Photo by JD Hancock (Flickr)

Photo by JD Hancock (Flickr)

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
William Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice

Is it a little haughtier-than-thou to quote Shakespeare at the beginning of a post for tech oriented blog? Maybe, but it’s not nearly as bad as using the phrase “haughtier-than-thou.” Besides, I only know that quote because Willy Wonka says it in response to Charlie Bucket returning his Everlasting Gobstopper at the end of the 1972 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And it’s a lovely quote that throws its own beams on the topic of the today’s post: the Tags feature in Kounta.

Bear with me here.

Tags, near as we can tell, are pretty under utilised amongst Kounta users. But in the weary world of POS reporting, the tags feature shines like a good deed. The concept is simple: you tag your products with keywords, which can be anything. You tag a t-shirt with keywords like “green” or “cotton” or “banana hammock,” which makes no sense but you can do it, nonetheless. And why would you want to do this? Because you get much more granular information out of your reporting function when you start filtering based on tags. Without tags, it might be possible to know that you sell less t-shirts in the colder months. But you’d also probably know that without reporting, either. With tags, you can better understand what kind of t-shirts you are selling in those colder months. You might find out that green t-shirt sales start picking up in autumn, and then taper out come spring when orange ones start coming back in vogue. And that kind of information helps you make better purchasing decisions. Your end of summer sale doesn’t have to include the green t-shirts because you know they’ll likely keep moving past the end of the sale. No sense in getting rid of them at a steep discount to make room for other seasonal clothing when it turns out that green t-shirts are the seasonal clothing you need to make room for. A simplistic example, maybe, but you get the idea.

The utility of tags isn’t just limited to apparel, either. It’s an excellent feature for hospitality as a way of classifying foods according to dietary restrictions or other pertinent information. Now, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this—I really thought today was the day I wouldn’t have to see, hear, write, or say these insufferable words—but I can think of no better example than tagging menu items as “gluten free.” Despite the fact that non-Celiac gluten sensitivity is a thing which probably doesn’t exist (disproven by the same gastroenterologist who thought he discovered it, spawning a billion industry), your serving staff will no doubt be subjected to people who love to share every last detail of their psychosomatically induced special needs diets.

What we all look like when you talk about gluten-free.Photo by phip_s (Flickr)

What we all look like when you talk about gluten-free.
Photo by phip_s (Flickr)

By tagging menu items as “gluten free” within Kounta, members of your wait staff can quickly search by keyword and bring up every item that satisfies this criteria faster than your customer can say “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Oh, but tags aren’t even limited to just items: you can also tag your customers. Enter this same customer into your database, tag him “gluten free,” and watch the goodwill that follows the next time he shows up for a meal and your server asks, “Are you sure you want to order the regular french toast? They have gluten in them.” And because tags are so easy to set up, you’ll be able to just easily delete it from your customer’s profile when he says, “Oh, I couldn’t stand not eating bread, so I’m back on the gluten,” which is what everyone who’s not afflicted with Celiac eventually says.

No Such ThingPhoto by Kaz Vorpal (Flickr)

No Such Thing
Photo by Kaz Vorpal (Flickr)

Finally, tags can be used to separate the wheat from the chaff, customer-wise, to use a cliche that isn’t gluten free. While it’s a good idea to employ some kind of customer loyalty program that rewards people for coming back, it’s an even better idea to really reward people who are the most loyal. Not everyone who signs on for a rewards program will actually be a loyal customer—they may just bust out their punch card or loyalty app whenever they happen to show up. But there are those who you will get to know, who really do love coming to your place, and you can tag their customer profiles with something like “VIP” or other descriptor to note their importance to your success.With these tags in place, you can easily create separate mailing lists, specialised pricelists, secret sales, and all other sorts of things that only these folks will be able to have access to.

You can read some more on tags and how to set them up here and here. In the meantime, it’s time to tag this post: DONE.