Personal contact is what makes Tower Systems the best small business POS software company

Our motto here at Tower systems is we’re here to help. We live this each day through being accessible to our customers – by phone, email, in person, through Facebook, through Twitter, through our website and more.

We make it easy for any of our 3,500+ customers to contact us.

Small business retailers like that we are accessible. We like it too because we know the opportunity for learning that comes from personal service with small business retailers.

Every week we email our customers with tips and advice. That email includes our contact details, right through the company touch points.

CONTACT DETAILS.

FREE ONE ON ONE TRAINING.
Email bookings@towersystems.com.au with your request.

CUSTOMER SERVICE ESCALATION PROCESS.
If you any reason you are unhappy with customer service:

  1. Email support@towersystems.com.au with a subject of: Escalation.
  2. Please provide as complete a description of the issues as possible.
  3. If you have multiple points, please number each.
  4. If your concern relates to a specific employee, please include their name.

We handle escalations in a structured way. On receiving an e mail it goes to point 1. If you are unhappy with that, please escalate to the next point in line.

  1. CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER: csm@towersystems.com.au.
  2. CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Gavin Williams. 03 9524 8000. Email gavinw@towersystems.com.au.
  3. MANAGING DIRECTOR: Mark Fletcher. 0418 321 338. Email: mark@towersystems.com.au.

WHAT SOFTWARE SUPPORT COVERS.
Our Tower AdvantageTM software support coverage includes:

  1. Help desk support in the use of our software.
  2. After hours support for urgent problems relating to our software.
  3. Free one on one training in our software each year.
  4. Software updates.
  5. Access to our online knowledge base – with more than 600 articles.
  6. Access to our online training video library – with more than 130 videos.
  7. Access to our live weekly online training workshops.
  8. Access to checked by Tower supplier stock files.

SUPPORT CALL PRIORITY.
You can advise the priority of your support call:

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

Small business retailers love human contact on the help desk

We hate riding a business and having to navigate a phone system making selections on the touch pad or through voice commands. We much prefer to speak to a human, a locally based human who understands our business. This is why we offer local human-based help desk services to small business retailers using our POS software.

Our help desk is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is 100% human. No answer bots. No computer based menus to navigate. Our help desk team members are not required to follow a script. We have conversations with customers for it is out of conversations that understanding of an issue at hand comes.

In 2018 while big businesses are looking to cut labour costs by automating customer service call centres, we live in another world, a customer focussed world where we believe good customer service begins with human interaction.

Our commitment to personal, human, customer service has been on show this week with plenty ty of engagement with small businesses retailers looking to make 2018 a winner year!

Tower Systems helps small business retailers avoid hard disk failure

Small business retailers using our cloud backup service benefit from early detection of disk abnormalities that can lead to disk failure.

In one case recently we contacted a customer and let them know there was evidence of an impending ding hard disk failure. They were able to arrange replacement through their hard ware supplier prior to the failure occurring.

We were able to provide the early warning thanks to the smart and engaged diagnostics run by our cloud backup service. While undertaking a backup the software is checking the drive for abnormalities. Detecting this prior to crash saves a business time as it prevents business disruption.

Tower Systems tracks and reports on disk abnormalities as part of its engaged cloud backup service. This is another way we help small business retailers.

Happy New Year

We hope 2018 is filled with happiness and joy for all who visit this place and all who use the Tower Systems software.

We are excited for what the year will bring and look forward to helping small business retailers make their businesses more valuable and enjoyable this year.

Managing the POS software help desk between Christmas and New Year

We have ensured we have a team of professionals, live in the office, to help small business retailers with any query about our POS software between this Christmas and New Year period.

While it is often slower than through the year, we ensure we are resourced to cover any situation that arises.

Ensuring access to the office-based service is vital as the office-based team has access to more resources than  those not the office.

For decades we have offered office-based coverage in this time, refusing to close in these days between Christmas and New Year as many companies its do. We are grateful to be in a position to offer this support coverage.

Advice for small business retailers confronted by a cash flow challenge

We are often asked for advice and help outside what is usual for a small business POS software company. Recently, we were asked by a customer for advice on holding a cash-flow challenge. Here is an article we offer our customers on this topic. It shows the extent to which Tower Systems can help, beyond what is usual for a POS software company serving small business retailers.

Cashflow can get very tight in any small business. How you deal with it is a test of leadership.

The common approach is to hide from those to whom you owe money. That only serves to harm your business and put you under more pressure.

Here is our practical advice on how to deal with a cashflow challenge:

  1. Understand the problem. Know if it is short term or long term. Be certain about the role you have played.
  2. Own the problem. Fixing this is on you.
  3. Develop a plan and document it succinctly:
    1. To borrow if appropriate.
    2. To put more of your own money into the business.
    3. To cut overheads: labour, rent.
    4. To convert more stock to cash.
    5. Work our what free cash you have availabke from your weekly trading.
    6. Ensure all creditors receive payments, no matter h0ow small. Regular payments reflect your commitment to goodwill. They also show you are not playing favourites.
  4. Talk to your creditors, apologise, outline your plan, ask for help.
  5. Act. Every decision, every action you take must work to addressing the cashflow challenge. If you have created a plan(point 3 above) act on it immediately. This is not a time to overthink things.
  6. Invest. If your cashflow challenge is because of a decline in traffic, not spending money chasing traffic will only make the problem worse.

If your cashflow challenge is more serious than a short to medium term plan could resolve it could be that your business is insolvent.

Company directors have a legal obligation to not allow their businesses to trade while insolvent.

Many have been in this situation. You can come out the other side by acting sooner, with commitment and with transparency to your creditors.

