While many businesses are closed today, we are open and here helping small business retailers with support queries and other advice. Today is a usual day for us, we have the full compliment of help desk team members as we have had through the Christmas / New Year period.
With two software updates released in the last month, customers have taken the time in recent days to catch up and learn about the new facilities. We have taken the opportunity over the last few days to contact customers who use our help desk services less frequently. A quick g’day and advice on any query or issue has been well received.
Tomorrow, our offices are closed but our after hours and emergency numbers will be operating.
Thanks to a large library of training videos, including new titles added just this month, retailers using our Point of Sale software have access to a valuable resource for training of new employees and topping up existing knowledge with a refresh view.
The investment in additional training videos this year has paid off with excellent traffic for our video resources with many being viewed hundreds of times in a matter of days after publishing.
Making videos accessible through our website as well as through YouTube makes it easy for people to access these resources.
Comparing our video suite to others has become a useful way of comparing software companies. Anyone can announce that they have training videos – it takes genuine commitment to deliver an ever expanding library.
Some of our customers were especially appreciative of support provided over the last couple of days. As things go, it was a quiet few days. But those who did need assistance were happy that it was readily available.
One customer has an old computer die and they were able to get up and running without losing any time processing sales. We were glad to help.
This is where online only software companies struggle. Too often they do not provide support based on a long-term relationship and therefore deny assistance to a small business when it is most important to them.
Retailers using our Point of sale Software have been able to setup their businesses to handle post-Christmas sales starting from today. Thanks to our catalogue facilities, pre-planning for sales to run from a set time is easy.
We have helped our retail business customers in other ways too, with free marketing collateral – in the form of two specially designed posters for promoting Boxing Day Sales available from our website, free phone assistance in setting up for the sales and reminders leading up to Christmas about the value of planning for these wonderful retail events.
Our unique and outcome-focussed suite of advice, collateral and smart POS software positions well with retailers. Our whole of business approach is unique in our various marketplaces.
In today’s marketplace retailers are having to go beyond the traditional to win and retain shoppers. The same is true for software companies.
We are on a Christmas break from now with all our team members enjoying a few days R&R. Our after hours and emergency numbers are active. Our offices will reopen on Thursday December 27.
Merry Christmas to all!
We sent out a Christmas greeting to all of our Point of Sale software customers late last week with a note of appreciation for support this year. We also included a reminder of after hours support numbers.
While it’s terrific to party and relax this time of year, we understand the importance of the season to our retail customers. Our commitment to delivering good customer service is unwavering.
Now is the usual time we remind people of our online training workshops for the next week. We are resting our online training workshops for a few weeks in response to customer feedback that this time of the year is a challenge. We are taking the break as an opportunity to regroup and refresh.
We will have a major announcement early in January 2013 about training.
We have heard reports from several retailers in Victoria today of fake $50 notes being passed on by shoppers. Be careful. We urge retailers to watch the video from the Reserve Bank on spotting counterfeit bank notes.
While many of us at Tower Systems are out and about with Christmas shopping this weekend, we have a team on call for urgent assistance requests from our customers.
With extra staff on and a significant jump in customer traffic, it’s understandable that queries from retailers increase for us at this time.
We’re here and ready to help. We prepared our customers by sending out fresh copies of our support contact card making sure that everyone has out details in a public place in their businesses.
Point of Sale software companies are service businesses and as such are only as good as the last service contact. Making ourselves accessible is key to the service we deliver to our customers.
One of the features of our Point of Sale software is the ability to easily compare supplier performance across a number of reports. Retailers love that they can compare suppliers in a range of reports. This is especially useful at Christmas when efficiency is more important than ever.
Imagine the value to a retailer who can see that one supplier is generating more than 60% of sales in a vitally important department. While this is good for the supplier, it may not be good for the retailer as it is important to not be so reliant on a single supplier in some departments.
By providing retailers with easy access to data, we are helping them to make the most of the christmas sales opportunity.
Our QA team has released another POS software update, the third in a few weeks. We are on a roll with a series of updates, in digestible and enjoyable chunks – giving our customers additional facilities, enhancements they have asked for.
