They say there’s a time and place for everything. And with retail customer surveys, that time and place is at the point of sale. Gartner, the information technology research company, says retailers who survey customers at the point of sale receive 40% more accurate feedback than if the data is gathered one day later.
A point-of-sale survey is typically any survey given in-store to paying customers, often via electronic terminal or check-out machine. Point-of-sale surveys yield better response rates over postal or online surveys, and they give retailers insight into actual, not potential, customer opinions in real time — instantly and inexpensively.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, your POS system itself can retain customer purchase histories and offer loyalty programs, gift certificates and rechargeable gift cards.
To manage a meaningful customer survey at your point of sale, we recommend creating a customer survey account with a separate online survey company for customers to be able to review your business at their own discretion. A website link on your POS system’s receipts would provide consumers access.
Having surveyed the customer survey terrain, we at Sintel Systems share with you some salient points to consider in developing a customer survey for your point of sale:
In a Small Business blog post entitled “The Advantages of Using a POS Customer Survey,” Chron.com drills down into the subject with highlights that include the following benefits:
Chron.com sees speed as the principal advantage of POS surveys, especially when performed electronically and added directly to a retailer’s database. Their blog mentions that one grocery chain saw a quarter of a million responses in 24 hours, versus six weeks by traditional methods.
Electronic POS surveys mean an identical process for all respondents and no outside influences like interviewer cues. Also, customers who are uncomfortable with face-to-face interview scenarios are much more at ease.
Memories of shopping experiences fade quickly, unless extremely good or bad. POS surveys give access to information still fresh in a customer’s mind, hence a more nuanced distribution of responses.
Different technologies allow for varied implementations of POS surveys. The Chron.com blog points to examples of a smartphone accessory store sending a survey directly to their customer’s phone, and a grocery store adding a survey to the end of its self-checkout terminals.
The Chron.com blog includes links to a variety of related articles, including common customer survey questions.
OK, let’s say you’ve implemented a POS survey and collected timely data. Now it’s time to act!
In a blog post entitled “Are Retailers Getting the Most Out of Customer Surveys?,” Retailwire.com reviews a white paper from the National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) which details best practices for store managers tracking and responding to customer feedback.
Here is a brief summary of the NGA/CART report, which identified six unique ways to capitalize on POS customer feedback:
Focus on Greetings
Establish a store greetings rating score, use it “as a rallying point for staff” and make success at the entrance extend across all service areas.
Guide Staff Performance
Allow timely feedback to drive constructive discussions about team performance where employees “accept criticism and share in the praise.”
Begin each day reviewing survey responses gleaned overnight and perform “a kind of triage” by forwarding comments to department managers who may then reach out to customers who want a response.
Post feedback in the break room where staffers and checkers can stay aware of complaints, and praise. “An open workplace culture and peer comparison helps motivate individuals to perform at their best.”
Designate someone as the first to review all shopper feedback, handle routine responses, and then forward more pressing matters to the proper manager.
Consider the regular practice of responding personally to every comment, if possible, “even if the topic may seem trivial.” (We’re reminded that, from time to time, even Steve Jobs was known to respond to customer complaints.)
The NGA/CART white paper notes that Managers “may also use the feedback data to measure their stores against sister locations, their entire companies, and national norms.”
The study concludes, “It pays off handsomely when the retailer also has a plan in place to listen actively to both praise and complaints, and then take consistent action to let customers know they are both heard and greatly valued.”
If you are interested in learning more about Sintel’s POS systems and how our knowledge and support can impact your future success, call us for a complimentary phone consultation.
Sintel Systems is the only full-service provider of tailored Point of Sale systems across retail, restaurant and service industries, including frozen yogurt shops, pizzerias, sushi restaurants, cafés and retail stores.
As a single source for business solutions, our experienced, knowledgeable team negotiates the complex POS landscape for you to enable you to find the right POS system for your business and budget. Hardware – Software – Support