Christmas / New Year POS software office hours

Here are our Christmas / New Year office. hours. Our comprehensive site after hours phone network will remain available throughout:

December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th Closed.
December 27th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 28th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 29th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 30th, 31st January 1st Closed
January 2nd,Open 7am Close 5pm
January 3rd, Open 7am Close 5pm
January 4th, Open 7am Close 5pm
January 5th, Open 7am Close 5pm.

Our after hours numbers will be live throughout, for urgent system down situations.

Christmas / New Year trading hours

Here are our Christmas / New Year office. hours. Our comprehensive site after hours phone network will remain available throughout:

December 22nd Open 7am Close 2pm (or earlier if desk is quiet)
December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th Closed.
December 27th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 28th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 29th Open 8:30am Close 5pm
December 30th, 31st January 1st Closed
January 2nd,Open 7am Close 5pm
January 3rd, Open 7am Close 5pm
January 4th, Open 7am Close 5pm
January 5th, Open 7am Close 5pm.

Our after hours numbers will be live throughout, for urgent system down situations.

Welcome new customers

Reflecting on 2017, as the year draws to a close, we are grateful for all the new customers who joined us this year.

We are grateful to those installing our software as first time computer users in their businesses.

We are also grateful to those who switched to our software from other POS software – there has been plenty of this in 2017.

To help new customers settle in with our software and our customer support we have a structured welcome process, with assistance provided outside the usual help desk – until new customers reel well settled in their use of our software.

We understand the challenges small business retailers face and do all things possible to ensure their settling in with our POS software is gentle and useful.

Small business web development advice: beware offshore developers

We have been helping another small business retailer who engaged what they thought were a local Australian web development company. In fact, they engaged a local company for sure, which was a front for an offshore developer.

We were brought in because the website delivered was broken, not working and not to the requirements of the business. The paperwork signed, in the fine print, showed that the local business the small business owner they thought they were contracting was in fact a sales agent with no contractual responsibility.

It is vital small business retailers know who will do the web development work, that they have easy access to them, that they are local, that they understand the business, that they understand d local requirements, that they have good English.

If a web development proposal is cheap it is probably cheap because of corners being cut. Offshore developers cost significantly less than Australian developers. There is a reason for this,. This is what we say to small business retailers – beware, be careful, m understand what you are buying, understand for sure what the outcomes will be.

Here at Tower Systems we take web development seriously. We offer a 100% local service backed up by local support. We understand retail. Especially the type of retail channels in which we service. We have many websites we can share as reference sites, showing the wonderful commercial outcomes we have delivered to our customers.

Our POS software integrated websites serve a single inventory database between physical store and online store.

The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.

The Tower web team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.

POS software users love transparency of help desk workload

Retailers using our POS software are loving that they can see how busy our help desk is at any point in time. The dashboard they have access to shops calls in the system, calls being worked on and calls closed for the day.

The link between our CRM system and the customer service web portal is another initiative delivered by Tower Systems demonstrating transparency. We think this is vital for small business retailers in considering a POS software company. It shows that there is nothing to hide and that facts matter.

These data points are updated live, providing current information, helping retailers make decisions about their use of our personal help desk service.

Given that our small business retailer customers have other options for accessing service, the information we share can help them consider these. For example, we have more than 700 articles in our knowledge base. This is searchable in plain English. It offers customers easy access to useful outcomes. Plus, it continues to grow.

Free one on one POS software training for small business retailers

Our POS software customers have access to unlimited free one-on-one training. We gratefully offer this as we know it helps our customers get more from the software and that is us doing our job.

We have structured training options as well as free-form where we follow the requirements of any customer diving deep into the software to serve specific queries and needs they may have.

This free one-on-one training is in addition to our group training and user meetings.

Our customers can send a request to schedule free training to bookings@towersystems.com.au.

Additional POS software help desk resource

We have added head count to our help desk to expand resources for  customers. Our latest new hire joined us two weeks ago and is now taking some calls solo as part of the structured go-live process for new help desk team members.

We are grateful to our growing customer base that enables us to need to expand our customer support services.

The best response to Amazon arriving in Australia: stay calm, be engaged

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

Helping small business retailers with office-based POS software support today

It’s 7:30am in Melbourne and our office is open for business, providing office-based POS software support, as we do each Saturday for most of the year.

While our mobile phone based support team is also accessible, it is the office based team that’s access to the full suite of tools for providing help on just about any sport issue a small business POS software users could encounter.

We’re here to help.

POS software help desk transparency is loved by small business retailers

Small business retailers love that they can see how business our help desk is at any given time. This information empowers them. It also provides a level of transparency that is rare from POS software companies.

Through our website, our customers can see calls in the queue, calls resolved that day and more.

Too often, POS software companies hide this information from their customers, leaving them in the dark about what lies ahead in terms of wait time or help desk call volume. We have found that transparency is appreciated. This is our commitment.

It is one thing to claim rapid response to POS software help desk calls and another entirely to show, with evidence, that this is what is happening. The evidence we provide is unedited, untouched. We appreciate that our customers love it.

Helping small business retailers reduce the opportunity of employee theft

At our POS software company we actively help small business retailers who use our software to reduce the opportunity of employee theft. We do this in a range of overt and covert ways, through our software and outside off our software.

As we have decades of experience running different types of retail businesses and through our work with, 3,500+ other retailers with our software we have a deep pool of knowledge and experience on which to draw.

Employee theft is something to be managed. By managed, we mean measured, understood and mitigated.

based on our own experiences and those of others we trust, we offer refined, thoughtful, advice on managing employee theft. Here we share it with all as a free community service for small business retailers. Together, we can cut the cost of employee theft in your retail business:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.

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.