We have tested and loaded the following stock files for newsagents using our newsagency software. We have held the files under embargo as requested by the supplier:
- GNS Back To School Your Local 2013 Catalogue
- GNS Back To School Newspower 2013 Catalogue
While many service businesses have already wound down for the year, here at Tower Systems we are active right through – busy serving customers over the phone, via email, through online connection and in-store.
We have been running normal hours all this week.
On Christmas Eve we will close by 2pm. All Tower offices will be closed December 25 and 26. We will be open usual hours December 27, 28 and 31. We will be closed January 1.
Our after hours numbers will operate throughout for urgent calls. Our emergency numbers, backing up our after hours numbers, will also operate throughout. We will respond to email support queries through the season.
As retailers ourselves, we understand the importance of easy access to customer service through such a busy trading period.
We have tested and loaded the following stock files for retailers using our software:
- John Sands December 2012 Stock File
- Kat Kards January 2013 Stock File
- Ancol Back to School 2013 Catalogue
Retailers love that our Point of Sale software helpdesk is accessible early in the morning, especially in the middle of a busy Christmas season.
Just this week our office-based team has been busy from 7am with retailers looking for assistance for early morning questions. Equally, it is not uncommon for our after-hours team to take a call at 11pm with many shopping centres open for late night trading all this week.
Being accessible is vital for any POS software helpdesk. While many calls are from casual employees seeking training and advice over the phone, it’s what we are here for – especially in this busy Christmas season.
We appreciate the opportunity to be of service and to show off the Tower AdvantageTM. We know that the experience delivered today could be the feedback shared among colleagues tomorrow.
We have written to newsagents this week with advice and offers of support for the opportunities to be found in changes in 2013. The letter from our managing director opens…
2013 will see the most significant change in the newsagency channel and newsagency businesses in decades.
T2020 will become a reality on the Eastern Seaboard, separating newspaper distribution and retail businesses, bringing about far-reaching changes in magazine distribution and shifting the focus of many from a mixed business to a retail only business.
I have owned and operated newsagencies since 1996 and I have owned Tower Systems since 1981. I and my team are engaged with newsagents for the long haul. With more than 1,800 newsagents as customers we are the industry standard software company.
In 2007 I sold my newspaper distribution business, publicly stating at the time that it was no longer practical to run a mixed business.
Through Tower we serve the largest combined distribution business delivering more than 30,000 newspapers a day and serving well in excess of 200 sub agents. We serve many other distribution only businesses in several states with thousands of customers and more than 100 sub agents.
We are T2020 ready.
Newsagents will receive the letter by the end of this week.
We have been helping our retail customers to better manage Christmas cash-flow through a number of services and initiatives. With Christmas sales volume, and therefore cash, often double and triple the cash-flow of other times in the year, retailers need to make the most of the opportunity.
From sales cash management to broadband EFTPOS integration to tight sales counter controls, retailers using our Point of Sale software are able to impose controls that even casual employees hired for the Christmas season are able to follow. This is most important given the number of casual employees brought in for the season.
Tracking sales and other key data points through a busy Christmas season helps any small and independent retail business to not let the season get ahead of the owners. Good data and management of the data enables the business to ensure it leverages the data for the best possible return.
Tower Systems provides a range of advice and support to retailers to make the most of Christmas and to ensure that the business achieves the best return possible.
We have published a gallery of photos from our Christmas party at the Eureka Tower on Saturday night.
Christmas 2012 has seen more retailers embrace store-branded gift card opportunities thanks to the work we have done in delivering access to quality personalised cards for retailers using our Point of Sale software.
Our assistance with gift cards ranges from providing advice through our help desk to retailers wanting to use gift cards through to designing gift cards from scratch to meet the needs of client businesses and arranging for these to be manufactured.
Our holistic approach to gift cards has enabled more of our retail customers to be ready for Christmas gift card opportunities. This has delivered another POS software value add for the retailers who have embraced the opportunity.
