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
  • ACCOUNTS.
    • 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.

FREE ONE ON ONE TRAINING.
To book free training, please email: bookings@towersystems.com.au

CUSTOMER SERVICE ESCALATION PROCESS.
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.
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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.

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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.

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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:

WHAT TRAINING TOPICS WOULD YOU LIKE US TO COVER?
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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How will your POS software company treat you this Saturday?

Today, Saturday, many POS software companies will be closed, providing barely basic services for their retail customers. Not Tower Systems.

  1. Our Melbourne based office is open, offering live support to small business retailers. For the best support experience retailers want to be talking with someone based in an office with the full suite of tools at their disposal.
  2. Access to the office is through capital city based numbers and a toll-free number in New Zealand.
  3. Our after hours numbers are live and ready to support the office based service with over-flow calls if necessary.
  4. Our senior management is online and accessible should such escalation be needed.
  5. Our Knowledge Base is live and accessible.
  6. More than 130 professional training videos are available from anywhere i  the world to provide free, repeatable, training.

This level of Saturday service is rare for small business POS software companies. We are proud of this Tower AdvantageTM.

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Small business retailers value personal and accessible POS software customer service

We are winning good business for our POS software this year from retailers switching from other POS software. While the software is a factor in their decision to switch, customer service is top of mind.

Customers switching love:

  1. Personal service. When they call they talk to a human. And, yes, they can call any of our offices even toll free from NZ. We hear many stories of poor service from other POS software companies where personal contact is discouraged.
  2. Names.  Names matter. Were humanise our contact and support by people on our teams using their names, real names.
  3. Access to leadership. Our leadership team is directly accessible to our customers should they wish to escalate any issue. Too often we hear of other POS software companies sidestepping issues or completely ignoring requests to speak too senior management. We take personal service seriously.
  4. Free training weekly. People love our free and easily accessible live online training workshops.
  5. Free one-on-one training. People love that they can schedule top-up training long after the installation is done.
  6. Transparency on updates. People love that they can suggest changes and watch as other customers vote on their change suggestions.
  7. Extensive help desk coverage. People love our long hours and our weekend coverage.
  8. Response time. People love how quickly we respond to their queries.

These are points of difference we have invested in with infrastructure, people and management focus. We are thrilled to win business from other POS software companies because of these services we provide.

This whole package is part of our Tower AdvantageTM.

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Enjoying small business retail

It is a thrill to see so many independent small retail businesses thriving through the winter of 2016. We are seeing businesses transforming from what has been traditional for their type of operation into fresh offerings that drive the appeal of the business beyond what has been traditional for them.

We love seeing this not only because of the pleasure of observing success but also because of a role we can play in helping to uncover and leverage good news for small business retailers.

Our commitment is to help our customers beyond the software to help them reach beyond the dreams they have for their businesses.

We are grateful every day for the opportunities that come our way.

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How to choose POS software for your retail business

Here is another video from our in-house production team. We like the video for its practical content for small business retailers and for the professionalism it reflects.

We produce new videos for our customers regularly, training videos on how to use our software, videos to help encourage confidence in our software and the difference it can make in a business.

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The POS software helps desk where customers set call priority

Tower Systems for many years has given POS software customers control over setting support call priority. We regularly remind customers of the control they have through notes like this one in our weekly customer service email this week:

The speed with which we handle your support query is determined by the priority of the call. You can choose your own priority. Here are the call priorities:

  1. P1. This is if your system is down. The most urgent call we can get.
  2. P2. Urgent. We will deal with the call ahead of all others except P1.
  3. P3. Pressing question But system not down. Return call goal 2 3 hours.
  4. P4. Non urgent question. Goal of returning a call in 4 – 5 hours.

In allocating a call priority please take care to accurately reflect the situation.

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Sunday retail management advice: basket analysis helps retailers sell more

Basket analysis is the analysis of products purchased by transaction – shopping basket. Such analysis typically compares two trading periods overall and by day of week. It also includes this analysis by supplier comparing trading periods and day of week.

Using the Tower Systems POS software, retailers are able to dig deep into basket data in recent times and into the past, to gain insights into the performance of the business for the benefit of the business and those it serves.

Basket analysis shows the efficiency of product categories (departments). For example, see how many baskets include one category of item and nothing else. You can also see the numbers of times sales are single item sales.

Basket analysis underscores the value to the business of newer categories such as gifts and toys.

Basket analysis at a supplier level is equally insightful, allowing you to compare the basket efficiency and value of suppliers between two tradition periods as well as across each day of the week between two trading periods.

It is at the basket analysis level that you can determine product efficiency. A product is more efficient for you if it is purchased with other items in our view. You can drive this by careful placement on the shop floor, promotion at the sales counter and working with customers on the shop floor to guide their purchases.

It’s an example of how you can use comprehensive business data to drive your in-store actions. For example, knowing what we know about pop vinyls, Saturday is the day we really focus on them with secondary locations to do even better from the Saturday opportunity.

Basket analysis can also help you with rostering. With some category sales requiring more staff time that others, you can consider the product mix sold by day and adjust your roster accordingly. Trimming wages is an important cost saving focus in business.

The goal has to be deeper baskets (more items per transaction) and a greater spread across product categories – but with a focus on higher margin items so that also lift the overall GP performance of the business.

In the Tower Systems software the report to use for this analysis is the Basket Analysis Report. It provides an extraordinary insight into baskets.

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