With coffee shops popping up on seemingly every corner of every city, in downtown suburbia, along highways, and in malls and smaller shopping centers, it goes without saying that the coffee business is perking up. However, instead of relying only on Americans’ apparent love of coffee to keep business brewing, coffee shop operators can and should harness a coffee shop POS system to give customer service—and in turn, sales—a jolt. With coffee shop POS system in place, it’s easy to:
Achieve increased order accuracy. No matter how “laid back” coffee shop customers may be, most are very particular about their coffee—a cappuccino should be a cappuccino and not a latte, “black coffee” means black coffee and not coffee with a drop of milk in it, an eight-ounce cup of coffee is not acceptable if a 12-ounce cup of coffee was ordered, a tall soy latte must be made with soy milk rather than with regular milk, and on and on. And few, if any patrons will return to an establishment where receiving the wrong drink or an improperly prepared cup of coffee are a common occurrence. That’s a mark of poor customer service.
Fortunately, a coffee shop POS minimizes or eliminates mistakes, taking order accuracy—and customer service—to a far higher level. When a barista selects an item on a coffee’s shop POS system, a pre-determined list of modifiers (e.g., “soy milk,” “no sugar”) appears. The barista can then select the appropriate ones and move on so there is no manual entry of specialty orders, with its potential for errors, required. In coffee shops that offer table service, orders can be captured on tablet devices that are part of the coffee shop POS system, with orders transmitted directly to the preparation area. This eliminates errors that can occur when wait staff and/or baristas must try to decipher handwritten orders, or when servers try to remember customers’ orders and repeat them to whomever is responsible for filling them.
Attract and retain customers with a loyalty program. As mentioned above, coffee shops are everywhere—so it’s important for operators to give customers an extra reason to regularly patronize their establishment instead of the one down the block. A loyalty program can do the trick, not only because patrons like to be rewarded for their business, but because when such a program is integrated with the coffee shop POS system, customers don’t need to remember to present paper punch cards in order to receive credit for their purchases. Everything is tracked automatically. In fact, customers will often spend more money at their favorite coffee shop if they are a member of a loyalty program—especially if they are close to receiving a reward.
A loyalty program can help to foster customer engagement and enhance the perception of customer service. Operators can tap into the coffee shop POS system to easily track store traffic, sales, and trends, and based on this valuable information, devise and execute properly targeted marketing campaigns that retain customers’ attention and drive future sales.
Allowing customers to pay the way they want. Just as different customers like different varieties of coffee and coffee drinks, not all patrons wish to pay for their beverages (and food) the same way. Some will continue to want to pay with cash, while others will prefer to use a debit or credit card. Still others will favor the convenience of a mobile wallet option like Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Google Pay. There are those who like the idea of ordering and paying online or through a mobile app, then heading to a specially designated counter to retrieve their orders. Without a coffee shop POS system, offering this flexibility is impossible.
As can be seen, a coffee shop POS system has the potential to improve many aspects of coffee shops’ business. Leveraging such technology makes it easier to treat customers to the caliber of service they deserve, brewing up stronger sales in the bargain.