional Help Desk call.

By providing the office based service, we are able to provide better quality advice and access user systems to more quickly deliver the outcome they seek.

Accessibility is key in any software support situation.  This is another reason we commit considerable resources to our Saturday support service as well as our regular after hours service.

We are grateful to our customers who enable us to offer this service in addition to our after hours service.

Does your POS software have a mandatory weekly, monthly or annual fee?

We are welcoming another customer this week who is switching from another POS company because they were told, when they purchased the system several years ago, that there would never be a mandatory support fee.

Despite the promise, they have been hit with ever an increasing mandatory software support fee. This year, the fee approached $4,000.

The company has never responded to their complaint. It was only through a chance meeting with another business owner that they released they could switch software companies and not have a mandatory software support fee.

Tower Systems does not have a mandatory software support fee. Customers can continue to run the software if they are not covered by support. This has always been the case with us.

Any time a POS software sales rep makes a claim on which you rely, get it in writing on their letterhead with a person in authority signing. It is the only way.

While we are thrilled to welcome another customer, it is disappointing for them they have had such a bad experience.

Customers love the transparency of POS software help desk call traffic

Our customers are telling u they love that they can see our POS software help desk call traffic data live at our web site.

We show the current active call number along with the number of calls closed in the data.  The data is updated every fifteen minutes.

Transparency equals a clear commitment to customer service. That is why we have made the necessary changes to our internal call tracking system to provide easy access to current data.

A common complaint we hear about POS software companies is poor customer service. Good service starts with showing our busy thou are. This can fluctuate through the day – the live shows this and can therefore help customers to consider alternative sources of answers.

We are grateful to our customers for the feedback they have provided on this initiative.