In offering their own store-brand gift card, retailers are able to capture a sale when a customer likes the shop but is not able to choose a gift for the recipient. It locks the sale in.
Key to success is professionally designed and produced gift cards.
Tower Systems hosted team members and partners from around Australia and New Zealand Saturday night for a Christmas Party at the Eureka Tower, 89 floors above Melbourne.
We enjoyed a stunning view, gourmet food, wonderful wines, great music from our DJ and great company.
The party was a terrific opportunity for people to relax and unwind and to celebrate the end of a big year.
We have been helping retailers stay on top of retail performance this Christmas season compared to Christmas sales for the same period a year ago.
Thanks to a host of business performance comparison reports, retailers using our Point of Sale software are able to check the progress of sales this Christmas. This is important in businesses where seasonal sales deliver the largest portion of return for the year.
To ensure that we provide valued help to retailers through the Christmas season we have ensured that our support team members have up to date knowledge on processes for undertaking the year on year comparisons in our software.
In addition to our free one on one training, Iretailers we work with have four more free Point of Sale software training opportunities this week:
- Best practice for Retailer security 18 Dec 2012, 11:00AM
- Best practice for managing Subagents 18 Dec 2012, 02:00PM
- General Q&A session 20 Dec 2012, 11:00AM
- Getting started with Point of Sale 20 Dec 2012, 02:00PM
Each workshop is live and interactive. The sessions are designed for people using our software. This is why we make them accessible from any PC so that employees can access the training from home and in their own time.
One of the new clients we installed this week was a conversion from another POS provider. The customer switched because of poor support, noting that support calls to their help desk often went unreturned for four days, sometimes more.
back on the days of One Tel, the story was that they dealt with long help desk queues by turning off the phone system and clearing their call backlog. If true, it would certainly have made their numbers look better. The customers lose is such a situation, just as they lose where a software company leaves their help desk call sitting in a queue for days on end.
We pride ourselves on a rapid response to queries to our POS software help desk here at Tower Systems. We have a sizeable team ready to take calls. they are backed up by a proactive management team. We’re on call 24/7. And we use a sophisticated CRM solution to track all activity and report back to our customers – so they are always in the loop.
We love welcome businesses switching from other software as it reminds us to ensure that our support is the best it can be … always.
Our Point of Sale software offers many facilities for promoting a retail business. Here are some of the ways our retail business customers find useful at Christmas time:
- Coupons on receipts. These can be served based on what is in the sale. Make your own or use one of the coupons which we have loaded on our website. Use your receipts to attract shoppers back into your store. You can have multiple receipts setup and in use at any one time.
- Two for one, three for two etc. Use your software to offer discounts for volume purchases. Your sales staff need do nothing since the software can track the offer and apply the discounted pricing for quantity purchase. You can make this for one item or a whole catalogue. Also, you can run multiple offers at any one time or over times which crossover.
- Trawl your data. Track what sells with what. The 10×10 report is excellent for this, it lists the top ten items sold with the top ten items sold. See what customers buying your top ten items are likely to buy, place these near the top sellers so more will buy them. Just looking at this data will unlock more opportunities for you.
- Gift cards. Give your customers something they can buy for family and friends which locks in business for you. Gift cards only work if the giver feels that the recipient will find something they like at the store – your store.
- Email / TXT message marketing. Use our marketing tools to create a marketing list based on the flexible criteria available to you.
- On screen up-sell. Use your POS screen to guide employee on up-sell opportunities for specific products. This is easy to setup and can drive good business.
- Diary reminder. If you sell diaries, print a sticker and reminding the diary user to visit your store and order a replacement diary in September or October.
- Loyalty marketing. Reward customers for spending more than usual, reward them for EXTRA EFFORT. Using the loyalty facilities, you are able to accrue points for customers and offer these as a form of currency. The system tracks points and lets customers know balances etc on receipts and via correspondence generated by the software.
This is what we do, we help retailers build smarter, more efficient and more valuable retail businesses. We do this through our POS software and through the advice we regularly provide on the benefits within our software. It’s all part of the Tower Advantage TM.