In today’s economic climate, you’ve got to be ready to pivot quickly in order to survive—no matter what business you’re in or when change may actually come. An integral part of setting yourself up for seamless adaptation is having systems in place that can evolve with you. And, point of sale software is one such system.
Whether you need to quickly calculate your restaurant’s productivity to find areas of improvement or take your salon’s booking system online to facilitate staff appointments, using POS software can help. But, as with everything these days, the transition needs to happen fast. Learning a new point of sale system operation has to be easy, too. With this short guide, we aim to help make sure that it is.
A Short Guide to Effortless Point of Sale System Operation
Of course, keep in mind that learning to operate a new point of sale system doesn’t begin and end with you. The POS hardware components and the software itself have to be learned, then used daily, by nearly everyone on your staff. To some degree, your customers or clients will have access to the system, too—even if it’s just the touchscreen on the iPad at the front desk. What might seem effortless to you, could feel frustrating to someone else.
That’s why we’ve broken down our advice into three major, but simple, categories that should help to keep the learning curve—and stress—of everyone low:
Unboxing, setting up, and activating your hardware should only take a few minutes—especially if you’ve already confirmed that your network meets the right requirements. The POS software should prompt you through your next steps, even if information about your products or services and their prices were uploaded by the vendor. You may still need to enter employee info, set permissions, and configure taxes. But, again, modern systems walk you through the process.
The key thing to remember is to have all of your data ready to go because the software setup will move faster than you might expect. With some systems, it’s really as simple as a few taps on a screen. So, take care not to jam yourself up by not being prepared. Depending on your type of business, you may need to previously establish:
- Product or service discounts and bundling options, as well as how to handle returns
- Loyalty programs, sales campaigns, and gift cards—and the customer data you’ll collect
- Payment options, whether you’ll take cash, and the rules for auditing transactions
- Online ordering or appointment booking plus how and when you send notifications
- The accounting, KDS, or delivery platforms you plan to keep using, assuming they integrate with your POS system
The biggest pain point for new POS users is that initial push to input information. But, with an intuitive platform, getting started can be easy. It just takes time, preparation, and some patience.
The old adage that “we learn by doing” applies to gaining confidence when using any new software. As simple as it sounds, it’s true. Yes, once your POS system is successfully implemented, you should certainly train everyone on staff. But, since these platforms are designed to streamline processes, the training itself shouldn’t take long.
For one, training modules may be built right into the system so that each time someone new logs in, they’re prompted with a few introductory steps. Point of sale vendors usually make training—and troubleshooting—videos available online, too. So, each additional task only takes minutes to learn or even master. Problems can often be fixed just as quickly. Afterwards, it’s just repetition that will build user confidence, especially with a system that’s easy to initially pick up.
A cross-platform point of sale system with an open API gives you a lot of room to get creative. If you have a developer on staff or someone tech-savvy, use their skills and the open architecture to your advantage. Just think, you can use different computers with distinct software packages and potentially upgrade POS components and customize your settings. That means you can create the types of reports you want to generate and add even more integrations, as long as your system lets you get creative.
The good news is that easy-to-use point of sale software is more accessible than it used to be. To keep your business running smoothly while you’re working to improve operational efficiency, don’t settle for anything less. After all, you don’t have to. And, a short learning curve goes a long way towards reducing employee stress and increasing engagement with your customer base.
How to Find Intuitive POS Software that Fits Your Business
So, where does this leave you when time is of the essence and you need to choose a point of sale vendor now? With so many providers on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choices. Even so, take the time to call a few vendors and request a demo. Inquire about training and how long it typically takes to get up-and-running. Ask if customer service is available day and night—and at no extra cost.
Not only is it critical that the learning curve for operating your point of sale system be short, it’s important your vendor is always on hand to help. Whether you’re trying do to business in difficult times or just want to give your company an edge, you’ve got to find a POS system that is the right fit in more ways than one. It’s got to be able to grow and change as your business does, too.